Polar Institute in search of the world’s oldest ice

Sea ice in AntarcticaPhoto: Pixabay

Two researchers from the Norwegian Polar Institute are looking for the world’s oldest ice. They travel while it’s summer in Antarctica and “only” 45 minus degrees at night.

The world’s oldest ice is probably between 1.2 and 1.5 million years old, and scientists believe they can find it on the ice-dome Valkyrie Dome- also known as Dome Fuji, after the Japanese research station on the location – deep in the Antarctic continent. At a height of 3,800 meters, a 2,500 meter deep ice core drilling is being carried out through the iceberg to find the ice, the Polar Institute says.

– The Japanese are the only ones who have previously worked on the ground in this area. and it is very unusual for them to bring in foreign researchers to their projects, ” says section manager Elisabeth Isaksson at the Norwegian Polar Institute for Nordlys.

This season, two researchers from the Polar Institute will be involved, when it is physically possible for humans to survive in the world’s coldest area. Glasiologist Jean-Charles Gallet and post doc. Brice Van Liefferinge are bringing 50 kilo of clothes each. Temperatures range between 25 minus degrees during the day and 45 minus at night. Then they will need four layers of clothes and up to ten layers of gloves and mittens. The point of so many layers of gloves , is that gloves with ice on them are useless, and must be taken off.

– I have different sizes of the different layers of clothes. Next to the skin the I use size medium. But the size increases with each layer until size XXL for the outermost layer, says Van Liefferinge.

Norway is one of 14 partners in the EU project ‘Beyond Epica – oldest ice’ . Japan and the United States are important contributors.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today