Paleo proxies are essential tool for Palaeoclimatologist. They allow us to learn about past climate that would otherwise be impossible to study. By studying Paleo Proxies, we can gain a better understanding of how the climate has changed in the past and how it might change in the future.
There are many different types of Paleo Proxies but some of the most common include
- Tree rings: the width of the ring is influenced by the climate so they can be used to reconstruct past temperature and precipitations.
- Ice cores: Ice cores contain trapped air bubble that can be analysed to determine past atmospheric composition including green house gases.
- Fossil Pollen: Pollen grains from different plants are preserved in the sediments and the type of pollen found can be used to reconstruct past vegetation pattern.
- Corals: Corals builds their Skeltons from calcium carbonate which is extracted from sea water. The ratio of different isotopes of carbon in coral Skelton can be used to reconstruct past ocean temperature.
- Sediments cores: Sediments cores from lakes and oceans can be analysed to determine past changes in salinity, nutrient level and other environmental factors.
- Paleo fauna: The remains of animals that lived in past can provide information about past climates.
By combining data from multiple Paleo Proxies scientists can build a more complete picture of past climates. Thus, information can be used to understand how the climate has changed in the past and predict how it might change in the future.
For instance, if Paleo Proxies shows that a particular region has experienced a period of prolonged drought in the past this information could be used to develop strategies to conserve water in that region.
In addition to providing information about past climate change Proxies can also help us to understand how different ecosystems have responded to climate change.
Here are some specific examples of how Paleo Proxies have been used to develop climate change adaptation strategies.
In California Paleo Proxies have been used to develop strategies to conserve water in the face of increasing droughts.
In Bangladesh Paleo Proxies have been used to develop strategies to protect people and property from flooding.
In the Arctic Paleo Proxies have been used to develop strategies to help ecosystem adapt a warming climate.