By Kyle Ekstrand: 9/7/2010 on MSNBC.com: To make an accurate assessment of historical oceanic information, it is necessary to obtain an sample of an object which acts as a sort of record keeper from the past. Coral reefs act in this fashion–growing in ways which allow us to gauge the conditions of the ocean based on their growth. In an ongoing study to obtain historical oceanic statistics (temperature, salinity etc), a team of scientists equipped with a massive drill took core samples of ancient fossilized coral reefs from below the Australian Great Barrier Reef. It is suspected that some of the samples from the fossilized coral reef are older than 60,000 years. The team conducting the survey is hopeful that analysis of these samples will reveal a descriptive trend of information which may tell us just what kind of fluctuations the earth’s oceans have gone through in the past, and perhaps what to expect in the future. The study will reach conclusion by July of 2011.