Palaeoclimate

This is the traditional strength of speleothems - as recorders of past climatic conditions. Speleothems grow much like tree rings with each successive layer recording contemporary conditions, often with annual to sub-annual resolution.

The traditionally employed climate proxies of oxygen and carbon isotopes are now being joined by a host of other climatic indicators such as clumped isotope and fluid inclusion water isotopes (potentially providing palaeotemperatures) together with speleothem density functions providing indications of past variations in effective precipitation.

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