"This study is likely to open up new avenues of research based on oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in old wood," says Feng. "Climate change involves interactions among temperature, precipitation, and wind, but until now research has rarely been able to observe or confirm prehistoric winds and their continental-scale patterns. In the future, studies using this methodology will be able to look into ancient climates through a new window, and test hypotheses about climate change mechanisms. Such studies can potentially lead to more realistic formulations of future climate scenarios and better evaluations of their plausibility."
"This study began as Allison Reddington's undergraduate honors thesis," says Feng. "This exemplifies the extraordinary opportunities that undergraduates at Dartmouth have to become integral parts of research groups."