Research NewsPaleoceanography

Deep-Sea Coral Records Quick Response to Climate

Science  01 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5364, pp. 679
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5364.679

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On page 725 of this issue of Science, oceanographers report that by measuring a carbon isotope trapped in precisely dated deep-sea corals, they can assemble a record of the currents flowing through the ancient ocean. The first use of this new kind of record provides the best evidence to date for an idea long espoused by climate modelers: When climate changes, ocean circulation can suddenly shift--perhaps feeding back to affect climate.