Ocean Forams Provide Global Warming Insights

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Forams are tiny critters that live in the ocean. They build their shells from minerals found within sea water, and thus, they can help scientists study the changes in the chemical composition of sea water. Flavia Nunes and Richard Norris at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., use forams to study ancient global warming trends. They are also using forams to study modern changes in global temperatures. Among their finding is the surprising news that the Earth’s environment and climate is capable of changing very quickly, depending on many factors. The ancient climate change they have studied was also due to an increase in greenhouse gases. They also report that when the air warms, so does the ocean, which can mean an eventual release of massive quantities of methane from the ocean’s bed. This means increased global warming issues and more rapid changes. Forams have been used to study over 1,400 years of climate changes. It looks like the 20th century is unique in that these sea critters are rapidly changing from cold water loving species to warm water loving species, and at an extremely fast rate. Read more here.

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