Do I Hear a Million?

Science  11 Jun 2004:
Vol. 304, Issue 5677, pp. 1609-1610
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100084

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Researchers have been using ice core data to steadily push our knowledge of climate change back to earlier and earlier times. In his Perspective, White discusses the importance of the 740,000-year-long record from the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica. This is nearly twice the time span previous ice cores have provided and accesses for the first time in an ice core the Mid Bruhnes Event, a fundamental shift in the pattern of climate at about a half-million years ago. When fully analyzed, the EPICA core will provide a rich source of information about greenhouse gases, glaciation cycles, and climate trends. This record leads ice core scientists to believe that ice 1 million years old, when glacial cycles shifted from 41,000- to 100,000-year cycles, is waiting near the base of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.