The National Ice Core Laboratory, located in Denver, Colorado, stores samples of ice sheets collected in Greenland and Antarctica that hold the keys to Earth’s past and the history of our planet’s climate.
The ice is kept in opaque cylinders and aluminum-lined cardboard tubes and stored in what amounts to a huge, freezing cold warehouse. The 10+ miles of ice core samples have to be kept at -36 degrees C – all day, every day.
Scientists and researchers can request permission to use part of a core and, if granted, can use the adjoining research facility to slice a portion of the ice and prepare it to travel to their home facilities. Much of the current and ongoing climate science is done using this process, as scientists can date the ice using isotope analysis and correlate it to existing C02 levels at the time.
You can visit the National Ice Core Laboratory (but you do need to schedule the tour in advance). If you’re planning to go, make sure to bundle up!
h/t: Atlas Obscura
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