Scientists will drill down 3km to captures ice from one and a half million years ago.
Scientists will drill down 3km in Antartica to captures ice from one and a half million years ago. Credit: Junge, Heiko

Swedes help in hunt to locate oldest ice on Earth

Measuring temperature through time
3:06 min

A team of European scientists, including experts from Sweden, are looking to find the oldest ice on Earth.

They're hoping that clues contained in tiny bubbles of air trapped in the ice from one and a half million years ago, will help solve the mysteries from the Earth's climate system and improve prognoses for the future.

A team of British scientists are heading to East Antarctica where they will use radar to find a suitable place to begin drilling down 3 kilometres of ice to capture 1.5 million years of the Earth's climate history.

The area is close to Dome Concordia (Dome C), where previously scientists drilled down to capture an ice core of air bubbles from 800,000 years ago.

By going back further in time, scientists hope to find out why ice-ages came and went in different cycles.

The Swedish universities of Lund and Stockholm are involved in the ten nation research consortium.

Professor Raimund Muscheler, Chair of Quaternary Sciences at Lund University's Department of Geology tells Radio Sweden how measuring temperature through time can improve climate prediction models of the future.

"It's mainly about an understanding of our climate system. If we improve our understanding of the climate system then we can improve our models of climate prediction."

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