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Ice Cores

Ice cores are important in a variety of fields. An ice core is a sample of ice in a cylinder shape. Ice cores are collected from ice sheets and glaciers, and stored for use later. Ice cores are normally analyzed to check all the contents. In ice cores, you can see each year individually, useful in finding information out from asteroid impacts from the past. A year where the ice sheet has a lot of iridium could possibly be a year when an asteroid crashed into the earth.

Ice cores can detect climate changes, atmosphere changes, and some of the sun's changes. For example, in the Little Ice Age (a period 11th-19th centuries), there was a lot of snow and sulfur compounds in the snow. From that, scientists have found out that the Little Ice Age was caused by sun changes and lots of volcanic activity. Sulfur is present because of volcanic activity. Sulfuric acid produced by the SO2 goes into the air and reflects sunlight.

There's one problem with ice cores; because of global warming, the ice sheets and glaciers are melting. Soon, there will be no more ice left to take ice samples from. Scientists are now donating time and going to the poles, ice sheets, and glaciers to take ice cores and store them. The ice cores are wrapped in Styrofoam and then in bubble wrap before they are shipped.

Ice cores are drilled in two ways. IF the ice is surface snow that has just fallen, they can use a cylindrical tube and get it down into the snow. If it is hard ice, deep down in the glacier from long ago, they must use drills to drill around the core. When people are storing the ice cores while they're still digging, it is a good idea to keep the temperature below -15°C, although some camps let the temperature rise higher than that. The reason the temperature has to be so low is because if the temperature rises too high, the ice could crack

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