Environmental Protection

Caving for Climate

Scientists are descending into caves on a small island in the middle of the South Pacific to try and gain a better understanding of weather patterns occurring as far back as 10,000 years ago.

The University of Alabama researchers are blogging about their experiences at http://research.ua.edu/2011/07/caving-for-climate/

Led by Dr. Paul Aharon and funded by the National Science Foundation, the UA scientists (including Dr. W. Joe Lambert and doctoral student Hillary Sletten) will remain on the island of Niue (pronounced new-ay) until Aug. 5

The stalagmites in the island’s caves contain about 10,000 years of rainfall records driven by El-Niño that can be revealed through laboratory analysis. The UA group is looking to verify the impact the El-Niño/La Niña patterns have had historically on climate change.

This could provide the scientists with more insight as to how our global weather patterns may continue changing.
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