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Name: Muhammed
Status: Student
Age: 13
Location: N/A
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Date: N/A 


Question:
How can scientists tell the age of Antarctica just by looking at the ice.



Replies:
Muhammed,

Scientists can estimate the age partly by the depth of the ice that has accumulated. They can estimate the amount of snow that has fallen each year and how it compresses to build up into the depth that exists now. However, some of the age dating is done through chemical analyses of the gases in the ice column, careful examination of sediment layers, and perhaps radiocarbon dating if enough organic matter exists. These methods are not infallible or perfectly accurate, but the methods are constantly improving as we learn from the large number of ice cores that have been taken from all over the world.

David Cook
Meteorologist at Argonne Nat. Lab.



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