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E. Glacier Studies Offer Insight into Global Climate Change

Narrator: This is Science Today. Geologists at the University of California, Riverside have been studying glaciers to better understand global climate changes such as global warming. Associate professor Lewis Owen says by looking at the deposits left behind by ancient glaciers, we can draw exact analogies to modern climate conditions.

Owen: There are several things that we can get out of glaciers essentially, we look into changes in precipitation and changes in temperature. So if we can work out how the glaciers have responded in the past, we can work out what the variation of precipitation and temperature has been.

Narrator: Owen dated the glaciers with a combination of walking the terrain where glaciers once existed near Los Angeles, making computer models of the changes and utilizing a new technique for dating past glaciations called cosmogenic radionuclide dating.

Owen: So one of the real interests is to reconstruct what glaciers are and how fast they move. And because of these new dating techniques, we can really start to say when and where they were at a particular time and reconstruct regional, and then global scale change.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.