It is fascinating how scientists unearth data for climate science in unusual locations. Atreyee Bhattacharya’s work takes her to lakebeds and libraries. She’s a paleoclimatologist who looks back at past climates to develop the context for understanding recent climate change.
She analyses sediments drilled from old lakes and scours British archival records to reconstruct past rainfall changes. This aids in predictions of future climates.
“Without paleoclimate research, we just wouldn't know that we are in a climate crisis.”
She looks at paleoclimatology as a guidebook to human society - when did humans prosper and didn’t due to climatic factors? Using this knowledge, scientists can work with policymakers to mitigate adverse outcomes.
In this episode of Imprints, Atreyee talks about the toolkit for her profession, her work with economists to understand past famines, the importance of paleoclimatology and the challenges it faces.
Guest: Atreyee Bhattacharya, Research Faculty, University of Colorado, Boulder
Host and producer: Sahana Ghosh
Co-producer and cover designer: Kartik Chandramouli
Audio editor: Tejas Dayanand Sagar
Copy editors: Sapna Verma and Priyanka Shankar
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Most famines in south India under British rule due to minor rainfall fluctuations, rather than extreme events
A paleoclimate database for the Indian subcontinent