At the Core of Climate Change

March 2014

By Silke Schmidt

A team of researchers led by Professor Kendrick Taylor at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada, has put together an excellent educational video called “At the Core of Climate Change.” It illustrates the work of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide Ice Core Project, which reconstructs annual temperature and carbon dioxide data for the past 100,000 years. It does this by analyzing 8-foot long ice core samples extracted from West Antarctica’s deep ice layers. The project is funded by the National Science Foundation and enables the study of greenhouse gas concentrations over very long time periods with a greater level of detail than previously possible. It illustrates just how much more rapidly the atmosphere has changed during the most recent 100 years due to human activities. Additional videos can be found here.

Mar 2014 deep ice core
Dr. Julie Palais (left), NSF-OPP Glaciology Program Manager, and Anais Orsi (right) inside a back-lit snow pit at WAIS Divide. Credit: Kendrick Taylor.

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