Rainfall Through the Chiliads: Cave & Climate Science In Gibraltar

Our sister charity GONHS (Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society) is holding the second Cave and Climate Science Field Workshop in Gibraltar this week, the Gibraltar Chronicle wrote today.

Running from 7 to 14 February the workshop is attended by scientists from the UK, France and Germany who work with Prof Dave Mattey from the Royal Holloway University of London and the GONHS Cave Science Unit. It forms part of an international research program to establishing a new climate record for the western Mediterranean.

As written in the Chronicle the program is funded through Royal Holloway by the Natural Environment Research Council and examines the relationship between weather patterns and the growth of speleothem (cave deposits). Speleothem, it explained, "grow as a result of rainfall and record climate variations that extend back over 500,000 years or more".

Previous monitoring programs of the Cave Science Unit and Royal Holloway in St Michael's caves in Gibraltar brought an understanding of the relationships between weather patterns and speleothem growth, the paper wrote. This new project now includes Gibraltar's Ragged Staff cave system in the equation. With the application of cutting edge dating and chemical analyses the program aims to construct "detailed climate patterns that will provide vital information on past and future rainfall patterns in SW Europe", the Chronicle wrote.