Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Scientists in Greenland Study Ice Bubbles

There is ice in Greenland that contains tiny bubbles from a period in Earth's history, the Eemian Period, when the climate was about 5-9 degrees warmer than it is now. This period occurred about 130, 000 years ago. Scientists hope that by studying these bubbles, which contain ancient atmosphere, they will gain some insight into our own global warming scenario.

Currently, Greenland is losing a record amount of ice. In 2007, it lost 340 billion tons.
They hope the bubbles will also show how much ice Greenland lost during the Eemian Period. Apparently the sea level was 13 to 20 feet higher during that Period than it is now. When talking about sea levels rising, the scientists here are making their projections for the next 100 to 200 years. Still, our children and grandchildren would be affected by whatever happens with global warming. I know if sea levels rose that much now, I would definitely be out of a home. I don't even live on the coast.

I am amazed by the dedication and ingenuity of the scientists who go to places like Greenland. The research base here is well above the arctic circle. They have to have a special plane to fly them and all of their equipment in. Then they take core samples of the ice and study them tirelessly. Now, they have this ice from the Eemian Period, which is much closer to home as these things go. They will study these bubbles for any and all information to tell us what happened during that time that might impact our time. I am in awe. Of course I have a thing for scientists in general. lol.

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