Climate clippings 2

In this post I have included a brief mention of a number of news items relating to climate change. It doesn’t preclude treating any of these topics in a separate post.

It can also serve as an open thread.

The “Big Freeze”, the Younger Dryas, happened in the space of a few months

mg20427344.800-1_300In case you have been feeling hot I thought we’d start with a story about the cold.

William Patterson of the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, and colleagues have developed a technique where they use a scalpel to slice off layers of mud 0.5 to 1 millimetre thick, each representing up to three months of time.

The group studied a mud core from an ancient lake, Lough Monreagh, in western Ireland and found that the Younger Dryas over 12,000 years ago which plunged Europe into Siberian-type weather for about 1300 years, took hold in the space of a few months.

Now Patterson’s mob have built a robot able to shave 0.05 micrometre slivers along the growth lines of fossilised clam shells, giving a resolution of less than a day. “We can get you mid-July temperatures from 400 million years ago,” he says. You just have to work out where in the world the clam was 400 million years ago, and that could just about be anywhere.

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