By Richard B. Alley

ISBN-10: 069116083X

ISBN-13: 9780691160832

In the Nineties Richard B. Alley and his colleagues made headlines with the invention that the final ice age got here to an abrupt finish over a interval of simply 3 years. In The Two-Mile Time Machine, Alley tells the attention-grabbing historical past of world weather alterations as printed through interpreting the yearly earrings of ice from cores drilled in Greenland. He explains that people have skilled an strangely temperate weather in comparison to the wild fluctuations that characterised such a lot of prehistory. He warns that our cozy atmosphere might come to an lead to a question of years and tells us what we have to recognize so as to comprehend and maybe triumph over weather alterations within the future.

In a brand new preface, the writer weighs in on no matter if our realizing of world weather switch has altered within the years because the publication used to be first released, what the newest study tells us, and what he's engaged on next.

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Extra info for The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future

Example text

S. and Soviet aircraft carriers to haul Antarctic icebergs to the Sahara. There are several major reasons why these worries are misplaced, including the fact that the World War II planes landed in one of the regions of Greenland where snow accumulates fastest. But the main reason is that the well-meaning people behind these worries missed one cardinal fact about glaciers: Glaciers flow. 33 R E A D I N G 34 T H E R E C O R D shoe on a horse or a chocolate bar fresh from the freezer— ice can flow.

Nearby trees typically suffer or flourish together. Trees thus can be used for dating and for reconstructing past climates. The best trees for recording climate are those that are stressed for some reason. For example, some trees live in places that are almost too cold for survival. For such trees, a “bad” year is a cold year, a “good” year is a warm year, and the history of tree-ring widths gives the history of temperature. Similarly, for a tree growing where the temperature is fine but water is scarce, tree-ring widths record rainfall.

Greenland Ice Sheet Project (GISP), which completed a core through the southern dome of Greenland at Dye 3 in 1981. The scientific return from these early efforts was outstanding. Pioneering polar researchers added the third dimension to the great white blobs of ice on their maps, and showed how the ice flowed and changed. Careful analyses demonstrated that the ice has been piling up, layer on layer, for at least tens of thousands of years, and that this ice contains a record of the climates that produced it.

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The Two-Mile Time Machine: Ice Cores, Abrupt Climate Change, and Our Future by Richard B. Alley


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