Toward the end of the 1960s, two unique opportunities arose which led me to temporarily abandon my desire to plunge ever more deeply into palaeoclimate. One was the creation by the National Science Foundation of an initiative called IDOE (i.e. International Decade of Ocean Exploration) and the other was an invitation to participate in a limnological research program being launched in Canada. In 1968, during a visit to Woods Hole, Henry Stommel, a legendary figure in physical oceanography, took me aside and said “Wally, you guys measure radiocarbon here and there in the ocean, but if we are to properly...

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