Recent Research shows that the Bering Strait has been influential in climate patterns throughout the last 100,000 years. Although it is currently full of water, the Bering Strait was once a land bridge from Asia to North America. During the ice age, global cooling caused water in the sea to freeze. Ice sheets expanded, causing water levels to drop. The freezing temperatures caused water to drop so low that the Bering Strait became a strip of exposed land extending from the Asian continent over to North America.
The water-free Bering Strait influenced climate patterns around the globe because it cut off the flow of currents that travel through the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. This changed the makeup and flow of currents in the Atlantic that would warm the ocean water and melt the ice sheets. The Bering Strait would fill with water again until cool temperatures caused the cycle to repeat. This process continued until a shift in the Earth’s orbit ended the last ice age.
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