Unlocking Climate Data in Corals

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MichaelMarkovina.WCS.Reef off the shore of Tanzania

Today’s climate is driven by the Earth’s ocean conveyer belt, which moves water from the tropics to the poles and through ocean basins. The only point of tropical water exchange on the planet occurs through the Maritime Continent, which spans from East Asia to Australia and consists of several archipelagos and shallow seas. Our knowledge of this region is limited by scarce instrumental data despite its importance in heat transfer and monsoon formation.

But there is another way to peek into the climate past. Find out how marine geochemists like Dr. Goodkin use a surprising hydrographic data repository in corals to gain insights into climate activity over seasons and decades, even hundreds of years.