Skip to comments.Worm poo's window into past climate
Posted on 07/10/2013 2:10:41 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
Earthworm poo can be used to measure past temperatures, providing a window into the ancient climate.
A study shows that the chemistry of small balls of chalky crystals secreted into soil by the worms varies with temperature.
A UK team said the granules could be compared with other climatic "proxies", such as ice cores and deep sea sediments.
Details appear in the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.
Scientists from the universities of Reading and York, report that the calcium carbonate (calcite) nodules dug up from archaeological sites give a unique measure of the ancient local temperatures.
Because the ratios of different isotopes, or forms, of oxygen within the calcite crystals vary with temperature they record the conditions present as they grow inside the worms.
The granules are up to 2mm in size and have a distinctive appearance, so can be identified in the soil at archaeological sites. New balls
Emma Versteegh, lead author on the paper commented: "Earthworms secrete several each day, so they provide a record of the seasonal variations in temperature as well as local geographical variations."
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
“What do you do?”
“Study worm poo.”
How do they know it wasn’t just a heat wave. Total BS study.
Oh! I thought it said “warm poo”, and I wondered how warm poo differs from cold poo in such a way as to model climates. I guess it pays to read headlines carefully.
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