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Earthworm Poo Balls To Rescue Paleoclimatology

University of York. Earthworms could help scientists "€˜dig"€™ into past climates. Past Horizons. July 08, 2013,

Principal Investigator Professor Mark Hodson from the University of York’s Environment Department, and formerly of the University of Reading, said: “There are many conflicting theories about why earthworms produce calcite granules, but until now, the small lumps of chalk-like material found in earthworm poo have been seen as little more than a biological curiosity. However, our research shows they may well have an important role to play, offering a window into past climates.”
The researchers are now gathering samples from archaeological sites dating back thousands of years in preparation for isotopic testing. Dr Stuart Black, from the University of Reading’s Department of Archaeology, added: “We believe this new method of delving into past climates has distinct advantages over other biological proxies. For example, we believe it will work for the full seasonal range of temperatures, whereas methods such as tree rings, do not “record” during winter. In addition, because the chalk balls are found in direct context with archaeological finds, they will reveal temperatures at the same location. At present, links are often attempted with climate proxies many hundreds or even thousands of miles away.”


The paper ‘Earthworm-produced calcite granules: a new terrestrial palaethermometer?’ is published in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. DOI:10.1016/j.gca.2013.06.020. The article can be viewed at www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0016703713003542 (Free to access for 3 months.)

Comments

Gosh, things must be getting desparate when they have to resort to earthworm shite to support their lunacy!

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