Changes in the Earth’s orbit Changes in the evolution of life

Orbite terrestre, cycles glaciaires, cycle du carbone : tout est étroitement lié. © Anton Balazh, Adobe Stock

We already know that the eccentricity of the earth is synchronized with the glacial cycles. Although initially less influential, French researchers have found that it controls the evolution of marine life and the climate in general. Here’s how it works.

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About fifty years ago, researchers discoveredEccentricity The earth (see box) has been standing next to it Glacial cycles. Thus, the cycles between one for the last 400,000 years Ice age Synchronized over a period of timeOrbit Earth’s atmosphere for about 100,000 years. It may come as a surprise that such a small variation has such an impact on them Weather : Changes in the Earth’s orbit affect 10,000 times less than its magnitude. Light Accepted (for example it depends Axis of rotation of the earth). Over the years, researchers have wondered what could be contributing to the increase in these climate changes.

Skeletons of algae to study biodiversity

In a new study published in Nature, Luke Beaufort and his colleagues from CNRS, Marseille, expressed interest. Phytoplankton Analysis of variations with the weather of the rocks at the time Pleistocene, Especially changes in the structure of coccyx, these structures Limestone Which cover Coccolithophores. Each of these gives a good overview of the diversity of phytoplankton Species Forming a distinct coccyx.

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Used by researchersartificial intelligence, To be more precise, a mighty one Neural network, To artificially accelerate the process of chocholith formation. They later discovered more phytoplankton different slavery over the Earth’s eccentricity. In fact, the more the left, the more Contradictions The seasonal population is very large, which helps to increase the number of ecological sites and thus increase the phytoplankton diversity.

A feedback loop that increases climate change

But above all, the researchers point out, this diversity itself is influential in the climate: medium-sized phytoplankton species that adapt to lower biodiversity tend to be more stocked. Carbon In coccyx Calcium carbonate. This study shows two “peaks” of productivity: about 900,000 years ago and 400,000 years ago. In other words, phytoplankton applies a feedback loop with orbital cycles by increasing climatic variations and variations. Carbon cycle.

Other elements are likely to play in this feedback loop. The retreat of glaciers and islands, for example, can create segregated habitats and create more space, which accelerates the turnover rate of phytoplankton. ” A link between orbital change, climate and phytoplankton trends may be an internal rhythm underlined by the Earth system. Rosalind Riccibe, a biologist at Oxford University, concludes In an accompanying editorial. The best example of the famous butterfly effect.

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