How to read the climate history of a bog

Maynooth Geographer Dr Lisa Orme discusses how bogs have survived warmer, colder, wetter, drier, stormier and calmer periods, and how these climate changes have left their mark on the surface in a new an RTÉ Brainstorm posting on 11 November 2020. She writes that:

‘An everyday part of the Irish landscape, peat bogs are sweeping and featureless, and do not often catch the eye as we speed past in our cars. To some people, these bogs are a wet, muddy area to be avoided. To others, they are a source of fuel for winter fires and a traditional part of living in the countryside’.

‘Yet peat bogs are not all that they seem. To a palaeoclimatologist like myself, a bog provides a way of reading the climate history of a location. The bog has survived periods that were warmer and colder, wetter and drier, stormy and calm, and these climate changes have left their mark on the bog surface. If you know how, you can discover how the landscape and climate of the area have changed over thousands of years’.

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