Robert Gastaldo, the Whipple-Coddington Professor of Geology, Emeritus, has coauthored a new article, Trends in stable-isotopes and climate proxies from late Changhsingian ghost landscapes of the Karoo Basin, South Africa, published in Frontiers in ScienceEcology and Evolution.

“The manuscript continues reports of our studies on the paleoclimatology of the latest Permian in the Karoo Basin, about 253 million years ago,” explained Gastaldo. “What we have been able to demonstrate is that over a period of several hundreds of thousands to a million or more years, climate varied in the Southern Hemisphere between intervals of wet and cool conditions and warm and seasonally dry conditions. The widely accepted model for this interval of time is one of a unidirectional increase in temperature and aridity. Our data demonstrate that this hypothesis is too simplistic, and increased cooling and wetting are characteristic of the climate on land prior to a reported ecological turnover at the end of the period.”