3 Oct 2011

Niue stalagmites studied in climate change research

9:12 am on 3 October 2011

An Alabama University geologist is studying stalagmites in Niue caves to research climate change.

Dr Paul Aharon is trying to reconstruct the irregular climate patterns in the Pacific in the past 10,000 years.

These patterns are called the El Nino/ La Nina-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, and occur roughly every five years.

"We would like to know how potentially ENSOs going to behave under a warming trend. In order to do this we have to go into the past because we know in the past 10,000 years there were periods of time when the planet was warmer than present, so we'd like to know how ENSOs behaved during that time."

Dr Paul Aharon of Alabama University