London, September 22 : Scientists have discovered an ancient reef in Australia's outback, which could unlock the secrets of the world's climate change history.
According to a report in www.news.com.au, located in South Australia's Flinders Ranges, the 650-million-year-old reef existed during a period of tropical climate between two major ice age events.
"This reef is an internationally significant discovery because it provides a significant step forward in showing the extent of climate change in Earth's past and the evolution of ancient reef complexes - and it also contains fossils which may be of the earliest known primitive animals," said Jonathan Giddings.
"From a climate change point of view, this reef provides an important record of what was happening in the ocean 650 million years ago," he added.
"The chemistry of the reef and other sediments forming in the ocean at the same time show the ocean was poorly mixed, and this may have had an effect on Earth's climate at that time by allowing carbon to be trapped in the ocean's depths," said Giddings.