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Decoding Ice Cores: Proxy and Direct Measurement (2 Labs)

Two-part lab Lab: #1--direct measurements are used to compare the history recorded in an ice core to the history recorded in a tree ring. Lab #2--proxy models will be developed from direct measurements to be used to reveal climate conditions thousands of years in the past.

Virtual Field Labs – Climate Clues from the Past with Dr. Meredith Kelly

Dr. Meredith Kelly looks at geologic clues from the end of the last ice age for insight into how our current ice sheets may respond to the rapid warming of our planet. These videos are part of the U.S. Ice Drilling Program's School of Ice Virtual Field Lab series.

Ice Core Drilling Display

This activity is offered as a means of introducing students to the Scientific and Engineering Practices, as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Virtual Field Labs – Sea Level Rise with Dr. David Harwood

Using tiny clues from the past to predict sea levels in our current climate reality.

Polar Science and Engineering: Drilling Back Through Time

This activity is offered as a means of introducing students to the Scientific and Engineering Practices, as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Ice Core Lab: Natural Variability: Paleoclimate on Millennial Timescales

This lab is an engaging hands-on activity demonstrating that CO2 is a direct measurement while hydrogen isotopes are used as a proxy for temperature measurements. Through the study of ice cores, scientists have developed a continuous record of CO2 and temperature records going back 800,000 years. Requires freezer space and several days of freezing time.

Land Ice/Sea Ice/Grounded Ice

Land Ice/Sea Ice/Grounded Ice: How does melting ice affect sea level?

Life Cores: How do we know what we know about the science of ice cores?

By building a personal “life core,” students are introduced to some of the techniques and vocabulary used by scientists as they study ice cores.

The Long Haul–Ice Core Challenge: Keeping Ice Cores Frozen from Field to Lab

Students’ primary task in this activity is to design a container that will keep an ice core from melting over time AND to do so while spending the least amount of "money."

Slip Sliding Away: Exploring glacier dynamics

Students explore how glaciers move by using “glacier goo/flubber,” (a polymer made with glue and Borax solution) whose properties model the movement of glacial ice. Through an open or guided inquiry, students make a hypothesis and then test their ideas.

Subglacial Lakes: What’s happening under the ice sheets?

Students observe a subglacial lake model and measure changes in temperature, salinity and sea level rise as the glaciers/ice sheets and subglacial lakes melt.. Students will move from the small model to discussions of implications for Earth systems.

Nature vs. Science: The Hypothesis Card Game

Students play a game of cards to learn how scientists study nature.