News Jun 09, 2004
740,000-year-old Antarctic ice core
Extruding an EPICA ice core. View Large
James White (GEOL, ENVS, and INSTAAR) has written a commentary about a new ice core drilled by the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica, or EPICA (results published in 10 June 2004 issue of Nature). His article discusses his views on the new core's contribution to our understanding of ice ages and global warming. The core almost doubles the age of previous ice cores and reaches far enough back in time to give scientists a chance to study climate and greenhouse gases during interglacial periods when humans had nothing to do with climate change. The core has the potential to help separate the human-caused impacts from the natural and place it in a much clearer context. The average number of years spent in a warm period between ice ages -- like our current climate -- has been about 6,000 years. But the current interglacial period has lasted for 12,000 years. Only one other interglacial period has exceeded that length of time -- it lasted for about 28,000 years -- and it happened about 450,000 years ago. The EPICA core will provide the first complete record of that period and will allow scientists to study it in more detail than ever before.
Published in Science Magazine, 11 June 2004
News Source: CU-Boulder News Center
ENVS Faculty: James White
ENVS News Category: Publication
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