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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

July 9, 2004
Susan Beasy Latto, Director of UMD Public Relations (218) 726-8830,
Thomas C. Johnson*, Director of UMD Large Lakes Observatory (218) 726-8128,
Lindsay Powers, PhD candidate, Large Lakes Observatory

UMD Research Team Study Published in GEOLOGY Magazine

Team Has Demonstrated Promising New Tool
for Climate Model Development

Lindsay Powers, UMD Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) graduate student was the lead author of an article published in the July issue of the prestigious GEOLOGY magazine. The article describes the work of the six-person research team consisting of Powers; UMD Professor and LLO director, Thomas Johnson*; UMD LLO Assistant Professor Josef Werne; and three researchers from the Netherlands.

The article describes the work of the team with a recently developed method (TEX-86) for reconstructing sea-surface temperatures, and applying that method to lakes- which will allow reconstruction of continental temperatures over a wide range of timescales (tens to millions of years). This tool will be invaluable to paleoclimatologists, allowing more accurate temperature reconstruction, resulting in better climate model development.

The TEX-86 method was developed for marine environments and the research team was interested in seeing if it could be applied in lakes as well. Their research has demonstrated that this proxy indeed works in lakes, and is a promising new tool for paleotemperature reconstruction in continental systems.

Powers explains that, "Understanding past climate is important so that we may be able to better predict how the climate responds to disturbances in the future. The ability to better predict weather and climate will have a large effect particularly on people who live in regions prone to natural disasters such as drought and floods.".

The team's article is titled "Crenarchaeotal Membrane Lipids in Lake Sediments: A New Paleotemperature Proxy for Continental Paleoclimate Reconstruction?" GEOLOGY magazine, a research journal published by the Geological Society of America, is one of the most widely respected and cited journals in the geosciences.

Members of the six-person research team are:

* Steve Colman became LLO director on July 1, 2004

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