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Paleoclimate and Atlantic Studies (PAST) Lab

PAST Lab 2

Close up of a Diploria strigosa (Brain coral) polyp. Photo courtesy of Robin Cobb.

The PAST Lab is active in developing paleoclimate records and data mining existing records to investigate past climate

The PAST Lab is involved in investigations of paleoclimate in the Atlantic region, specifically the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Atlantic Ocean in conjugation with the Atlantic Studies program at Louisiana State University. The Atlantic Studies program is a multi-disciplinary working group of specialists in the humanities, social and natural sciences. The larger Atlantic Studies project will re-examine human experiences in Gulf-Caribbean-South Atlantic-West African area as a product of the interactions of environments, histories and cultures.

The paleoclimate perspective allows the discussion of how climate and climate variability may have influenced the environment and the people of Atlantic area. The vast archive of records from the Atlantic region provide environmental histories that can be used to understand climate conditions at key intervals of the past. Paleoclimate records include tree-rings, ice cores, corals, cave deposits, marine and lake sediments. Investigating paleoclimate records involves statistical and time series analysis to characterize and extract the information from the records.