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"I'm studying the stable water isotopes that tell us about past temperature changes," adds Brad Markle, a geochemist from the University of Washington.While their research goals vary, all the scientists are here on this day for same thing--ice cores from the WAIS Divide Ice Core project. The WAIS Divide is a high point on the ice sheet where the ice begins to flow in different directions.The Greenland ice sheet averages almost 4000 feet thick.If we were to assume the ice sheet has been accumulating at this rate since its beginning, it would take less than 1000 years for it to form and the recent-creation model might seem to be vindicated. In making our calculations, we did not take into account the compaction of the snow into ice as it is weighted down by the snow above.
The Greenland Society of Atlanta has recently attempted to excavate a 10-foot diameter shaft in the Greenland ice pack to remove two B-17 Flying Fortresses and six P-38 Lightning fighters trapped under an estimated 250 feet of ice for almost 50 years (Bloomberg, 1989).It is not uncommon to read that ice cores from the polar regions contain records of climatic change from the distant past.Research teams from the United States, the Soviet Union, Denmark, and France have bored holes over a mile deep into the ice near the poles and removed samples for analysis in their laboratories.It's a freezing cold day inside the National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) in Denver, Colo., as it is every day of the year.That's because the NICL is a facility for storing and studying ice cores recovered from the polar regions of the world.