The Museum will be open on Wednesday, January 28, during regular hours, from 10 am to 5:45 pm. Due to the weather, some programs have been cancelled. Please check here for a full list, and check back for regular updates.
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Coral is a useful indicator of local past climate. This piece of coral (Porites lobata) is a skeleton built of calcium carbonate extracted from seawater by coral polyps. Coral formed in the winter has a different density than that formed in the summer, creating annual bands. This piece came from a coral that grew from approximately 1740 to 1900. Because coral grows near the ocean surface, the thickness of the layers varies with changes in temperature, salinity, and cloud cover.
Topic: Earth Science
Subtopic: Climate/Climate Change
Keywords: Climate, Climatology, Ocean temperature, Porites lobata, Salinity