Science Matters

clamSome reporters are showing an interest in a lesser known proxy for climate change: giant clams. Of course, some scientists claim clams prove unprecedented global warming this century. Unsurprising since their funding (clams) depends on sounding the alarms.

For some insight into the connection between clams and climate, here is a paper Giant clam recorders of ENSO variability (here).

Giant clam stable isotope profiles from Papua New Guinea faithfully record all the major El Niño events between 1986 and 2003, thus illustrating the usefulness of this archive to reconstruct past ENSO variability. Elliott et al.

In northern Papua New Guinea precipitation and temperatures are coupled on seasonal and interannual timescales. El Niño periods are associated with lower than average SST and drier conditions, whereas La Niña periods are associated with higher than average SST and wetter conditions. The associated changes in sea water δ18O and SST will thus…

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