Some say that those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.
That can be true to some extent, especially when it comes to politics or even wars.
What about other domains like climate?
Well, it’s safe to say that the theory stands, but with some mentions.
Some climate-related events repeat themselves periodically, which is why scientists want to keep track of the climate events throughout history and see when and how they will repeat and prepare accordingly.
There are numerous interesting periods for the study of climate. They are particularly interested in understanding how the planet responded in the past to great-scale changes in climate – how ecosystems adapted, how sea levels and ocean chemistry changed, and how forests developed and extended or diminished.
The scientists focused on “hothouse” periods when carbon levels and temperatures were considerably higher than they are nowadays.
To find more details about such periods, the scientists began analyzing fossils and other live plants like ginkgo to see how they reacted / would react to climate change.
The researchers used chambers filled with carbon dioxide in various concentrations as part of the Fossils Atmospheres Project of the Smithsonian Research Center in Edgewater.
They are also analyzing fossils of Late Cretaceous ginkgo leaves from Alaska’s North Slope.
When comparing the artificially-aged ginkgo to the fossils, the researchers no macroscopic difference. However, the main difference could be seen when the leaves were visualized under a microscope – The fossil adapted to the fluctuations of the carbon level in the air.
The project is going strong and requires more time to lead to some definitive conclusions. However, it seems that it’s all going to plan, and we expect more updates soon, so stay tuned for the latest news on that subject!