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Antarctic ice cores a window to the past
by Staff Writers
Wellington, New Zealand (UPI) Dec 21, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Scientist say they've managed to obtain a bedrock sample from Antarctica that could yield information on the climate of the frozen continent 30,000 years ago.

A New Zealand-led international science expedition drilled 2,500 feet through the ice on Roosevelt Island in the Ross Sea brought 16 inches of bedrock sediment from the base of the ice sheet, China's Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

"The drill cores will provide the most detailed record of the climate history of the Ross Sea region for the last 30,000 years, the time during which the coastal margin of the Antarctic ice sheet retreated following the last great ice age," team leader Nancy Bertler of Victoria University's Antarctic Research Center said.

Successfully obtaining the sediment sample was a "huge breakthrough" that could point to how the frozen continent will be affected by global warming, the researchers said, and reveal what the region was like the last time earth's climate was as warm as the present.

The ice cores will be transported by cargo ship to New Zealand where a team of researchers from New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Germany, Denmark, China, South Korea, Sweden and Britain will study them at New Zealand's Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences in Wellington in May.


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Invasive species said threat to Antarctica
Birmingham, England (UPI) Dec 18, 2012
An invasive species, a tiny insect, has the potential to drastically alter Antarctic ecosystems isolated for millions of years, British researchers say. Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey say the midge, well-suited to thrive in the extreme conditions, has released large volumes of nutrients into the soil and has altered the manner in which native species had lived and evolved. / ... read more

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