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International

Scientists to take 1.5m-year-old ice samples for climate research

East Antarctica drilling project will give snapshot of Earth’s atmosphere and climate

Melting ice in East Antarctica. The project, which expects to receive £9.4m in funding from the European commission, is expected to start in June 2020 Photograph: Reuters

Scientists are planning to extract ice samples from more than 1.5m years ago in a bid to discover more about our ancient climate – and hopefully learn more about our future climate.

The Beyond Epica project plans to extract samples from the bottom of a 2.75km-thick ice sheet in East Antarctica. The ice cores will be the oldest ever drilled for.

The project, which expects to receive £9.4m in funding from the European commission, is expected to start in June 2020, according to reports in Nature. After two years of extensive research, the international team of scientists has decided to set up camp in an area called Little Dome C, 3.2km above sea level. [weiter]