PubTalk 10/2008 — Prehistoric Packrat Piles

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Detailed Description

Archives of Climate Change

by Kenneth Cole, USGS Research Ecologist


  • Piles of ancient vegetation hoarded by packrats are providing clues to past events of rapid climate warming -- similar to those expected for the 21st century
  • Preserved material shows the effects of three sudden warming events that occurred over the last 20,000 years
  • Each historic warming event was followed by several thousand years of vegetation migration and succession
  • Changes following these past warming events resemble some recently observed shifts in natural ecosystems, and can be incorporated into models of future ecosystems


Date Taken:

Length: 01:04:59

Location Taken: Menlo Park, CA, US


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