DOES CON­TI­NEN­TAL DRIFT AF­FECT THE CLI­MATE?

BBC Earth (Asia) - - Front Page -

Pro­pelled by the cir­cu­lat­ing heat of the Earth’s in­te­rior, the vast rocky plates form­ing the crust move barely a few cen­time­tres a year. Yet over time they have had a pro­found in­flu­ence on the Earth’s cli­mate. To­day’s con­ti­nents were once part of a huge su­per­con­ti­nent known as Pan­gaea, which be­gan to break apart around 175 mil­lion years ago. At the time, the planet was much warmer than to­day, but the frag­men­ta­tion of Pan­gaea led to mas­sive changes in land dis­tri­bu­tion and ocean and at­mo­spheric cir­cu­la­tion pat­terns, trig­ger­ing rad­i­cal cli­mate change. Col­li­sions be­tween plates have trig­gered fur­ther change. For ex­am­ple, around 35 mil­lion years ago the plate car­ry­ing mod­ern­day In­dia started push­ing un­der the Asia plate to cre­ate the Hi­malayas, which af­fect global wind pat­terns and drive the mon­soon sea­son to this day.

Ge­o­log­i­cal faults can clearly be seen on this rocky out­crop in Devon

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