Clam analysis reveals how the oceans affected climate over the past 1,000 years
Alan Wanamaker, working as a postdoctoral researcher from 2007 to 2009, was charged with beginning to compile a 1,000-year record of the marine climate for a spot in the North Atlantic just off the fjords and fishing villages of North Iceland. He was at Bangor University in Wales, working with James Scourse and Chris Richardson, professors in the School of Ocean Sciences. Before Wanamaker were thousands of clams, each specimen of Arctica islandica taken from 80 meters of seawater on the North Icelandic Shelf.
Those clams - dead and alive, some able to live up to 500 years in the icy water - were the research group’s sensors under the sea. Just like tree rings say a lot about growing seasons over time, annual growth increments in the shells can tell researchers a lot about ocean conditions over time. Read more.