Today the European Commission presented the latest results of the EU-funded EPICA (European Ice Core Project in Antarctica) initiative. Scientists from 10 European countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK have dug 3 kilometres-deep into the Antarctic ice crust and brought to the surface a 740, 000-year old ice core. It is the oldest ever analysed and records climate history. It shows changes in temperature and concentrations of gases and particles in the atmosphere. The results will feed into computer models used to predict future climate. Preliminary results show that, without human influence, the present “warm season” in Earth’s climate could last for 15 000 years more. But since the present carbon dioxide concentration is the highest in the last 440,000 years, by understanding past changes in climate, it will be possible to forecast future climate change due to human activities. Further results of the EPICA project will be disclosed at the “Palaeoclimate Conference: Reducing the Uncertainties” in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on July 6-10, 2004.
European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin said: “I am proud to see that EU research is at the forefront of climate change research. Thanks to the EU’s research programmes, European scientists are able to work together and be at the cutting edge of science, in climate change research as in other fields. When European researchers work together, they are the best.”
Fabio Fabbi | European commission
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