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: Ocean floor mud reveals secrets of past European climate

Related Stories

When did Australia's human history begin?

November 17, 2017

In July, a new date was published that pushed the opening chapters of Australian history back to 65,000 years ago. It is the latest development in a time revolution that has gripped the nation over the past half century.

Recommended for you

Scientists capture Earth's 'hum' on ocean floor

December 7, 2017

Scientists have long known earthquakes can cause the Earth to vibrate for extended periods of time. However, in 1998 a research team found the Earth also constantly generates a low-frequency vibrational signal in the absence ...

Birth of a storm in the Arabian Sea validates climate model

December 6, 2017

Researchers from Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report in the journal Nature Climate Change that extreme cyclones that formed in the Arabian Sea for the first time in 2014 ...

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.