T is for Temperature

In stable isotopes, there are lots of implications for the word ‘temperature.’ For one, we can use isotopes of oxygen, and oxygen plus carbon, to estimate the temperature at which an analyzed compound formed. Temperature could also refer to the temperature at which we react a sample during its analysis, whether it be room temperature or 1450 °C.

One of the original uses for the study of isotopes was to determine the past temperature of the ocean. A relationship between δ18O and water temperature was developed, and the shells of tiny, single-celled organisms were perfect for these analyses. Today, we have refined these methods, and have a much better understanding of the complexity of the relationship between δ18O and temperature.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s