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Ice Provides Information About Ancient Weather

Monday, January 5, 2009

Scientists say they can tell what air and sea conditions were like hundreds of thousands of years ago. They say pieces of ice taken from Greenland provide such information.

Scientists took the ice from more than one-to-one half mile deep in ice floes. That is the deepest scientists ever have drilled for ice. The ice has been cut into pieces about three feet long. Each one shaped like solid round pieces of pipe, five inches wide.

The scientists examine the ice that was formed each year. They measure the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the ice. These measurements tell about the year's temperature. From these measeurements, the scientific teams say that the past 10,000 years is the only period during which the weather has not changed very much. The ice appears to show that at some periods, Earth's weather changed from very hot to very cold in only ten years.


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