Taking the Pulse of the Tropical Water Cycle

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Science  08 Aug 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5634, pp. 776-777
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085066

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Climate records from tropical ice cores from the Andes have been interpreted in terms of temperature changes, similar to records from the polar regions. In his Perspective, Hoffmann reviews recent evidence that rather than exclusively temperature, the Andean records track changes in precipitation. In conjunction with other records such as corals and with global climate models, the ice cores can be used to reconstruct the hydrological cycle. However, more precisely dated records are needed to extend this reconstruction beyond recent decades.