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Race to preserve ‘ice memory’

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: The Hindu

Context: Arctic scientists are set to start drilling to save samples of ancient ice for analysis before the frozen layers melt away due to climate change.

  • They will extract ice in a series of tubes from as far as 125 metres (137 yards) below the surface, containing frozen geochemical traces dating back three centuries.


Why preserve ancient ice?

  • Analysis of chemicals in deep “ice cores” provides scientists with valuable data about past environmental conditions.
  • Studies indicate that the Arctic is warming between two and four times faster than the global average.


How will it be preserved?

One set of ice tubes will be used for immediate analysis while a second set will be sent to Antarctica for storage in an “ice memory sanctuary” under the snow, where the samples will be preserved for future generations of scientists.