Monday, September 05, 2011

Using fossil leaves to track ancient climates

The University of Arizona is the world center for using tree rings to understand ancient environments. Now, a new process at UA using fossil leaf veins may offer new tools for measuring ancient climate.

An article in Nature newsblog says Benjamin Blonder, "an ecologist at the University of Arizona working with Brian Enquist, collected leaves from about 65 species from temperate North America. His preliminary models suggest that vein density can predict with a surprising degree of accuracy climatic factors temperature and precipitation."

They are now going to see if the procedure works in other climates. [right, chokecherry. Credit, USGS]

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