Copy of A_TF 8_30.docx - Glacial Maximum-10 to 20,000 years...

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Glacial Maximum! -10 to 20,000 years ago -The Wisconsin Ice Age -”Some geologist really didn’t like Wisconsin. [pause] That was a joke.” -Temperature of the earth over 160 thousand years (see diagram) --- it is the ice age! -How can we possibly know what the temperature was so long ago? -Ice! -We went to a field station in the South Pole called Vostok (French and Russian governments) -”There are penguins so you know it’s the South Pole.” -They built an oil thing and drilled down in the ice. It’s so cold in the South Pole that nothing melts. Snow just piles on top of a layer of snow on top of a layer of snow on top... -Why do we care about old ice? Because it has air trapped in it. Snow is fluffy and has air that’s trapped! Air has two useful things: -Carbon dioxide (CO2) --- look at the proportion of CO2. We have a record of CO2 going back 150,000 years (but that’s a different story) -Oxygen (O2) --- comes in two flavors: 16 isotopes of Oxygen and 18 isotopes of Oxygen. 16 isotope is more common when it’s cold so the fancy science people do a comparison to find the ratio between them and that’s how the NOAA diagram is created. -What does this information show us? -the temperature of the earth has gone up and down a lot! We have warm periods about every 100,000 years. Between that, we have ice ages!
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