Ice core research

Ice core research

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Credit: PASQUALE SORRENTINO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Ice core research. Researcher using an ice core melter to prepare an Antarctic ice core sample for analysis. Ice cores are obtained by drilling deep into an ice cap formed by hundreds of thousands of years of snowfall. Analysis of the ice core can reveal changes in climate during this time. Air trapped in the ice core provides evidence of what the composition of the atmosphere was when the snow fell. This ice core is from Dome C on the East Antarctic plateau. It has been obtained as part of the European EPICA project (2001-5) that has obtained ice cores to a depth of three kilometres, looking 900,000 years into the past. Such studies can help understanding of past, present and future climate change.

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