Briefing Paper based on Vaks et. at.

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The past climatic history of Siberia has been explored through dating of speleothem samples from caves (Vaks et al., 2013). Speleothems are cave carbonates such as stalactites and stalagmites (see fig.1), which form when calcium carbonate is deposited into a solid from a solution, a process called ‘precipitation’ (Bradley, 2015). Cave conditions are unlikely to be affected by daily or seasonal variances in temperatures therefore through studying speleothems, the climate conditions throughout the past can be inferred and this paper seeks to put forward several predictions for the future. The article uses dated speleothems samples to piece together both temporal and climatic condition data.
As speleothem growth requires moisture to occur the
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As a result, speleothems are very useful in inferring (are viable proxies for) past conditions in areas samples were taken from. The speleothems sampled in the Vaks et al (2013) paper were taken from areas of variable permafrost in Siberia (see fig 2). As discussed, cave temperatures reflect atmospheric temperatures therefore it is reasonable to assume that speleothem growth is currently inhibited in areas of continuous permafrost (purple shaded areas on fig 2) due to lack of liquid water. These speleothems must have been formed when conditions in the area were warmer and wetter. Through dating the speleothems a historical timeframe can be derived which describes past climatic change.
Vaks et al (2013) give information regarding the different samples and dates of speleothem formation. This in turn is compared to other palaeoclimate records, such as the benthic stack data, greenhouse gas emission and insolation levels. There is a distinct relationship between speleothem formation and these aspects (figure 3, parts B, C, E, F & G) and the paper pieces together both spatial and temporal climate conditions. In current conditions the southernmost sites are most suited to speleothem growth due to moisture availability and warmer atmospheric conditions. In the colder north liquid water is unable to percolate through the ground and into caves, thus inhibiting speleothem growth.
Vaks et al (2013) suggest that sites in northern Siberia have not

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