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Refining the ocean’s thermometer

One of the best records of past ocean temperatures can be found in the shells of marine creatures called foraminifera. Known as “forams” for short, these single-celled plankton build microscopic calcite shells. When forams die, their shells fall to the ocean floor and accumulate in sediments that provide a record of past climate. The surface-feeding plankton are natural thermometers because the chemical makeup of foram shells is linked to the environmental conditions they grow in.

Visit Website | Image credit: Dr. Jennifer Fehrenbacher, Oregon State University