The Santa Cruz Mountains are full of limestone caves that hold many secrets, including records of our climate past. Join Dr. Jessica Oster for an exploration into White Moon Cave where she researches stalagmites (mineral formations growing up from cave floors) that record the climate and environment above the cave as they grow. One stalagmite from White Moon Cave has revealed linkages between the plant community and fire activity above the cave and “climate whiplash” or oscillations between extreme wet and dry periods that occurred over 8,000 years ago. You will discuss how climate records from stalagmites are created as well as the unique things you have learned about California climate from Santa Cruz Mountains caves.
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