by Hannah Punitha on  March 25, 2008 at 6:48 PM Environmental Health
Climate Change can Be Measured Daily Through Corals
An Australian geoscientist has said that climate change can be measured on a daily basis by monitoring changes in coral.

According to Luke Nothdurft, a geoscientist with Brisbane's Queensland University of Technology (QUT), said coral was a good indicator of changes in water temperature over time and the rate of global warming.

"But conventional measurement techniques studied coral in a similar way to a tree being examined for annual growth rings and this could lead to inaccuracies," said Nothdurft.

Nothdurft also discovered that minerals deposited from seawater and by organisms living within abandoned parts of coral skeletons could also mislead scientists.

"The secondary minerals in the coral skeleton cavities could contaminate samples with chemicals which did not reflect the local seawater environment," he said.

According to Nothdurft, "A single colony of coral could grow for several hundred years, recording changes in concentrations of trace elements as sea temperatures rose and fell."

Over the past five years, Nothdurft has examined through a high-powered electron microscope coral samples from four common species found at Heron Island, in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

"The coral skeleton is much more complicated than the annual tree rings-type scenario that people have applied in the past," Nothdurft told AAP (Australian Associated Press).

"With the techniques we are using, you can get down to daily resolution," he said.

Source: ANI

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