Saturday, September 9, 2017

Oldest ice-core ever drilled dates back 2.7 million years


 This is a pleasant surprise.  Major new information as well.  Turns out CO2 levels were around 300 ppm before the Ice Age.  That means our new 400 ppm is a level not seem for millions of years.

It also suggests that once the present hysteria over CO2 has abated, it may well be appropriate to actually add more geological carbon to the atmosphere as a matter of course.  The easiest will be to allow gas wells to generally flare and perhaps deliberately explode the frozen methane deposits.

Central to all this is a thriving surface ecology that also needs plenty of CO2.  That will be our human objective.
Oldest ice-core ever drilled dates back 2.7 million years

Rich Haridy August 20, 2017

Discovering a new way to age ancient blue ice samples, a team from Princeton is uncovering some of the oldest ice core samples ever found (Credit: Yuzhen Yan, Department of Geosciences)
View gallery - 3 images Scientists working in the Allen Hills region of Antarctica have drilled the oldest ice core ever. Dating back an estimated 2.7 million years, this ice sample is more than 1.5 million years older than any other previously recovered and the data garnered from the sample offers a rich insight into the climate of the planet millions of years ago.
Up until recently, scientists faced a problem finding extremely old ice core samples. Heat from the Earth's core tends to melt the super deep layers of ice over time, and the oldest ice core scientists thought they were able to harvest was around 800,000 years old.

A few years ago, a team at Princeton investigated a new method for drilling ancient ice. The focus was a remote region of Antarctica where ancient ice could be found much closer to the surface. Known as "blue ice" areas, these regions contain ice not layered by age

The big challenge scientists initially faced was dating the ice. Generally, ice cores could be dated by simply counting the annual build up of layers, but these ice cores lacked that traditional identifier. A geochemist on the team solved that problem by discovering a way to date the ice through analyzing the trace amounts of argon and potassium it held. The method isn't as precise as other techniques, but the ice can be confidently aged to within a window of 100,000 years.

The first core the team drilled several years ago revealed ice from around 1 million years ago at a depth of 128 m (420 ft). Upon returning in early 2016, the team gathered several more deeper ice core samples, including one as deep as 205 m (672 ft).

After extensive study the team has now revealed at the Goldschmidt Conference in Paris that some of the ice harvested has been aged at 2.7 million years old. Tiny air bubbles found in the ancient ice offers us an invaluable insight into the direct composition of the atmosphere at a starkly different time in our planet's history.

The discovery has revealed that 2.7 million years ago, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were less than 300 parts per million. This is slightly lower than some other fossil records have previously indicated, and some climate scientists have theorized that this low level of atmospheric CO2 could have been the trigger for subsequent ice ages. In comparison, our globe recently officially passed the threshold of 400 parts per million for the first time in 3.6 million years.

The most exciting part of the research is the prospect of discovering even older ice samples. The team hopes to return to the blue ice and drill samples possibly up to 5 million years old. These samples would give a fascinating insight into a period on the planet when carbon dioxide levels resembled that of today, allowing for even more confident correlations between climate patterns and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. 

The team's new findings were presented at the Goldschmidt Conference in Paris.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

46 years after six American P-38 crash landed in Greenland they were recovered buried under 260 feet of ice. They did not land there half a million years ago, just 46 before they were dug out of the ice. These "scientists" are about as believable as our wonderful politicians.
Just like the 75 million year old tissue from dinosaurs with red blood cells and flexible connective tissue, impossible, sure but that does not stop the "college educated" lemmings from believing what the" senior- peer -reviewed -college- educated" lemmings tell them. God forbid they let common sense prevail for that would mean a creator did all this and if a creator did all this then they are going to be responsible for everything they have said and done and may have to pay a price for all the damage and foolishness they have dumped into trusting young minds. No consequences means these "professors" can say whatever they want as long as the high priced senior lemming says it is OK. Money talks in these circles. Don't believe me? What is tuition in a college near you?