93. Ice Cores and Climate Change (1960s)

Ice Cores and Climate Change

Since the mid-1960s, the Geological Survey of Canada’s National Glaciology Program has retrieved several deep ice cores from many of the major ice caps in the Canadian Arctic. Most of the cores extend through hundreds of metres of ice providing a record of climate variability dating back to the onset of the last glacial period, which began about 100,000 years ago.

An important contribution of this climate reconstruction is that it provides the long-term context to the climate change variability that is occurring today. Updates to the ice core record indicate that the rate and magnitude of recent (since the early 2000s) Arctic summer warming are unprecedented in several thousand years.

Knowledge of past changes in the state of the Arctic climate allows us to better predict and adapt to future climate change scenarios. In response to program changes, the Survey’s ice core archive and drilling equipment have been transferred to the University of Alberta in Edmonton for continued analysis and the potential establishment of a new drilling program in the Canadian Arctic.

Category: Science Advances

Decade: 1960s


Fisher, D., Zheng, J., Burgess, D.O., Zdanowicz, C., Kinnard, C., Sharp, M.J., and Bourgeois, J., 2011. Global and Planetary Change.

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