Consistent dating for Antarctic and Greenland ice cores

To support our nonprofit science journalism, please make a tax-deductible gift today. Whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean—and one of the longest lived, a new study suggests. Sharks lack otoliths—bony structures in the skull that scientists use to estimate the age of most fish—which makes it tricky to estimate their age. So researchers measured the carbon isotope in the cartilaginous vertebrae of two whale sharks and correlated it to the carbon patterns created by Cold War—era bomb detonations , National Geographic reports. One of the whale sharks, a meter-long female that was found stranded in Pakistan in , was estimated to be 50 years old. The results, published 6 April in Frontiers in Marine Science , are important to understand the growth rate and longevity of whale sharks , which is key to conservation and management efforts of this endangered species, the team says.

Isotopic Bomb Traces Are a Boon to Biological Dating

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14C dating and measurements of stable isotope composition of bone collagen retrieved from the remains of the Norse colony that settled in Greenland, have.

An ice core is a core sample that is typically removed from an ice sheet or a high mountain glacier. Since the ice forms from the incremental buildup of annual layers of snow, lower layers are older than upper, and an ice core contains ice formed over a range of years. Cores are drilled with hand augers for shallow holes or powered drills; they can reach depths of over two miles 3.

The physical properties of the ice and of material trapped in it can be used to reconstruct the climate over the age range of the core. The proportions of different oxygen and hydrogen isotopes provide information about ancient temperatures , and the air trapped in tiny bubbles can be analysed to determine the level of atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide. Since heat flow in a large ice sheet is very slow, the borehole temperature is another indicator of temperature in the past. These data can be combined to find the climate model that best fits all the available data.

Impurities in ice cores may depend on location. Coastal areas are more likely to include material of marine origin, such as sea salt ions. Greenland ice cores contain layers of wind-blown dust that correlate with cold, dry periods in the past, when cold deserts were scoured by wind. Radioactive elements, either of natural origin or created by nuclear testing , can be used to date the layers of ice.

Some volcanic events that were sufficiently powerful to send material around the globe have left a signature in many different cores that can be used to synchronise their time scales. Ice cores have been studied since the early 20th century, and several cores were drilled as a result of the International Geophysical Year — Depths of over m were reached, a record which was extended in the s to m at Byrd Station in Antarctica.

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A precise age scale based on annual layer counting is essential for investigating past environmental changes from ice core records. However, subannual scale.

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Atomic bomb dating reveals true age of whale sharks

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ABOVE: A Greenland shark. WIKIMEDIA, HEMMING · Jonas Frisén wanted to answer a question: How often, if at all, do brain cells in the.

Lumpish, with stunted pectoral fins that they use for ponderously slow swimming in cold and dark Arctic waters, they have blunt snouts and gaping mouths that give them an unfortunate, dull-witted appearance. Many live with worm-like parasites that dangle repulsively from their corneas. They belong, appropriately enough, to the family Squalidae , and appear as willing to gorge on fresh halibut as on rotting polar-bear carcasses.

Once widely hunted for their liver oil, today they are considered bycatch. For some fishermen, a biologist recently told me, netting a Greenland shark is about as welcome as stepping in dog poop. And yet the species has an undeniable magnetism.

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Radioisotopic dating of volcanic minerals is a powerful method for The relative plate motions of Greenland, North America, and Eurasia.

Exposing the sensitivity of the Greenland Ice Sheet GrIS to Holocene climate changes is a key prerequisite for understanding the future response of the ice sheet to global warming. We use 10 Be and in-situ 14 C exposure dating to constrain the timing of deglaciation in the area and radiocarbon dating of reworked molluscs and wood fragments to constrain when the ice sheet retreated behind its present-day extent. The 10 Be ages are scattered ranging from c. Based on the few reliable 10 Be ages, the in-situ 14 C ages and existing radiocarbon ages from Inglefield Land, we find that the deglaciation along the coast commenced c.

The ice margin reached its present-day position c. Radiocarbon ages of reworked molluscs and wood fragments show that the ice margin was behind its present-day extent from c. After 0. Our results emphasize that the slowly eroding and possibly cold-based ice in north Greenland makes it difficult to constrain the deglaciation history based on 10 Be ages alone unless it is paired with in-situ 14 C ages.

Stratigraphy and dating

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More than 60, annual layers have been counted in Greenland ice cores, resulting in the new GICC05 time scale that makes high-resolution studies of past​.

Your Account. Show caption. Figure 2. Photograph of boulder-rich moraine in western Greenland. Arrows trace the crest of the moraine. Dating large boulders like these provides an age for the deposition of the moraine. Figure 3. Photograph of an erratic perched on bedrock, western Greenland. Dating erratics like these provide ages for when the erratic boulder was deposited by ice.

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Culture Trip stands with Black Lives Matter. A company called Sad Engineers Studios created the app using the online genealogy database comprised of more than , Icelanders. In the app, you only have to type in a name to see results or, if you are already on a date, Icelanders can just bump their phones together if they both already have the same app and find out.

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The measurements on the ice from the ice core have little or no scientific value if they cannot be related to a specific time or time period. It is therefore one of the most important tasks before and after an ice core has been drilled to establish a time scale for the ice core. Dating of ice cores is done using a combination of annual layer counting and computer modelling. Ice core time scales can be applied to other ice cores or even to other archives of past climate using common horizons in the archives.

Annual layers in the ice can be counted like annual rings in a tree. The layers of the ice core get older and older as you go from top to bottom. The layers are identified from measured variations in ice composition and impurity content. More than 60, annual layers have been counted in Greenland ice cores, resulting in the new GICC05 time scale that makes high-resolution studies of past climate change possible. Computer models can be used to estimate the age along an ice core, e.

The models describe the flow of the ice, taking into account the amount of annual snow fall and how the layers are being compressed and deformed by the burden of the snow and ice above. Many ice cores have been drilled from the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. The differences between the records are both due to regional climate differences and dating differences.

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