Paleo Home Research Data Education What's New Features Paleo Perspectives Site Map Mirror Sites National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina navigation bar
Paleo Slide Set: Polar Ice Cores
Fluctuations of ice conductivity
While ECM measurements highlight volcanic events and provide a seasonal signal that aids in dating the core, they also provide information about past climate. Just as ECM varies seasonally because dusty summers result in lower ECM readings, windy and dusty periods in the Earth's climatic history appear in the ECM record as periods of near-zero readings. This figure demonstrates the close correlation between cold climatic events (the Younger Dryas and Wisconsin Glacial [the Wisconsin is the term used in North America to refer to the last full ice age], in blue) and low ECM readings. Paleoclimatologists postulate that dust fluxes increase during colder periods because the glacial atmosphere is drier. Since dust stays in the air longer when the climate is dry, it is transported greater distances in the atmosphere, resulting in increased dust fluxes to sites like the Greenland Ice Sheet that are without local dust sources.

Photo Credits:
Graphic by Thomas Andrews. Data from Kendrick Taylor
DRI, University of Nevada-Reno
Click to View Larger Image
Click on above image to enlarge.

Download a zip file
of a full resolution TIF image

Back to Slide Sets.....

Contact Us
Last Modified: 12 October 2001

Paleoclimatology Program Home Page