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62 comments

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312003)

I think I saw this episode of the X-Files.
http://x-files.wikia.com/wiki/Parasitic_ice_worm

Re:Hmm... (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | about a year ago | (#42322111)

I saw that episode [wikipedia.org] again about a fortnight ago and thought of it immediately upon reading TFS. :)

The X-Files episode was of course a retelling of The Thing.

Oil (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#42312031)

I hope we find some oil there too. By accident of course.

Cold beer (1)

billstewart (78916) | about a year ago | (#42322211)

The real goal for drilling all this ice is to cool beer. You did notice that the drill bit was the same diameter as a Foster's can, didn't you?

Cores (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42312047)

In the Beaufort Sea just north of Canada's Yukon there's a spot that has been covered in ice in the winter and exposed to the sun in the summer, for a billion years - give or take some ice ages - back to when the substrate was actually near the equator. And the sediment there on the sea floor has more to tell us about our climate, global insolation and biological action than these antarctic cores do. Worse still, oil drillers are actively drilling in this area and willing to give up the cores for free as they are an unavoidable byproduct of their operations. Why are we not hearing about the research into these arctic sediment cores?

Re:Cores (4, Insightful)

dargaud (518470) | about a year ago | (#42312119)

There's plenty of papers about them, but they give different scopes. Usually Antarctic cores are more precise and less sensitive to random fluctuations. They also measure more things (temperature, humidity, direct CO2 levels...). In the case of TFA, a 40m core is less than impressive if you compare it to 4km long cores from Vostok or Concordia [gdargaud.net] , but the gist of the article is that it will be very precise for each year.

Re:Cores (1)

arisvega (1414195) | about a year ago | (#42312775)

oil drillers are actively drilling in this area and willing to give up the cores for free as they are an unavoidable byproduct of their operations

In those cases, would you happen to know how scientifically usable is the drilled core in comparison to scientific expeditions, where the core is the end goal (and not a byproduct)?

Re:Cores (2)

dargaud (518470) | about a year ago | (#42312999)

Sorry but I don't. I was there during the aforementioned Epica beginning and end, but I'm no glaciologist so that's pretty much the limit of my knowledge. Anyway good datation crosses the different methods AND different geographical origins: dendrochronology, ice cores, lake cores, deep ocean cores, historical archive (wine production, solar spots...), historical artifacts (sealed glass bottles)...

Re:Cores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42313003)

Awesome link!

Thank you.

Re:Cores (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#42312351)

In the Beaufort Sea just north of Canada's Yukon there's a spot that has been covered in ice in the winter and exposed to the sun in the summer, for a billion years - give or take some ice ages - back to when the substrate was actually near the equator. And the sediment there on the sea floor has more to tell us about our climate, global insolation and biological action than these antarctic cores do.

Knowledge is not a single quantity. The only way for something to provide "more" knowledge is if it provides everything that a rival thing would provide and more. The Antarctic core provides a possible view of the last 2000 years which is fairly important since that period has temperature proxies which bridge modern temperature measurements to prehistoric ones.

And because it's a particularly critical period of time coming off of the last ice age. For example, was the Medieval Warm Period [wikipedia.org] as warm as present day?

Re:Cores (3, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42312495)

Glacial period, not ice age. We're in an ice age. We're due for a glacial period. Would you prefer that to warming?

Re:Cores (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#42313043)

We're due for a glacial period. Would you prefer that to warming?

*stares at grossly insufficient desk fan trying to keep me cool at 11pm*

Re:Cores (1, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42312617)

I read an article on this a few days ago. Discovery, I think it was on.

Anyway - there seem to be a number of assumptions made about the quality of the ice core, as well as the detail to be found in that ice core. Such assumptions lead me to believe that the results of that ice core are probably already in. They already know that they are going to verify mankind has caused global warming, and that we are accelerating global warming at a catastrophic rate. I'm about half certain that they've already entered the results into one of their computer models.

I wouldn't say it's all bogus, but if it walks like bogus, talks like bogus, and shits like bogus, then it's probably bogus.

And, what a coincidence. "The announcement comes on the same day a leaked draft of the next major Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report showed more evidence of human-led climate change."

Politics, as usual.

Re:Cores (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42312639)

If you know what's to be found in exploratory ice cores, why drill them at all?

Re:Cores (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42312719)

Sometimes, a "scientist" has preestablished conclusions, for which he needs to find substantiating evidence. In such a case, you might expect the "scientists" to tell us what they are going to find before the experiment is concluded.

Or, if you prefer me to be more blunt, the global warming crowd is openly telling us what they are going to find already. They've made their minds up. Evidence WILL be made to support their conclusions, no matter how they have to spin and warp the data.

Re:Cores (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42312739)

Excuse me, but that is not how science works. At all.

Re:Cores (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42312771)

You know that, I know that, and most everyone on slashdot knows that. The media does not know that, nor does John Q. Public, and the people who understand science the least, are the politicians.

FACT: We already have a large number of ice cores from around the world. The premise of the article is, this new ice core is going to give us data on global warming that none of the other ice cores gave us. We are being given premature statements about the accuracy and precision of this new ice core. By "premature", I mean the tools aren't even on site to take the core with yet.

How can they make such predictions? OBVIOUSLY, this is not intended to be a scientific expedition. The expedition WILL supply ammunition for those who will profit from a global warming panic. If the expedition fails to supply that ammunition, the real data will be hammered and beaten into the shape demanded.

Science? I'm sure that some of the people on the expedition believe they are working for the advancement of science.

Re:Cores (0)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42312809)

I'm not even going to address the rest of your post.

You know that, I know that, and most everyone on slashdot knows that.

Then why did you say it?

Re:Cores (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42312875)

*sigh*

I don't know how you can miss the cynicism, and the explanation for the cynicism that I've posted above.

One more time:

WE ARE ALREADY BEING ASSURED OF THE QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF THE DATA TO BE OBTAINED FROM THIS ICE CORE, BEFORE THE EQUIPMENT IS EVEN SET UP!

A more appropriate claim would be, "We hope that an ice core from this area will give us more detailed information than previous ice cores have given us. We expect that changes in climate will be documented more clearly in the thicker layers of ice that we hope to find."

Please, go back, and read everything I've written. My own message isn't buried layers deep in ice. Just open your eyes and read it.

Re:Cores (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#42321313)

Sometimes, a "scientist" has preestablished conclusions, for which he needs to find substantiating evidence.

It's true that scientists come up with hypotheses that they then test but anyone who ignores contrary evidence is not being a scientist.

The other problem with your cynicism is that scientists are (usually) smart people. They have to know that if they can find that contrary evidence to their hypothesis then others will too sooner or later. I doubt there are many scientists willing to risk their reputations and careers like that by publishing something they know to be false, especially in a hot field like climate science. To think that climate scientists could maintain a conspiracy so long with so many involved strains credulity. After all the idea that CO2 in the atmosphere affects the energy balance of the Earth is over 100 years old and intense study of the climate reaches at least back into the 1950's and 1960's.

The reality that you and I live in doesn't care what we think and will do what it will do regardless of any preconceived notions we may have. Scientists merely try to understand that reality better and have no way to make it be something it isn't.

Re:Cores (0)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about a year ago | (#42312645)

Worse still, oil drillers are actively drilling in this area and willing to give up the cores for free as they are an unavoidable byproduct of their operations. Why are we not hearing about the research into these arctic sediment cores?

Because any "scientific evidence" which has been through the hands of an oil driller is contaminated, on principle and by definition.

Re:Cores (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42312673)

Believe it or not, oil drillers are even more interested in scientific findings about their cores than most of us are.

Re:Cores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312751)

Believe it or not, oil drillers are even more interested in scientific findings about their cores than most of us are.

Maybe, but they're not interested in the same findings, and not for the same reasons.

Re:Cores (2)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#42312827)

Cores are physical scientific evidence, or they are not. Exxon can't sprinkle some magic powder on their cores that makes the data come out some way they want - and that would defeat the purpose for them of learning what was truly in the cores. They need that information.

Obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312059)

[Palmer] Shit Doc, I'll give you the lift, no problem.
[Doc] Forget it Palmer!
[Palmer] ...hey thanks for thinking about it though.

Re:Obligatory (2)

Sabathius (566108) | about a year ago | (#42314837)

I love a good "The Thing" reference! Right on, man. MacReady: [about to test his blood (core? heh heh)] "Now I'm gonna show you what I already know."

Isn't that right behind the mountains of madness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312085)

Let's see some nice five-sided creatures emerge out of that hole.

Not to attack us. To defend us from what lurks beneath! ;)

Method (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312097)

Will it use a high-pressure hose with highly sterilised water at near-boiling point?

Ah, I'm not sure what's so Earth shattering (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#42312193)

The article makes claims like it's the first time ever. Maybe at that specific site but that's not what it says. They've been drilling ice cores for decades and a lot deeper than 2,000 years old. I think the oldest are closer to a million years, I believe those were taken in Greenland. The point is there have been older cores drilled in Antarctica. It's good to hear more are being drilled because it adds to the record but the article was written by some one that knew nothing about the subject.

Re:Ah, I'm not sure what's so Earth shattering (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#42312297)

Greenland ice cores only go back 100,000 years or so. The oldest ice cores that I'm aware of are around 800,000 years from Antarctica. The attraction of this new site is apparently the snowfall is greater in this area than in most of Antarctica and so the layers in the ice core will be thicker allowing more precision in the measurements. They're saying this is preliminary research that could eventually lead to million year old ice cores.

Re:Ah, I'm not sure what's so Earth shattering (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about a year ago | (#42312657)

They're saying this is preliminary research that could eventually lead to million year old ice cores.

Am I the only one thinking "worlds most expensive frozen margarita" ?

Re:Ah, I'm not sure what's so Earth shattering (1)

arisvega (1414195) | about a year ago | (#42312797)

Am I the only one thinking "worlds most expensive frozen margarita" ?

Nope- there have already been coctail parties in Greenland (following long weeks of science) and guess where the ice in the drinks was from =)

Re:Ah, I'm not sure what's so Earth shattering (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#42312957)

Am I the only one thinking "worlds most expensive frozen margarita" ?

Nope- there have already been coctail parties in Greenland (following long weeks of science) and guess where the ice in the drinks was from =)

Greenland?

Re:Ah, I'm not sure what's so Earth shattering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312341)

That's because the article is a crock, and the OP didn't check it out.

It's two * million * years they're trying for. The story's been around for a couple of days...

  heh - captcha: "yawner" .

Better Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312207)

We cant find a better source for this story? I don't paticularly feel like spyware or bullshit lies and deceit today.

Re:Better Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312805)

We cant find a better source for this story? I don't paticularly feel like spyware or bullshit lies and deceit today.

Then you probably shouldn't be on the intertubes today.

2ka seems small (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42312231)

The deepest ice from the Vostok ice core, also from Antarctica, was something like 400,000 years old. Two thousand years seems short for a holy grail of ice cores.
Citation: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/antarctica/vostok/vostok.html

2,000 years old... Holy grail... (4, Funny)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year ago | (#42312315)

This is a cover up for some sort of religious artifact expedition!

It belongs in a museum!

Re:2,000 years old... Holy grail... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42313711)

All I can say is that if the Swedes from the neighborhood outpost come chasing a dog... burn the dog!

reply (1)

newnewshop (2750961) | about a year ago | (#42312349)

What is the purpose of the study ice cores? Is this to the exploitation of resources?

Re:reply (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42312647)

No - ice cores are one of two things. Either it is pretty much pure research into prehistory - OR, see my post above. I think it's smoke and mirrors, to be used to help convince the public that global warming has been accelerated to a panic level.

A little panic in the streets always facilitates the further redistribution of wealth from those who have it, to those who have even more of it.

Re:reply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42314407)

I'm gonna go with smoke and mirrors. The Australian Environment Minister (the only interviewee in the article) says "It is expected that this will lead to actual drilling for a one million year old core by various international consortia in the coming years." He's hoping that a 2000 year-old ice core will outdo 100-800 thousand year-old ice cores in driving people to look for a 1 million year old ice core.

Re:reply (3, Informative)

arisvega (1414195) | about a year ago | (#42312867)

What is the purpose of the study ice cores? Is this to the exploitation of resources?

Gases can get 'diluted' into liquids, almost the same way solids (e.g. sugar, salt) do. The assumption is that gases get 'locked' into the ice (along with other stuff) so one can drill a core, keep it as frozen and pristine (avoid contamination) as possible during transport, get it to the lab, and perform precision measurements of what one is looking for.

The core is thought to 'record' the atmospheric history, because the levels of certain gases at various parts of the core reflect the atmospheric abundances of this and that gas, at the time that particular part of the core was frozen (created). So, in principle, a '2000-year' core is a core obtained by drilling to a depth that was the surface of the snow/ice 2000 years ago. Therefore by vaporizing parts of the core and taking precise measurements (say with a mass spectrometer) can give clues to the dominant atmospheric conditions of that age. Other frozen material can come as a bonus.

The above are just basic principles, as I understand them, and I am certain the actual measurements and processing is far from trivial. But I am not an expert on this field, I only know a few people that are; perhaps someone that is an expert can consider contributing some more information.

Re:reply (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#42314013)

Yes, that's the drill (no pun intended, honest) but that "2,000 years" bit has to be a typo. That's nothing. Other groups have analyzed cores that go back several hundred thousand years.

why is this news? (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#42314311)

Many other deep cores have been drilled in Antarctica. Does one of the Australian editors of Slashdot have an inferiority complex and post trivial OZ news?

Shouldn't this be a 2,000-year DEEP ice core? (1)

RealGene (1025017) | about a year ago | (#42314353)

A "2,000 year old" ice core implies that was how long ago it was drilled...
Just sayin'....
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