Tropical stalagmites hold answers to ice age

The missing link in the demise of the last ice age has been uncovered in stalagmites hidden deep underground in Indonesian caves. Stalagmites can contain records of a 31,000 year-long period of Australasian monsoon activity.

These stalagmites are the only natural climate archive with the length, resolution and age-control required to document the response of the monsoons to climate change over this period.

The global monsoon system is an important climate link between the northern and southern hemispheres during the deglaciation of the last ice age. Until now, direct evidence for the southern half of the vast Australasian monsoon has been lacking.

Researchers studied the geochemical composition of stalagmites in Liang Luar cave on the island of Flores, Indonesia. This was able to give them a history of rainfall pattern, as well as providing evidence that will assist with future predictions.

Read more at Australian National University

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