PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASQUALE SORRENTINO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ice core research. Laboratory test on water from an Antarctic ice core sample. The water is being mixed by a magnetic stirrer. The tubing is part of an ion chromatography test, used to identify ions in the water. Concentrations of parts per billion can be detected, revealing the composition of the air and dust trapped in the ice. 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. 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, and an age of 900,000 years.
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