In early 2010, Dr Steve Eggins and his disciple Kelly Strzepek set off to Puerto Rico for 6 weeks to culture foraminfera with the a-team from Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University.
Foraminifera (microscopic zooplankton) were captured by scuba, and taken back to the laboratory where the seawater chemistry was manipulated. The calcium carbonate shells of the foraminifera that are grown under controlled laboratory conditions can then be compared with what is seen in the fossil record. This work allows researchers to calibrate the paleoclimate reconstructions that inform our knowledge of past ocean conditions, such as sea surface temperature and pH.
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