Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Antarctic Ice Core milestone - 2002 m reached as year 2002 arrives


In the first weeks of the New Year a team of European scientists drilled successfully through 2002 metres of ice at Dome Concordia, high on East Antarctica`s plateau - one of the most hostile places on the planet. A specially created laboratory on the ice enabled scientists to analyse, for the first time, past climate shifts within hours of each 3 m length of core being drilled - rather than waiting months or years for detailed study back in European labs. The team, working on a seven-year Antarctic research programme to discover the history of the Earth`s climate and atmosphere, report that ice from this depth came from snow that fell 170,000 years ago, when the region was 10ºC colder than it is today.

The 22-person team of scientists and drilling experts taking part in the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) worked in temperatures of -20ºC. Complex experiments, involving sweeping ice core segments with a range of electrical frequencies, provide a `fingerprint` of the chemical contents of the ice. It is this chemistry that holds the clues to our past climate.

The team will complete this season`s drilling at the end of January. After on-site analysis the cores will be sent to over 30 different European laboratories for more detailed study. The team will return to Antarctica next year to drill to the bottom of the ice to produce a history of climate and atmospheric composition for the last half a million years.

Dr Eric Wolff of the British Antarctic Survey, who is currently Chief Scientist for EPICA at the Antarctic site known as Dome Concordia said:
"The Antarctic ice sheet is like a history book of the Earth`s climate. This drilling programme takes us back to the future. Information about how climate worked in the past is locked in the ice. Understanding this helps predict future changes. It`s fascinating to think that 170,000 years ago global sea level was 120 metres lower than now and the temperature at the equator was 6ºC colder."

January also marks the start of drilling for a new EPICA ice core at Dronning Maud Land (DML), one of the least explored regions of Antarctica, 3,000 km from Dome Concordia on the opposite side of the continent. Cores from Dome Concordia will provide the longest possible record of the past atmosphere. The DML site receives double the snowfall of Dome Concordia, and this ice core will provide even more detailed information, though it will not reach so far back in time. Scientists measure impurities in the air bubbles trapped in the ice to investigate the link between climate and greenhouse gases.

Linda Capper | alphagalileo

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Jacobs University supports new mapping of Mars, Mercury and the Moon
21.03.2018 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH

nachricht Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected
20.03.2018 | GFZ GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Helmholtz Centre

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

New 4-D printer could reshape the world we live in

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

21.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>