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Rocks Reveal North American Climate History

13.01.2016 14:23 Age: 2 yrs

Growth rings on rocks give up North American climate secrets going back 120,000 years

Click to enlarge.Magnified photograph of a cross-section through a 3 mm-thick pedothem soil deposit from Wyoming. The line of dots are laser ablation sampling spots that are 0.1 mm in diameter. The innermost mineral material is about 150,000 years old, and becomes progressively younger towards the outside. Courtesy: Erik Oerter

Click to enlarge. Map of the predominant weather patterns in mid-latitude North American from 70,000 to 55,000 years ago. The large ice sheet covering the northeastern portion of the continent caused a strong high pressure system to persist above it, which drew Gulf of Mexico-sourced precipitation (red arrows) into the midcontinent and Wyoming (white star). The result was rainy summers during this time, and possibly drier winters. Courtesy: Erik Oerter


by Sarah Yang, University of California Berkeley

120,000 years of history in 3 millimeters of rock






UC Berkeley news release here.