A cataclysmic flood could have filled the Mediterranean Sea — which millions of years ago was a dry basin — like a bathtub in the space of less than two years. A new model suggests that at the flood’s peak water poured from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean basin at a rate one thousand times the flow of the Amazon River, according to calculations published in the Dec. 10 Nature.
The flood would have had a dramatic effect on local ecosystems(gee, ya THINK?), and could even have affected the global climate. The model suggests that global sea level dropped 9.5 meters as a result of the flood. The team points out that a much smaller flood in North America 12,000 years ago has been linked to a worldwide cold snap, and suggests that the Mediterranean flood may have had similarly significant effects.
Interesting speculation: the NA flood was cold fresh water flooding into the north Atlantic; this would be Atlantic water flooding into the Med. Could that disrupt the conveyor belt? At the least, that much water moving into the basin would have climatic effects in Europe, North Africa and the mid-East regions.