Younger Dryas:Foraminiferal Studies
By studying past paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic studies we can assess the nature of the environmental changes that may be occurring today. A good example of this is foraminiferal studies.
Many species of organisms, particularly marine plankton have narrow temperature tolerances and are therefore very good indicators of past temperatures. Some of the major foraminifera used for temperature studies are Cassiulina Reniforme, which was used as a cold water indicator in the British Colombia Shelf,d along with Islandiella helena. The disappearance of Islandiella helena and the development of Epistominella vitrea (which indicates near modern day temperatures) may indicate that ocean circulation could have returned to near modern patterns.
Some microorganisms such as 'Neogloboqudrina pachyderma' even change their shell coiling direction in response to seawater temperature change. This species was used in studies regarding the British Isles, the relative abundance of this species obtained a very detailed record of the surface ocean.