CSIRO / SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CSIRO / SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ice core being handled in a cold room. The code on the core's wrapping reveals the location that it came from in Antarctica. The ice core will be crushed to release the tiny bubbles of air trapped within it. The concentration of gases in the air, & the exact type of atomic nuclei (isotopes) that comprise them, can be measured. The atmosphere's chemical composition, including the levels of those gases that cause the greenhouse effect, can reveal details of the climate in the past. Cores are taken by drilling into ice formed from snow that fell in successive layers over thousands of years. Photographed at the Ice Core Extraction Laboratory (ICELAB) in Melbourne, Australia.
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