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September 22, 2014

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What dirty ice says about our past

A team of researchers and students led by Desert Research Institute scientist Kendrick Taylor wrapped up this week the inaugural season of a multi-year project that will help researchers better understand how the

earth's climate changed over the last 100,000 years.

Taylor's team, which had been in West Antarctica since late last year, recovered a 1,900-foot column of ice containing dust, chemical and air samples that can provide information on the planet's environmental history.

Scientists plan to return to the area over the next few years to continue drilling, hoping to retrieve an additional 9,460 feet of ice by January 2010.

The ice samples will allow scientists to study past levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and to gain a better understanding of how greenhouse gas levels influence climate change.

Earlier this week, Taylor provided an update on the National Science Foundation-funded project.

And Zach Smith, a researcher, has been blogging on the team's progress over the last couple of months. Besides learning more about the ice core project, blog readers can find out important details such as how cold it was each day and what Smith ate for breakfast, lunch and supper

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