How did the Indian Monsoon develop in the past?
Let’s ask the Foraminifera!
Foraminifera are tiny little microbes that have inhabited the oceans for millions of years. Some of them live free floating close to the surface collecting sunlight and carbondioxide, while others live close to the seafloor.
When these microbes die, they sink to the bottom of the sea and over time they form a thick layer of sediment, which hardens and becomes solid because of the pressure of its own weight. These rocky layers can be read like a book and tell us what the climate was like during the period the microbes lived.
That is just what expedition 353 of the JOIDES Resolution wanted to explore: by drilling deep into the seafloor, the team uncovered the mysteries of the past climate and changes in monsoon activity.
Post-expedition UPDATE: After the expedition, Education Officer Juliet Crowell conducted a series of JR Ambassador visits throughout the Washington, DC area. Her report about these visits can be found here.