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Decoding Ice Cores: Atmospheric Analysis

In this lab, the relative amount of CO2 in melted "ice core samples" will be determined using a conductivity meter. Then students will graph their results and compare to the 800,000 ice core record.

Video Links from the Ice Drilling Program Education & Outreach + Ice Core Researchers

IDP-EO and ice core researchers have created many videos for use in classrooms.

Decoding Ice Cores–Isotopic Analysis–How warm was the Earth in the past?

In this lab we will use 5-pennies to model water molecules sampled from each of 11 different “ice core layers” dating from the present to almost 500,000 years ago. The goal is to determine the temperature of climate in the past by comparing the average isotopic mass of the water molecules in the ice cores […]

Virtual Field Labs – Abrupt Climate Disruptions with Dr. Erich Osterberg

Dr. Erich Osterberg explores abrupt climate disruptions in the past as a way to predict the abrupt climate changes we can expect in the future. These videos are part of the U.S. Ice Drilling Program's School of Ice Virtual Field Lab series.

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 – Climate Warnings from Alaska-Dr. Dom Winski

Analyzing how snowfall and snow melt events have changed since fossil fuels became the dominant fuel source for humans.

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.