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Thu Dec 8, 2016, 04:51 PM

500-year-old clams unlock history of oceans

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By studying growth rings in the shells of quahog clams, scientists have pieced together the history of the North Atlantic Ocean over the past 1,000 years. The method is similar to how tree rings can serve as climate proxies by revealing clues about past weather and climate changes, including droughts.

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By studying the clams' shells, scientists from Cardiff University and Bangor University in Wales found that the ocean's relationship with the atmosphere drastically changed over the centuries. That is likely due to the influence of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane that have been pumped into the atmosphere from humanity's burning of fossil fuels, beginning with the Industrial Revolution.

Although clams have been used as climate proxies through the field called sclerochronology since the 1970s, the new study is the first time researchers have been able to obtain a 1,000-year record of the ocean with absolute dating precision, according to lead author David Reynolds of Cardiff University.

In the pre-industrial era, roughly before 1800, the climate was driven by natural factors such as volcanic eruptions and solar activity, he said. At that time, the ocean influenced the atmosphere. But since then, it's been the other way around: The atmosphere, with its increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, has driven major shifts underwater.

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2016/12/06/500-year-old-clams-oceans-climate/95040372/

http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13502

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Reply 500-year-old clams unlock history of oceans (Original post)
petronius Dec 2016 OP
MFM008 Dec 2016 #1

Response to petronius (Original post)

Thu Dec 8, 2016, 04:53 PM

1. quahog?

What is Peter Griffith doing about this?

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