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A Window on Ancient Siberia

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Science  31 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5607, pp. 655
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5607.655

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In 1989, geologists set out to reconstruct Siberia's past from the muck at the bottom of Lake Baikal. Perhaps the most provocative insights have come from studying the minuscule remains of diatoms whose silicon skeletons have accumulated in the sediment over the eons. These biological proxies for climate change have revealed that during some periods when ocean cores showed milder cooling over the past 8 million years, Baikal was in the throes of glaciation.

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