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UMaine Today Magazine

Photo Gallery: Frozen Time Capsules
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Frozen Time Capsules

Photo Gallery

View photos from this story.


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 and mercury.

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.








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