Even knowing something about the links between bogs and climate and how to go about taking a core, there’s still a big jump to taking a little sample of long dead moss (or several hundred little samples!) and expecting to pluck out some information about how the climate has changed over thousands of years.
However, there are many different ways we can go about doing this and you are in the right part of the Bogology website to find out more. We use methods based on both the biological and chemical makeup of the peat. In addition, the dating of our cores, effectively turning depth into age, is a vital process so there’s also information here on the methods we use to do that.
In many ways, these methods are the parts of our jobs we are most intimately familiar with. I can sometimes spend hours, days, weeks on end at work sat staring down my microscope counting different types of testate amoeba – it might sound a bit boring (and let’s be honest here, some days it is!), but it’s kind of like zooming in to a hidden microscopic world and it is quite a privilege to see and understand the peat to a level that the onlooker equipped only with his/her own eyes cannot! Check out some microscopic views of the peaty world here!
As always, if you have any questions or comments please Ask a Bogologist!