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20.5: Activity 20D- Cryosphere and Climate Change –Ice Cores

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    1. Watch this video from the National Science Foundation (NSF) on how scientists recover and study ice cores and then answer the following question: What does each layer of an ice core represent?

    2. From the video you’ll notice that scientists meticulously mark and label the ice cores (this is also true for sediment and rock cores). Why do they mark and label the cores? After a core is drilled, it is removed from its environment and stored in a freezer facility, like the National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility (NSF-ICF), for further research and study. With no labels, the context of the core is lost which is detrimental to research. To prevent this, scientists ensure the core is labeled, usually in multiple ways and on all sides. To ensure this doesn’t happen to your own core, you will need to indicate the following items on your Life Core:

    a. Draw an arrow indicating “UP” (assume this points to the top of the page).

    b. Label the TOP of the core.

    c. Label the BOTTOM of the core.

    3. Select emojis from Emojipedia to represent major, shareable events from your life. Layer your emojis in your Life Core, beginning with the oldest event at the bottom and the most recent event at the top.

    4. Once completed, share or trade your Life Core with a classmate (or follow your instructors directions). Be sure to complete this step without discussing the cores with anyone.

    5. On the Core Logging Sheet record observations regarding your classmate’s Life Core. Note any patterns, similarities, recognizable objects or events, etc. After recording your observations, use them to support conclusions regarding your classmate’s life. Once completed, summarize your findings on the Life Core Summary page.

    Life Core

    Figure 20.14: Questions 3-6 in Activity 20D.

    Core Logging Sheet

    Observations Conclusions

    Life Core Summary

    Summarize your findings on this page, remember your observations should be used to support the conclusions you draw regarding your classmates' Life Core.

    Follow up question: What additional information would help ensure your conclusions were accurate? Why?


    • Figure 20.14: “Ice Core” (CC-BY 4.0; Chloe Branciforte, own work)