At the beginning of the year, the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) published its latest report which unequivocally confirmed that Planet Earth is being subjected to widespread global warming. It is therefore important to develop models that will allow us to understand the effects of such warming on the planet’s ecosystems. In order to do this, we need to have good knowledge of past climates and their biological effects. With this goal in mind, we can study the air bubbles trapped in Polar ice or tree rings, but these measurements only provide us with partial information on the past climates of the globe.
Another method that is greatly used is the study of the skeletons of marine organisms, chiefly those of reef building corals.
But how can we read a book if we don’t understand what the words mean? This is the problem with which paleoclimatologists (experts on climate change from past ages) are faced.
In order to optimize the use of coral skeletons in reconstructing past climates, a seminar bringing together twenty or so specialists in various fields from 6 countries is being held on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th June on the invitation of the Monaco Scientific Centre and in collaboration with the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology. Thanks to its expertise and know-how regarding the biology and culture of corals, the Monaco Scientific Centre is one of the rare laboratories in the world able to develop an experimental approach for reef paleoclimatology.