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A&M researchers analyzing thousand-years-old Texas caves to understand thunderstorms of today

Bellmead storm clouds
Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 19:55:23-04

COLLEGE STATION, TX — Here in Aggieland, scientists at Texas A&M University are looking into the past to better understand the intense thunderstorms that wreak havoc on Texas' southern great plains.

A research team from A&M's College of Geoscience is analyzing oxygen isotopes found in thirty thousand, to fifty thousand-year-old Texas caves to understand trends of thunderstorms in the past.

"When you really see such a consistent and repeatable association of these strong storms with these very particular atmospheric patterns during the last ice age, and during the modern climate, it really drives home that climate change and the associated patterns in atmospheric wind and moisture are important, from all the way down to the scale of thunderstorms." shared Christopher Maupin, research associate at Texas A&M.

So far the research team has learned that thunderstorms in the southern great plains are strongly related to wind and moisture patterns, occurring at a much larger scale

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