A geologist's revisionist theory pushing the formation of the Isthmus of Panama back 10 million years casts doubt on mainstream ideas of what caused the last ice age as well as the global glaciation cycle that generates the world's current climate A few years ago geologist Carlos Jaramillo stood in a man-made canyon in Panama staring at rocks he knew to be 20 million years old, and shook his head in confusion.
According to conventional geologic theory, the Panamanian Isthmus didn't emerge from the sea until just a few million years ago.
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The Isthmus of Panama plays an outsized role in ocean circulation and may be a reason that our planet currently undergoes ice ages, so the new theory could rewrite not just the history of continents and biology, but also global climate.
Science owes this research to an unlikely source: a public works project.
Panama was inhabited by several indigenous tribes prior to settlement by the Spanish in the 16th century.
Panama broke away from Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Nueva Granada, Ecuador, and Venezuela named the Republic of Gran Colombia.