Analysis of Earth's geologic record can reveal how the climate has changed over time. Scientists in New Zealand are examining samples from the rocky landscape once dominated by glaciers. They are employing a new technique called surface exposure dating, which uses chemical analysis to determine how long minerals within rocks have been exposed to the air since the glaciers around them melted. Comparisons of this data with other climate records have revealed a link between glacial retreat and rising levels of carbon dioxide in the air, findings that are informing scientists' understanding of global climate change today.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Find out more about Science Bulletins at amnh.org/sciencebulletins/.

Related Links

Glacier advance in southern middle-latitudes during the Antarctic Cold Reversal
nature.com/ngeo/journal/v3/n10/full/ngeo962.html

Glacier retreat in New Zealand during the Younger Dryas stadial
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20829791

The Last Glacial Termination
sciencemag.org/content/328/5986/1652.full

GNS Science
gns.cri.nz/

University of Maine: Department of Earth Sciences
umaine.edu/earthsciences/research/

Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
ldeo.columbia.edu/

Columbia University: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
eesc.columbia.edu/

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