Determining Past Climate Change - Ocean Floor Sediments

  • Scientists have employed many methods to piece together the past climatic record

  • One such method is to look at sediments on the ocean floor

  • Research vessels produce sediment profiles from the bottom of the ocean

  • the sediment contains calcium carbonate shells from organisms that have lived near the earth's surface in the past

  • the type of calcium carbonate shell can tell you something about temperature since some live only within narrow temperature ranges.

image adopted from The Amosphere by Lutgens and Tarbuck, 1998 by Prentice-Hall, Inc