China's 21st Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) recently came back home with a 135-meter ice coring from the southern pole, according to the Lanzhou- based research institute of frigid and arid environment and engineering under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The ice is the first coring acquired from the dome summit of ice sheet in Antarctica in the world, the research institute said.
According to Hou Shugui and Zhang Yongliang, SCAR members and researchers with the frigid and arid environment institute, the ice coring, with a diameter of 95 cm, was drilled in two areas of the Antarctic ice sheet. The 108-meter part of the ice sample, which was acquired at the summit of Dome A, was divided into 150 sections, each with a length of 70-80 cm. The ice segments were preserved in refrigerated containers and sent to the China Polar Research Center. Some of the ice segments were transported to the research institute of frigid and arid environment and engineering here in the capital of northwest China's Gansu Province. Others were sent to the United States, Japan and France for research.
Scientists say ice cores are like chronological records of changes in climate and environment over many years. Studying ice coring can help scientists understand the law of climate changes in ancient times and make predictions on future climate changes.
(People's Daily April 18, 2005)