Photo Gallery: Frozen Time Capsules
to On the Brink-]
Ice cores retrieved from Greenland and other
polar regions are like buried meteorological stations, revealing
evidence of such climate controls as temperature, precipitation,
atmospheric and ocean circulation, sea ice extent, biological
productivity and volcanic activity as far back as 100,000 years.
Cores also provide records of atmospheric chemistry,
including the source regions and their emission histories. Upward of 50
chemicals can be measured in a small sample taken from an ice core,
including carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, humanly engineered
chemicals, bomb radionuclides, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, copper, lead
At the University of Maine Climate Change Institute,
ice cores are one of the many tools researchers use to add to our
understanding of climate. UMaine scientists have retrieved ice cores
from every continent and every major mountain range.