Scholars use art to study climate change





The vivid sunsets painted by J.M.W. Turner are revered for their use of color and light and for their influence on the Impressionists. But could they also help global warming experts track climate change?

A group of scientists has studied the colors in more than 500 paintings of sunsets, including many of Turner's 19th-century watercolors and oils, in hopes of gaining insights into the cooling effects caused by major volcanic eruptions.

By better understanding past changes in climate, they hope to improve computer models for future climate change.

Christos Zerefos, who led the research at the National Observatory in Athens, said he believed it was the first scientific study of art for clues to climate variations.


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