Antarctic Ice – Nature’s 100,000 Year Old Time Machine

 

Debates about Global Climate Change – the continuing battle between Anthropogenic and Natural Causes – will continue. In spite of the very best efforts by scientists and technology around the world, it is as likely that this debate will continue with some possible resolution to that question – or not.

Since the recent misstatements by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) climate scientists, skepticism abounds about the politics behind any theory that is presented to support dramatic spending for programs related to global climate mitigation.

Today’s Wall Street Journal (June 1st) hosts and article by John Lee Hotz that again uses the scientific analysis of the deepest ice records on our planet as the most unbiased (and reliable) preserved sample of historical data.

“Much of the current controversy over climate change centers on efforts to reconstruct past temperatures using what is known as “proxy” data from tree rings, harvest records, sea beds and lake sediments. Unlike ice cores, which contain telltale gases and particles from ages ago, the proxy data offer only indirect or fragmentary evidence of climate trends.

…[S]hipment of…rare ice complete an 8,000-mile journey to the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver, where it [is] parceled out for analysis. Only Antarctica offers such a detailed calendar of climate change, the scientists say.”

The journey must keep the ice samples at least -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees F) –

“as it “[flies]…to McMurdo Station, the main U.S. supply base in Antarctica, [where] it [is] put into…refrigerated containers for shipment aboard a freighter across the tropics to Port Hueneme, California…then,…driven across the desert to Denver.”

The conditions are extreme.

“At the peak of activity earlier this year, the crew guided the drill 100 feet deeper into the ice sheet every 24 hours, and another 365 years further into the past. Scientists…expect to harvest extremely detailed data for each of the past 40,000 years, plus another 60,000 years of data.”

I think you will be fascinated by the possibilities that are presented in this article. Will this information finally answer the question about climate change and cause – for at least the last 100,000 years? That remains a very important question.

Mining for Cold, Hard Facts:
Scientists Probe Antarctic Ice to Settle Climate Debates

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