The ultimate retrospective
for climate scientists.


Uncover the history of earth’s climate by analyzing glacial ice, lake sediments, tree rings and corals. Stable isotope ratios from these materials often provide key insights into the climate from hundreds of thousands of years ago.

Picarro gives you the precision, mobility and ruggedness to study isotopes in the field.

Research Applications

Glacial ice cores

Scientists at the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling project (NEEM) use Picarro isotopic water analyzers to measure the δD-H2O and δ18O-H2O values in ice cores taken from the Greenland ice sheet. Using these data, the researchers reconstructed ocean temperatures for the past 60 thousand years, allowing them to test current models of ice accumulation on Greenland.

Get more from the paper: Duration of Greenland Stadial 22 and ice-gas ∆age from counting of annual layers in Greenland NGRIP ice core.

Leaf waxes

Critical to plant physiology, leaf waxes are long-lived molecules that can remain in sediments or soils for many years. The hydrogen isotope ratios of these plant-derived waxes are sensitive to the climatic conditions of the plant’s growth, so sediments containing these waxes contain information about past climates. However, one must understand the rate of hydrogen incorporation into plant waxes under varying conditions to interpret the sediment results.

Li Gao and co-workers at Brown University used deuterium-enriched water to label plants and then monitored the rate of deuterium incorporation into the leaf waxes. Using a Picarro water isotope analyzer and other instruments, they demonstrated different rates for different classes of leaf waxes.

Get more from the paper: Quantifying instantaneous regeneration rates of plant leaf waxes using stable hydrogen isotope labeling.

Related Products

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  • Carbon Isotope Analysis Systems