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Japanese Scientists Dig Up Million-Year-Old Ice

File photo of the Dome Fuji Station in ice fog.
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Jan 24, 2006
Japanese researchers said Tuesday they had dug up ice in the Antarctic Ocean estimated to be one million years old that could give more clues than ever about climate and environmental changes.

It is believed to be the oldest ice ever retrieved after an 800,000-year-old block collected by European scientists in 2004.

The Japanese mission headed by the National Institute of Polar Research drilled down more than 3,000 meters (about 10,000 feet) in the Antarctic Ocean to pull out the slab deep in the ice core.

The group will bring the ice back to Japan in April for research.

"We need further analysis but the ice is expected to clarify things such as climate and environmental change or the evolution of microbes over the past million years," said Yoshiyuki Fujii, director general at the polar institute.

"Finding out the cycle and rhythm of climate change in the past will help to forecast the future," he told AFP.

The research group took three years to drill to the ice at Japan's Dome Fuji Station.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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