MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL--Stalagmites from a Missouri cave have yielded a clear picture of climate and vegetation change in the mid-continental region during the millennia leading up to the last ice age (75,000 to 25,000 years ago), a time period for which such data have been sketchy. The records show that average temperature fluctuations of four degrees C were associated with profound changes in vegetation, including a sharp shift from prairie to forest 55,000 years ago, when temperatures fell and ice sheets began to grow. The study, to be published Friday (Dec. 4) in the journal Science, reveals the value of stalagmites in reconstructing past climate, said lead author Jeffrey Dorale, a graduate student in geology at the University of Minnesota.
The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Minnesota. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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