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Cores for Climate History

Ellen Roosen (left) and Dan McCorkle retrieve a sediment core during a 2006 cruise aboardf R/V Oceanus. The core contains fossil shells of single-celled organisms called foraminifera--"forams" for short. Some forams are abundant in the upper ocean and their shells rain down to become seafloor sediment, but other “benthic” species live on and in the seafloor, where the chemical composition of their shells record the temperature of the deep sea and hold clues to past water temperatures. (Photo by Patrick Rowe, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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