How Do Ice Cores of Glaciers Tell Us about Past Climates?
ES2105  Preparing Ice Cores for Analysis

Ice cores reveal the story of Earth's climate in reverse order. The uppermost layers of the core tell the most recent history, with increasingly deeper layers providing a record of progressively older periods.

Analyses of ice cores offer a direct and detailed record of atmospheric conditions over time. Glacial ice not only records changes in the climate but also preserves evidence of the causes of those changes. By studying ice cores, scientists hope to more accurately predict future climate trends.

National Ice Core Laboratory
Cores are prepared for transportation to the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver, Colorado.
Ice Core Working Group
A small sample cut from the larger ice core is prepared for analysis.
National Ice Core Laboratory
Staff unpacks a 13-inch ice core to prepare it for examination.
National Ice Core Laboratory
Sections of ice cores stored at the National Ice Core Laboratory facility in Colorado.

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