British scientists dig in arctic mud

October 15, 2007

A British research team from the University of Plymouth is developing a new method of tracking changes in Arctic sea ice over the past 1,000 years.

The scientists are using thin layers of sediment from the sea bed of the Northwest Passage, north of Canada, to glean information about the patterns of past conditions, the BBC reported Monday.

The researchers said they hope to cast light on historical questions, such as why so many expeditions to the passage failed, as well as benefit future climate forecasts.

"Our method for historical sea ice determination not only shows remarkable agreement with known historical events, but it has allowed us to provide some information for periods where records are scarce or absent," said research team member Guillaume Masse, of the University of Plymouth.

"Significantly, periods of sea ice cover frequently coincide with dramatic changes to human populations due to famines and illnesses."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Lab experiments question popular measure of ancient ocean temperatures

Related Stories

Antarctica may hold the key to regulating mining in space

August 10, 2015

Our current era may go down in history as the century of space exploration and off-Earth resource exploitation. But there are still considerable policy hurdles to overcome in terms of how we regulate such activities.

Neptune's moon of Triton

July 29, 2015

The planets of the outer solar system are known for being strange, as are their many moons. This is especially true of Triton, Neptune's largest moon. In addition to being the seventh-largest moon in the solar system, it ...

Recommended for you

Earth's mineralogy unique in the cosmos

August 26, 2015

New research from a team led by Carnegie's Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.