How are ice cores transported?
Because ice deforms under pressure, the hole has to be filled with an inert fluid that keeps it from closing. The ice cores are then kept cold, in insulated boxes inside freezers, while they are transported from Greenland and Antarctica to laboratories of universities and research institutes for analysis.
Can diffusion happen in ice?
There is surface diffusion on the accessible surface of the pores of the ice, which can be located “inside the ice” and therefore this surface diffusion allows the ice to be swept within its volume by the diffusive atoms. This scenario is sometimes called percolation.
What is the purpose of ice cores?
Ice cores are cylinders of ice drilled from ice sheets and glaciers. They are essentially frozen time capsules that allow scientists to reconstruct climate far into the past. Layers in ice cores correspond to years and seasons, with the youngest ice at the top and the oldest ice at the bottom of the core.
How does ice core sampling work?
They collect ice cores in many locations around Earth to study regional climate variability and compare and differentiate that variability from global climate signals. The samples they collect from the ice, called ice cores, hold a record of what our planet was like hundreds of thousands of years ago.
How are ice cores stored?
The world’s major ice core storage facilities, such as the National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility, store ice cores in large freezers at a temperature of around -36°C. Often, such facilities also house a slightly warmer (around -25°C) ‘examination room’ where scientists analyse the ice cores.
How does ice cores show climate change?
Ice cores provide direct information about how greenhouse gas concentrations have changed in the past, and they also provide direct evidence that the climate can change abruptly under some circumstances.
Can oxygen pass through ice?
No permeation of oxygen through the ice could be detected. It is concluded that the gas penetrates the ice through intercrystalline brine films rather than through the ice crystals.
What can be learned from ice cores?
After analyzing enough ice core slices, which may each represent anywhere from a week to a year of time, a researcher can look for patterns to track changes in the atmosphere’s composition and temperature, and what activity on Earth shaped it.
What do ice cores reveal about climate change?
How do ice core samples explain the natural world’s past to scientists?
By looking at past concentrations of greenhouse gasses in layers in ice cores, scientists can calculate how modern amounts of carbon dioxide and methane compare to those of the past, and, essentially, compare past concentrations of greenhouse gasses to temperature. Ice coring has been around since the 1950s.
What can ice cores reveal about the future?
Examining the gasses trapped in ice cores is how scientists first learned that the amount of carbon dioxide and the global temperature have been linked at least the last million years of Earth’s history.
What do ice cores tell us about the relationship between global temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations?
What do ice cores tell us about the relationship between global temperatures and greenhouse gas concentrations? Ice cores show us that temperatures and CO2 concentrations are always closely correlated.