Isotope hydrology group

Learn all about oxygen isotopes and how they are used in climate studies

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Measurements of the ratio of Oxygen-18 to Oxygen-16 are often used to interpret changes in paleoclimate. The isotopic composition of oxygen atoms in the Earth's atmosphere is 99.759% 16O, 0.037% 17O and 0.204% 18O.[3]
 Because water molecules containing the lighter isotope are slightly more likely to evaporate and fall as precipitation,[4] fresh water and polar ice on earth contains slightly less (0.1981%) of the heavy isotope 18O than air (0.204%) or seawater (0.1995%). This disparity allows analysis of temperature patterns via historic ice cores. (Source : wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopes_of_oxygen)

 

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