Bates researchers study climate through clams

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LEWISTON (AP) — The National Science Foundation has awarded $337,228 to a Bates College oceanographer and a geologist to continue climate research based on the shells of clams.

Biology professor William Ambrose and geology professor Michael Retelle said they’ll analyze the natural record archived in clamshells over a millennium to plot changes in sea temperature.

The goal is to create a 1,000-year record of changing sea and climate conditions in the Norwegian Arctic.

Ambrose and Retelle are focusing on the ocean quahog or Iceland quahog. Ambrose said the clams can live to be up to 500 years old, so there’s a history of growth and environmental conditions embedded in each shell.

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