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Local Scientists Search for ‘World’s Oldest Ice’

A team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego are behind the research and will be back in spring with what they discovered

Jeff Severinghaus, professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography that is leading the drilling project
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

A group of local scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego are in Antarctica to search for the world’s oldest ice.

The reason? To understand more about Earth’s climate history by looking at ice caps, according to Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The research team will be searching for an entire ice sheet, about two miles thick, to use as a sample, according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The problem? A standard drill could take 5 years to dig deep enough to find the necessary ice sheet sample, according to researchers with Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Jacob Morgan/Scripps Institution of Oceanography

That’s where San Diego’s team of researchers come in.

Paleoclimatolgist Jeff Severinghaus believes he has a faster way to find the ice sheet – a drill that could take just 48 hours, instead of five years. Severinghaus is working with a geologist at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, John Goodge, to design a drill, according to Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

In December, the team will use the drill in Antarctica, in hopes of learning more about Antarctica’s history from ice sheets, according to Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Severinghaus will return from San Diego in the spring with his discoveries, according to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

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