Scientist Hunting Oldest Ice.
Posted 16 November 2016 - 06:15 AM
They are seeking a location where they can drill a frozen core that contains a continuous record of climate change stretching back 1.5 million years.
The chemistry of this ice can be used to deduce past temperatures on Earth.
And tiny bubbles of air trapped inside the core will also betray the levels of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide that were once present in the atmosphere.
This new data is expected to provide additional confidence in the modelled forecasts of how conditions on the planet might develop in the future.
"We've got a very good record of what's been happening over the last 800,000 years but there are some aspects which we cannot fully explain," said Dr Robert Mulvaney from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
"By studying ice that's 1.5 million years old, it should give us the underpinning belief that we really do so deeply understand the climate system that we can be absolutely sure that what we're projecting for the next few hundred years is based on a complete knowledge of the science," he told BBC News.