Ocean Climate Lab

The Paleo Climate of California

Corals are a recent addition to this body of prophecy. Scientists now know that deep-sea corals off the coast of California live for hundreds of years—and they record a ring for every year of their growth, just like a redwood. What their growth rings tell us about past ocean conditions can also illuminate our planet's future. 

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Tree rings and deep-sea corals: Coral skeletons teach Foster Scholar Carina Fish about the past ocean

Deep-sea corals have some things in common with trees. As their branches grow, corals document the minute details of ocean chemistry in ring patterns like those in tree trunks. And like certain trees, some coral species can live for hundreds or even thousands of years, preserving their recording of past conditions. Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar Carina Fish uncovers the records kept by deep-sea corals in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary for her Ph.D. at University of California, Davis.

Veronica Vriesman

  • Graduate Program in Geology
  • Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Bodega Marine Laboratory
University of California Davis, Bodega Marine Laboratory, PO Box 247, 2099 Westshore Rd, Bodega Bay CA 94923

NSF Supported Climate Change Facility

In addition to existing ocean acidification facilities constructed by the BOAR group, BML was successful in obtaining NSF FSML support to establish a climate change facility that will allow researchers and students to simultaneously control multiple environmental variables (including CO2) with precision at levels typical of real-world climate change scenarios.

Paleoclimate Research

The Hill Biogeochemistry Lab at BML aims to understand climate change in the past and present ocean, spanning geologic (past 1 million years) to human timescales (past 100 years, and future). We are interested in large-scale ocean processes (e.g., circulation changes) down to bays, estuaries, and coastal environments.