Swedes help in hunt to locate oldest ice on Earth

European scientists will drill down 3km in Antarctica to capture ice from one and a half million years ago. (Mark Ralston/Pool Photo via AP)
European scientists will drill down 3km in Antarctica to capture ice from one and a half million years ago. (Mark Ralston/Pool Photo via AP)
A team of European scientists, including experts from Sweden, are looking to find the oldest ice on Earth.

They’re hoping that clues contained in tiny bubbles of air trapped in the ice from one and a half million years ago, will help solve the mysteries from the Earth’s climate system and improve prognoses for the future.

A team of British scientists are heading to East Antarctica where they will use radar to find a suitable place to begin drilling down 3 kilometres of ice to capture 1.5 million years of the Earth’s climate history.

The area is close to Dome Concordia (Dome C), where previously scientists drilled down to capture an ice core of air bubbles from 800,000 years ago.

By going back further in time, scientists hope to find out why ice-ages came and went in different cycles.

The Swedish universities of Lund and Stockholm are involved in the ten nation research consortium.

Professor Raimund Muscheler, Chair of Quaternary Sciences at Lund University’s Department of Geology tells Radio Sweden how measuring temperature through time can improve climate prediction models of the future.

“It’s mainly about an understanding of our climate system. If we improve our understanding of the climate system then we can improve our models of climate prediction.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Arctic sea ice nears its minimum extent for 2016, Radio Canada International

Finland:  Climate change brings new insect arrivals to Finland, Yle News

Greenland: New model predicts flow of Greenland’s glaciers, Alaska Dispatch News

Norway:  John Kerry to visit Arctic Norway to witness climate impacts, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia:  Ancient virus found in Arctic permafrost, Alaska Dispatch News

Sweden:  How will global warming affect the average Swede?, Radio Sweden

Norway:  Norway orders new Coast Guard vessels as vanishing sea ice increases areas needing patrol, The Independent Barents Observer

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