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27-Jul-2017 13:03

These data can be combined to find the climate model that best fits all the available data. Coastal areas are more likely to include material of marine origin, such as sea salt ions.Greenland ice cores contain layers of wind-blown dust that correlate with cold, dry periods in the past, when cold deserts were scoured by wind.Ice is lost at the edges of the glacier to icebergs, or to summer melting, and the overall shape of the glacier does not change much with time.Impurities in the ice provide information on the environment from when they were deposited.Radioactive elements, either of natural origin or created by nuclear testing, can be used to date the layers of ice.Some volcanic events that were sufficiently powerful to send material around the globe have left a signature in many different cores that can be used to synchronise their time scales.Buried under the snow of following years, the coarse-grained hoar frost compresses into lighter layers than the winter snow.As a result, alternating bands of lighter and darker ice can be seen in an ice core.

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As further layers build up, the pressure increases, and at about 1500 m the crystal structure of the ice changes from hexagonal to cubic, allowing air molecules to move into the cubic crystals and form a clathrate.The bubbles disappear and the ice becomes more transparent.