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Climate: Past, Present & Future
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Decomposing algae have not said their last word yet!

Decomposing algae have not said their last word yet!

Name of proxy Phytane, a compound resulting from the degradation of Chlorophyll-a (Chl a), a green pigment in plants and algae that is involved in photosynthesis Type of record Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations Paleoenvironment Marine sediments and oils Period of time investigated Phanerozoic (last 540 million years) How it works Before we can start predicting the potential impact of human ...[Read More]

What speleothems can tell about the past climates !

What speleothems can tell about the past climates !

Name of the proxy: Stable isotope ratios of carbonates in speleothems Type of proxy: Precipitation, atmospheric circulation, CO2 availability in soil, soil productivity Paleoenvironment: Continental environments Period of time investigated: Present day to 10 million years How does it work? Speleothems are inorganic carbonate deposits growing in caves that form from super-saturated cave waters (wit ...[Read More]

Of butterflies and climate: how mathematics helps us to better understand the atmosphere

Applied mathematics is often seen as an obscure field, which the general public has no hope of ever understanding. In the context of climate science, this is far from the truth. In fact, many mathematical concepts and ideas applied to the study of the climate system stem from intuitive arguments. While their implementation can be very complex, understanding the basic ideas behind them does not req ...[Read More]

Corals, the thermometers of the past!

Corals, the thermometers of the past!

Name of proxy: Coral Type of record: Oceanic variability Paleoenvironment: Fringing reefs, barrier reefs, or atoll Period of time investigated: Mainly the last 200 years How does it works ? What we usually picture as a coral is actually a colony of tiny living animals called coral polyps, which are closely related to jellyfish or anemones. They live in symbiosis with photosynthetic algae called Zo ...[Read More]