Rocks have growth rings too and they can help us learn about past climates

Scientists have found a new way to tease out signals about Earth's climatic past from soil deposits on gravel and pebbles, adding an unprecedented level of detail to the existing paleoclimate record and revealing a time in North America's past when summers were wetter than normal.A research team led by soil scientists at the University of California, Berkeley obtained data about precipitation and temperature in North America spanning the past 120,000 years, which covers glacial and interglacial periods during the Pleistocene Epoch. They did this at thousand-year resolutions -- a blink of an eye in geologic terms -- through a microanalysis of the carbonate deposits that formed growth rings around rocks, some measuring just 3 millimeters thick.

Recent Tectonic Activity Shaking Things Up

There seems to have been a rash of high magnitude earthquakes and volcanic eruptions recently on planet Earth. One begs to know if there is an underlying cause behind it, or if it is all merely coincidental. Are the poles reversing? Is our planet stable or should we start building our doomsday caves and space ships? When it seems like there is something abnormal about all this tectonic activity, one needs to defer to the experts on the matter, and they are saying that it is, in fact, nothing unusual.