Reblogging for future reference. “Geologists do not determine the age of anything by extrapolating modern rates blindly into the past!”
Corals are among the most valuable indicators of past climate conditions, due to their sensitivity to water depth, temperature, and acidity. We can infer from the age and depth of ancient reefs, for example, how global sea level has varied in response to past intervals of warming and cooling. Since reefs are formed by organisms secreting calcite, moreover, their isotopic and elemental chemistry is directly related to the temperature and salinity of the water in which they lived. But best of all, reefs form in the tropics (30°S – 30°N), which means that the researchers studying them do so while scuba diving in warm seas along pristine beaches. Perhaps it’s time for a career change?
Despite that corals can provide a wealth of information to geologists and climatologists studying the past, these data are useful only if we know the precise age of the sample! How then do we date…
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