Camera plunges down Antarctica borehole to reveal Earth’s ‘oldest ice’ | Climate News

A camera has been sent 93 meters underground to find what could be the oldest ice on Earth.

The video shows it damaging a borehole as researchers collect samples estimated to be more than two million years old.

PhD student Austin Carter filmed the clip on December 23 at the Allen Hills in East Antarctica.

He and other researchers traveled with the Center for Old Ice Exploration (COLDEX), which is on a mission to find and extract the continent’s oldest ice.

Coldex hopes his research will help understand the evolution and future of Earth’s climate, including how sensitive ice sheets are to high levels of greenhouse gases and how Antarctic ice sheets are affected by a warming climate. What can you answer?

Radar and GPS surveys are used to identify potential sites, but the search area is vast because the East Antarctic ice sheet is about the size of the United States.

Scientists have likened their five-year mission to trying to find a needle in a haystack, and initial investigations are focused on an area half the size of Germany.

“We’re looking for the perfect spot where you have a full ice sheet that’s two miles thick,” glaciologist Peter Neff told the Antarctic Sun.

Information about Earth’s climate, such as how much carbon dioxide (CO2) was in the air, can be inferred by analyzing air bubbles trapped in glacial ice.

Scientists now have an insight into climate and CO2 levels going back 800,000 years thanks to an ice core dug up in East Antarctica 20 years ago.

However, the current plan is hoping to go much further back.

“The goal is to extend the ice cover record of climate change as far as we can,” climate researcher and Coldex director Edward Brock told the Antarctic Sun.

“If we could push it back to three or four million years or even older, that would be significant.”

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