Indonesian waters are major agents for global levels of atmospheric water vapor. A prolonged dry spell in Indonesia thousands of years ago has been found to correlate with ice ages in the northern hemisphere. Brown researchers have compiled a detailed Indonesian climate record of the last 60,000 years, tracking telltale indicators in sedimentary cores: titanium levels (a marker for surface water runoff) and the carbon isotopes of leaf wax, a marker for plant varieties (grasses indicate dry conditions).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Using sediments from a remote lake, researchers from Brown University have assembled a 60,000-year record of rainfall in central Indonesia. The analysis reveals important new details about the climate history of a region that wields a substantial influence on the global climate as a whole. (more…)