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Milankovitch proposed in the early twentieth century that

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Milankovitch proposed in the early twentieth century that [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2011, 03:24
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Milankovitch proposed in the early twentieth
century that the ice ages were caused by variations
in the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. For some
time this theory was considered untestable,
largely because there was no sufficiently precise
chronology of the ice ages with which the orbital
variations could be matched.
To establish such a chronology it is necessary
to determine the relative amounts of land ice that
existed at various times in the Earth’s past. A recent
discovery makes such a determination possible:
relative land-ice volume for a given period can be
deduced from the ratio of two oxygen isotopes,
16 and 18, found in ocean sediments. Almost
all the oxygen in water is oxygen 16, but a few
molecules out of every thousand incorporate the
heavier isotope 18. When an ice age begins, the
continental ice sheets grow, steadily reducing the
amount of water evaporated from the ocean that
will eventually return to it. Because heavier isotopes
tend to be left behind when water evaporates
from the ocean surfaces, the remaining ocean
water becomes progressively enriched in oxygen
18. The degree of enrichment can be determined
by analyzing ocean sediments of the period,
because these sediments are composed of calcium
carbonate shells of marine organisms, shells that
were constructed with oxygen atoms drawn from
the surrounding ocean. The higher the ratio of
oxygen 18 to oxygen 16 in a sedimentary specimen,
the more land ice there was when the sediment
was laid down.
As an indicator of shifts in the Earth’s climate,
the isotope record has two advantages. First, it is
a global record: there is remarkably little variation
in isotope ratios in sedimentary specimens taken
from different continental locations. Second, it is
a more continuous record than that taken from
rocks on land. Because of these advantages,
sedimentary evidence can be dated with sufficient
accuracy by radiometric methods to establish a
precise chronology of the ice ages. The dated
isotope record shows that the fluctuations in
global ice volume over the past several hundred
thousand years have a pattern: an ice age occurs
roughly once every 100,000 years. These data have
established a strong connection between variations
in the Earth’s orbit and the periodicity of the ice
ages.
However, it is important to note that other
factors, such as volcanic particulates or variations
in the amount of sunlight received by the Earth,
could potentially have affected the climate. The
advantage of the Milankovitch theory is that it
is testable; changes in the Earth’s orbit can be
calculated and dated by applying Newton’s laws
of gravity to progressively earlier configurations
of the bodies in the solar system. Yet the lack of
information about other possible factors affecting
global climate does not make them unimportant.


Read the question and share what do you think "evaporated ocean water" refers to
1. Vapors
2. Water left behind after evaporation

It can be inferred from the passage that precipitation
formed from evaporated ocean water has
(A) the same isotopic ratio as ocean water
(B) less oxygen 18 than does ocean water
(C) less oxygen 18 than has the ice contained in
continental ice sheets
(D) a different isotopic composition than has
precipitation formed from water on land
(E) more oxygen 16 than has precipitation formed
from fresh water
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Re: Rhetorical Concern [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2011, 05:09
option B .It says that the more the evaporation ,the higher is the amount of oxygen 8 left behind .The oxygen 8 because of its heaviness is not evaporated .
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Re: Rhetorical Concern [#permalink] New post 22 Dec 2011, 06:34
I know that but my question was not that, my question is below :

Read the question and share what do you think "evaporated ocean water" refers to
1. Vapors
2. Water left behind after evaporation
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Re: Rhetorical Concern [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2011, 04:31
I would say "Evaporated ocean water" refer to vapors.But if you would have asked the full question ie.what does precipitation formed from evaporated ocean water refers to, I would have said Water left behind after evaporation,as precipitation is the term used for the water which come backs to earth after evaporation(condensation theory)
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Re: Rhetorical Concern [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2011, 05:33
Yes that exactly the point. I thought the same that "evaporated ocean water" in question refers to water left behind.

Now who can explain why the answer considers the opposite.
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Re: Rhetorical Concern [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2011, 08:44
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Precipitation(ie. the evaporated ocean water) in this case could not return back to the ocean as ice sheets grows between the evaporated water and the left behind ocean water due to ice age
Quote:
When an ice age begins, the
continental ice sheets grow, steadily reducing the
amount of water evaporated from the ocean that
will eventually return to it
.
As a result precipitation which is the evaporated water is rich in isotope 16 and the left over water which is below the ice sheet is rich with isotope 18 which being heavier could not evaporate hence the precipitation or the evaporated water has less oxygen 18 as compared to the ocean water.
I hope this helps.
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Re: Milankovitch proposed in the early twentieth century that [#permalink] New post 21 Jun 2014, 17:13
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Re: Milankovitch proposed in the early twentieth century that   [#permalink] 21 Jun 2014, 17:13
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