BBC, Jonathan Amos, British Antarctic Survey discussed on Science in Action


You'll find the bbc's jonathan amos trying to make sense of it all and i stole a few minutes from him to hit just a couple of the stories that had caught his attention plummet change and the antilock ticker always topics here the european geosciences union general assembly and a very interesting report coming from the british antarctic survey always come here in force and this from a research a cool liz thomas who's been trying to build a picture of snowfall on the continent going back several centuries she's actually going back a couple of thousand years but she has confidence i would say in the last two hundred years what she's done is she's collected together ice cores from right across the continent now these calls when you drill down essentially it's just the compacted snow year after year after year the snow eventually becomes ice and if you drill down into it and you very smarter about the way that you analyze those 'cause then you can tell how much snow fell in each year this sort of all my striped all day with some seasons that i've a lot of snow at one point in the year and then not so much some of the parts of the year in some places yes it's very visible because there will be dust layers so that might be a big volcanic eruption one year and you'll see that but a lot of the markings are actually just chemical tracings they use hydrogen peroxide believe it or not which is formed in the atmosphere so one of those photochemical species where you get a lot of light and it interacts with water vapor you get some hudgens peroxide and that gets deposited with the snows over antarctica and of course antarctica's marvelous to use that because it acts something like an on off switch you know in the polar nights there is no light and so you don't get any of the hudson brooks and then of course in in the summer you got a lot because well the light stays there all through the day but oneness thomas has been able to do then is build this picture of snowfall going back two hundred years.

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