The aim of this post is not just general interest, but specifically to provide an informal overview of ice cores for my Earth Surface Processes and Environments students (if you are one of them, the material here complements the lecture on Tuesday 15th October. Further notes and the lecture slides are available on Udo).
Ice coring is an extremely useful tool which allows us to reconstruct temperatures, atmospheric and oceanic conditions, volcanism and other events which occurred in the distant past. Without ice cores we would not have such a good grasp upon the timing of glacial and interglacial cycles, we would not have temperature records spanning the last 800,000 years, and the predictions we make about future climate change would be far less reliable.
But what exactly are they? Ice cores are cylinders of ice removed…
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