Chinese scientists are using plant fossil data to understand climate change in a study on the Oligocene climate, according to Tuesday's Science and Technology Daily.
The Oligocene, 23 to 34 million years ago, was a time of transition from a warm to a cooler climate, similar to the modern day.
Researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and University of Bristol compiled a database of 149 Oligocene plant macrofossils from the mid-high latitudes of Eurasia. They then correlated the fossil data to spatial and climatic change during the Oligocene.
Geographical change has been important in shaping climate patterns of Eurasia since the Oligocene. The climate pattern is largely consistent with the plant fossil data.
Combining plant fossil data with climate models can offer a reference for predicting climate change, according to the research team.
The research was published online in the journal Gondwana Research.