Scientists are going to drill 1 million year old ice


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Our planet holds many secrets and secrets, and sometimes scientists do not use the phrase "to reach the truth" in a figurative sense. In fact, there are a lot of information in the bowels of the Earth that can be extremely useful. And sometimes it is necessary to create extremely ambitious projects to get this information. For example, as The Guardian reports, a team of scientists will drill ice for 1 million years and 4 years. But why do you need that?

The ice of the Antarctic holds many secrets

Why drill antique ice?

Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) ecologists and environmental scientists believe that Antarctic ice can provide important information about the planet's past and, thanks to the frozen gas bubbles in it, can help predict the climate.

This mission, which we will start in the next few years, will solve several climate problems at once, "said Tas van Ommen, one of the project's ideologues. The ice, whose age is more than 1 million years, is the subject of several international research projects. And we hope to find tiny bubbles there that have stored data about the ancient atmosphere of our planet. These tiny bubbles are real-time capsules.

Scientists have already introduced a drilling model that will help experts in their research. The drill is manufactured using patented technology and contains stainless steel as well as an alloy of aluminum, bronze and titanium. According to scientists, the drill can easily work at a temperature of minus 55 degrees Celsius.

A drilling rig (which weighs around 500 tons, by the way) is mobile and can travel short distances independently. Nevertheless, it is delivered in parts to the ice continent, after which the device is mounted at a distance of 1200 meters from the coast. The actual drilling should begin in 2021 and take a total of 4 years. But why so long? You can express your suspicions in the comments and in our chat in Telegram. It will be interesting to know your opinion.

See also: What is hidden under the ice of the Antarctic?

The answer to this question is simple. The fact is that it is not enough just to drill a hole. During the drilling process, the ice breaks and scientists have to take as few damaged samples as possible to examine the composition of the air bubbles trapped inside them. Scientists are mainly interested in carbon dioxide. That is, how its percentage in ambient air has changed over time.

This photo is not from the Antarctic, but bubbles like frozen in ice might look like this

About one million years ago, the Earth has reportedly "passed" from a 40,000-year Ice Age cycle between "freezing periods" to a cycle of 100,000 years. Scientists believe that the carbon dioxide content has a strong influence on these processes. As many of you have probably guessed, the processes of carbon dioxide enrichment associated with industrial production are currently a very serious problem. Therefore, it is important for scientists to understand whether carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere today will have long-term consequences. Of course, studying the composition of the ancient atmosphere will also help to develop measures to prevent environmental disasters.