Xianfeng Wang and his group seek to understand how hydro-climates change in the tropics during late Pleistocene and Holocene, how the changes relate to those in other parts of the world, if they are connected at all, and how tropical climate changes influence human society or vice versa.
To achieve these, the team works with both terrestrial and marine sediment samples from the tropics, including speleothems and corals. Sample ages are typically determined by high precision radiometric dating techniques, while their stable isotopic compositions and elemental ratios are often applied for semi-quantitative climate assessments and correlations.
The main areas of research involve the study of hydrology of climate through speleothem records and the study of corals as indicators of sea level changes.
These speleothem records from eastern China and southern Brazil show a broad anti-phasing relationship and indicate a position shift of the tropical rainfall belt. These detailed records are made by independently and absolutely dated U-series chronologies. Studies like this can help pinpoint the much-needed context for predicting future climate change (Source: Wang Xianfeng)