In what the university has called a ‘first for Ireland’ the CHRONO Centre for Climate, the Environment and Chronology was opened last week.

Queen’s pro-vice-chancellor, professor Gerry McCormac, hopes the new centre would aid research into climate change and the carbon cycle.

He said: “It’s a little known fact our team at Queen’s is world leading in research on high-precision carbon dating techniques, having dated important archaeological sites such as Stonehenge and Newgrange.

“The CHRONO Centre extends our capability and will help further develop our research, contributing to our knowledge of climate change and carbon cycling.

“To have one of the most cited scientists in the field of Geosciences opening our facility underlines the calibre of our research.”

Funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Department for Employment and Learning, the centre in Fitzwilliam Street, Belfast, chronological tools including a £1m accelerator mass spectrometer (AMS) which can examine climate change.

Research on the modern environment focuses on natural climate variability and the potential effect of climate change on ecosystems including lakes, soils and peatlands.

Luke Walsh

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