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June 18 2014

The hidden history of rain: Plant waxes reveal rainfall changes during the last 24,000 years


Across the edges of the Indian Ocean, the amount of rainfall differs greatly. If it rains particularly hard in the Sumatran rain forest, the already arid region of East Africa is onset with drought. Researchers have found that this cyclic, bipolar climate phenomenon has likely been around for 10,000 years. The pilot study sheds light on the climate system of a region whose rainfall patterns have a major impact on global climate.

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