3 Oct 2011

Niue Met helps Alabama climate research

9:11 am on 3 October 2011

An Alabama University geologist is working with the Niue Meteorological Office to research climate change.

Dr Paul Aharon is studying staglagmites in Niue to reconstruct the irregular climate patterns in the Pacific in the past 10,000 years.

These patterns are called the El Nino/ La Nina-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO, and occur roughly every five years.

He says the Niue Meteorological Office is helping him compare the oxygenised samples from the stalagmites with present day samples.

"The Meteorological Office in Niue is collecting rainfall samples. We established a rainfall gauge on the premises there and they are sending us weekly samples through postal packages and we do the analysis here."

Dr Aharon plans to return to Niue next year to continue his research.