Climate Science History: Claude Lorius and the Ice Core Record

December 10, 2010

One of the most critical tools for discovery of earth’s climate history was birthed by serendipitous accident as a weary antarctic scientist, on a whim, decided to chill a glass of whiskey with ice from a glacial drilling project.

“It was when I saw them burst as ice cubes melt in a glass of whisky that it occurred to me they would hold vital information about the altitude the ice was formed at, and most importantly, the air bubbles were reliable and unique indicators of the composition of the air – something we would prove over the years,”

Claude Lorius was that pioneering explorer, who, in the 1950s, answered a bulletin board job posting for polar research assistants, and fell in love with the “mercilessly hostile” vastness of the ice sheets.

As a collaborator with James Hansen of NASA, Lorius produced key research, including the paper here, which I described in one of my most important videos last year.

It’s a piece of greenhouse history that’s worth knowing about. I’ll be redoing the video in the coming year, to improve sound quality, to get some names pronounced right, and incorporate some new information.

One Response to “Climate Science History: Claude Lorius and the Ice Core Record”

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