New Report Offers Clearest Look at Climate History of Great Basin Region

UNLV geoscientist Matthew Lachniet in Lehman Cave with rimstone dams and cave pool.
May. 8, 2014

A UNLV-led research team used minerals preserved in ancient Nevada caves to offer the most concise climate history to date for the Great Basin region. The research, which includes samples dating back more than 175,000 years, was published May 2 in the online journal Nature Communications.

UNLV geoscientist Matthew Lachniet and collaborators from Cornell College and the University of New Mexico revealed that the climate of the Great Basin – which includes Nevada and parts of Utah, Oregon, Idaho and California – has followed the Earth’s orbital variations like clockwork over the past 175,000 years, getting warmer and colder between conditions like today and during the ice ages.  

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