back to article Antarctic boffins obtain prehistoric deep ice core sample

A team of boffins who have been mounting difficult deep drilling operations at a remote camp in Antarctica believe they may have obtained ice cores dating from the last glacial era. "My gut feeling is that the ice at the Bruce Plateau site might have built up during the latter part of the last glacial stage," says Ellen Mosley …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    had to be said..

    cor blimey

    the anorak, please..

  2. Poor Coco

    Increasing area ≠ increasing ice

    As you point out, the area of Antarctic ice has been increasing recently. That is actually perfectly consistent with melting, in a slightly nonintuitive way. As the ice loses its grip on the continental rocks, the flow rate of glaciers increases. This results in a thinner sheet with greater area but less volume.

    This is also the type of change that is very bad news for people in low-lying areas: melting icecaps in the Arctic are floating and, by Archmedes' Principle, will not alter ocean levels when they melt. However, dropping a glacier from a valley into the water *will* displace water and, if this is happening around the entire Antarctic circumference, this could have a significant effect on world ocean levels.

    1. Arnold Lieberman


      Presumably, a larger surface area of ice, even if it is thinner, will reflect more sunlight back in to space than the equivalent surface area of water (which absorbs almost all sunlight), thus cooling the earth a bit and tempering climate change. So it's fine, mother nature is sorting things out for us.

      1. Bryan Seigneur

        Interesting, but not a primary effect of giga-CO2.

        The Primary Effect of the increased concentration of CO2, which--I guess this totally comes out of left field, but I think it makes sense--is due to releasing 26Gtons of CO2 per year (and climbing) into the air that wouldn't otherwise be there, is the accelerating heating of the troposphere which has been documented for the last 40 years. This is in line with computer models that were made 35, 30, and 25 years ago. The scientists have built up some credibility, here.

        Another primary effect is the acidification of the ocean, but I'll leave that for another day.

        So, the secondary effects like waxing or waning of ice sheets are interesting, but shouldn't change anyone's mind about whether we are willfully screwing with the place we live by, once again, releasing 26 Gtons and growing of CO2 per year that wouldn't otherwise be released.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Try and read the whole *&&*^ article!

          I quote " It's a little-known fact that the area of Antarctic sea ice has actually increased overall by nearly 40,000 square miles per decade over the last 30 years: the Larsen sheet breakup may simply be a minor anomaly"

          Then read the article "" and look at its date.

          Then do a quick google search as to how the so called Climatologists have been having us on with their making the facts fit the model science. Exactly as in the "accelerating heating of the troposhere".

    2. ravenviz Silver badge


      I seem to remember reading this novel by Crawford Kilian in the 80's: "When the world climate changes overnight, when thirteen million cubic kilometers of icecap slide into the sea, when famine and flood break down civil order, the survivors at the remote New Shackleton Station on the Antarctic know that rescue is impossible"

      Available at Amazon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        Crawford "Crof" Kilian has been running the popular "H5N1", a blog about influenza and other zoonoses, since 2005. He also writes often about social issues at "The Tyee", a BC webzine. He's retired from College teaching but still writes prolifically, I think. And his sci-fies are great reading.

  3. Secretgeek

    The expedition FROM HELL

    A bit of an overstatement I think. If you really want an expedition from hell go dig up The Thing (Kurt Russell not the Fantastic Four).

    Mine's the one with the flamethrower on the back.

  4. Filippo Silver badge


    Jury-rigging things like an antifreeze injector and a gear box in those conditions is something usually only seen in action movies. My respect, sirs.

  5. frank 3

    are the antarctic boffins....

    the opposite of the arctic monkeys?

  6. Stone Fox

    I hope

    they had their eyes peeled for shape-shifting Alaskan Malamutes.

    1. TimeMaster T


      I'd be more worried about Shoggoths and Old Ones. This is what the team from Miskatonic University was doing when they found more than they expected.

      1. Rattus Rattus


        That is all.

  7. NoOnions


    Do these boffins not watch Fringe? Se2, Ep13. - What Lies Below...

    Mine's the full NBC suit.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All they need now...

    ... is a 400m swiss roll to coat it with.

  9. Craigness

    Don't mention the volume!

    "Nearly 40,000 square miles per decade over the last 30 years" is equivalent to a circle with a radius from London almost to Paris. Plonk that on the edge of Antarctica and you barely notice it, but more important is, as Poor Coco points out, is the *volume* of ice.

    Greenman3610 is a good one for debunking the lies of the Global Tax Conspiracy alarmists:

  10. Graham Bartlett

    When that last gearbox broke, did anyone say...

    "You've got to be f***king kidding!"

    And much respect to the Russians. Granted, they're probably more used to bodging random stuff together than Westerners, given how things work over there, but still an impressive effort.

  11. hugo tyson

    ...and then...

    ...predators turn up. Shiiiiit!

  12. Peter Clarke 1

    Spare Gearbox

    Wasn't that on its way with the other team who were dropped 20 miles away. What were they drilling through- a huge metal plate? If they all want to go home then don't damage the nuclear trigger.

  13. Tom Paine

    Hang on a mo'

    ...I'm not seeing the bit where they explain how they're going to fake the data to keep the global conspiracy of UN bureaucrats, enviro-nazis and so-called "climatologists" and "scientists" fat & rich on the proceeds of lower fuel bills. Come on Lewis, sort it out!

    1. Brian Mankin

      Oh, I don't know. How about ...

      Just an off the cuff example ...

      1 x Barrel of Oil .............£70

      + Tax at 150 % ...........£105

      = £175


      1 x Barrel of Biofuel ..£200

      - Subsidy.......................£50

      = £150

      Superficially it may appear that the consumer makes a saving. Sadly the saving is not real. The real costs are hidden from view.

      Global Warming, whether true or false, presents the opportunity for fraud on a massive scale. By offering subsidies to favoured partners while imposing taxes and regulations on their rivals, a government or similar authority can enrich themselves and their friends. Where this happens, the general public pay the cost in higher taxes, higher prices, lower quality goods and less freedom.

      I'm not saying that we shouldn't take care of the environment, look for energy savings and develop new energy sources. I just think we need credible policies based on credible proof from credible experts. I'm not convinced that we are getting that.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Good lord!

    "Mounting difficult deep drilling... gut feeling... large bits... penetrating... drilling... all the way down... the drilling didn't go smoothly.

    Trough... drill... drilling a new hole... drill hole... squirt... swearing scientists... punching through... 28 days' gruelling effort."

    For God's sake, Lewis - have some decorum. How long has it been since you went on a date?

    1. RMartin

      @David W.

      Probably not as long as you!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        I'd say not...'s technically been a good seven years, as I got married in 2003!

  15. asdf

    Re: The expedition FROM HELL #

    Bah it doesn't sound like their ship ever got caught in the ice and they had to make a 800 mile voyage across the stormiest open ocean in the world, while only being able to take 4 sextant readings in a lifeboat (Maori power baby). Nor does it sound like anybody froze to death because they chose to solder close the oil cans along the journey instead of using animal fat to seal them. Finally it doesn't sound like they had to eat the dogs they used to carry them to their destination for survival. Study up on early polar exploration (both poles) and you will find some unbelievable but true stories that make modern Jon Krakauer stories look pussy.

  16. SaulM
    Thumb Up

    I am liking..

    "plucky boffins"

    Made me chuckle.

  17. Sureo

    'The expedition FROM HELL'

    Let's hope that the ship carrying the cores doesn't sink or the refrigeration break down.

  18. Adrian Midgley 1
    Thumb Up

    A proper piece of work

    Well done that bunch.

  19. Winkypop Silver badge

    "the Bruce Plateau"

    Must be in the Australian Arctic Territory then...

    [mines the really thick one with the tinnies in the pockets]

  20. Louis 3
    Black Helicopters


    What? No extraterrestrial artifacts? It's a conspiracy!

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Quite Frankly...

    all this global warming climate change (is it / isn't it) malarkey is putting me off my G&T!

    Some ice fell off a shelf - "It's global warming!"

    "Who cares, put some in my drink!"

    "It's not global warming, it's an anomaly!"

    ... "Anomaly, di dah di dada, Anomaly, di dah di doo, Anomaly, di da di dada di dada di" .... and so on...

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