Fact Sheet 2010–3044
Reliable instrumental records of past climate are available for about the last 150 years only. To supplement the instrumental record, reconstructions of past climate are made from natural recorders such as trees, ice, corals, and microfossils preserved in sediments. These proxy records provide information on the rate and magnitude of past climate variability, factors that are critical to distinguishing between natural and human-induced climate change in the present. However, the value of proxy records is heavily dependent on calibration between the chemistry of the natural recorder and of the modern environmental conditions. The Gulf of Mexico Climate and Environmental History Project is currently undertaking a climate-history calibration study with material collected from an automated sediment trap. The primary focus of the calibration study is to provide a better calibration of low-latitude environmental conditions and shell chemistry of calcareous microfossils, such as planktic Foraminifera.
First posted June 8, 2010
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Spear, J.W., and Poore, R.Z., 2010, Gulf of Mexico climate-history calibration study: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010–3044, 2 p.