Stories in the Ice

27845Much like the rings of a tree can tell us about its particular history, air bubbles trapped within large bodies of ice reveal secrets about our past climate and atmospheric composition.

Scientists can extract a wealth of information by drilling thousands of meters down into earth’s massive continental ice sheets and extracting ice cores. By examining the cores, they can go back in time to periods much colder and considerably warmer than today.

Jeff Severinghaus from Scripps Institution of Oceanography describes how he delves into earth’s climate past and what he’s learned. “Humans have changed the atmosphere due to burning fossil fuels and you see that very clearly in the ice core records,” he explains. While we may not see dramatic climate changes during our lifetimes, our grandchildren most certainly will.

Don’t miss this eye-opening look into our past — and our future.

Watch Stories in the Ice: What can past climate tell us about our future?

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