I know Carbon 14 is one method, but some ice cores go back hundreds of thousands of years. Would other isotopes with vostok half-lives be more accurate? Also, how much does it cost to climate the core? How are samples acquired without destroying the ice? I imagine keeping the ice intact as much as possible would be extremely valuable.
Climate Science Glossary
Ice core basics
Figure 1 Scientists measure ice cores from deep drilling sites on the ice sheet near Casey station Photo by M. Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, highest and driest continent on Earth. That's right - the driest! Antarctica is a desert. The annual precipitation of snow, averaged across the continent, is about 30 centimetres, which is equivalent to about 10 centimetres of water. In some locations as little as 2 centimetres water equivalent is recorded.
Why the Orientation of Pyramids Correlates with Ice Ages
Ice cores are one of the most effective, though not the only, methods of recreating long term records of temperature and atmospheric gases. Particularly in the polar region, but also at high elevations elsewhere, snow falls on an annual cycle and remains permanently. Over time, a few decades, the layers of snow compact under their own weight and become ice. By drilling through that ice, and recovering cylinders of it, it is possible to reconstruct records of temperature and of atmospheric gases for periods of hundreds of thousands of years. Technologically the recovery of ice cores and their analysis is an amazing feat.
Based on an early Greenland ice core record produced back in , versions of the graph have, variously, mislabeled the x-axis, excluded the modern observational temperature record and conflated a single location in Greenland with the whole world. More recently, researchers have drilled numerous additional ice cores throughout Greenland and produced an updated estimate past Greenland temperatures. This modern temperature reconstruction, combined with observational records over the past century, shows that current temperatures in Greenland are warmer than any period in the past 2, years. However, warming is expected to continue in the future as human actions continue to emit greenhouse gases, primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels.