What Arctic Caves Reveal about Ancient Climate Cycles

Contemporary Science Issues and Innovations
June 14, 2016 Belmont Media Center,Belmont MA

Jeremy Shakun, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Boston College. Paleogeologist Professor Jeremy Shakun deciphers the record of major climate shifts over millions of years: the ice ages and warming cycles that shaped Earth’s history. One of the best sources of information is in Arctic caves: mineral deposits formed from groundwater are preserved in speleothems, such as stalactites and stalagmites. These deposits contain precise records of chemical and physical changes associated with deep-time freeze-melt cycles. Dr. Shakun describes how he and his paleogeology team gather this information from Arctic caves –and how this information is used to anticipate the effect of the present global warming pattern. He also discusses other sources of ancient climate cycle data: marine cores, glacial boulders, tree rings, Antarctic ice cores.

Professor Shakun’s information on global warming

Media articles about Dr. Shakun’s work

NOAA information about speleothems