Learning from shells

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 1st, 2012

RESEARCHERS at James Cook University in Australia say they hope to understand more about climate change through the study of seashells.
Dr Sean Ulm will radio carbon date shells from museums, focusing on specimens collected from northern Australia and southern Papua New Guinea.
“A lot of those specimens have ended up in museums, so very fortunately for us we’ve got those amazing archives to draw upon and radio carbon date those shells to estimate where the inaccuracies in radio carbon dating come in,” he said.
He said the shells, and in particular their carbon levels, would provide an important snapshot into the health of the globe last century.
“More and more now, climatologists are trying to reconstruct what the climate was like before instrumental records and we have a particular issue in Australia in that we only really have records for the past 100, 150 years,” he said. – ABC North Queensland