Jean-Louis Etienne
Jean-Louis Etienne - Alone on Ice pack
How man copes with the cold
Communications - Safety - Emergency assistance
Jean-Louis Etienne - Atmosphere & weather
The earth’s atmosphere  
Weather forecasting and modeling  
The climate and the north pole  
The solar energy balance  
The greenhouse effect  
Jean-Louis Etienne - Arctic ice
The ice pack: frozen saltwater  
Ice pack observation satellites  
Icebergs : frozen seawater  
The arctic ice: climate archives  
Ice ages and landscapes  
Jean-Louis Etienne - The ocean and marine life
The Arctic Ocean and the ocean currents  
Genesis of the arctic ocean  
Arctic plankton  
Oceanic biodiversity and the food chain  
Whales and other cetaceans  
Seals and walruses  
Jean-Louis Etienne - Life on land
Arctic flora  
Arctic fauna  
Polar bears  
Birds of the arctic  
Evolution of species and climate  
Jean-Louis Etienne - History and geography
Geography of the Arctic regions  
Geographic North Pole and magnetic North Pole  
Who owns the arctic ?  
Exploring the deep north  
The Inuit people  
The other peoples of the deep North  
The Arctic today  
Jean-Louis Etienne - Man's impact
Man and arctic biodiversity  
Pollution in the arctic  
Climate warming: the natural cycles  
The increase in the greenhouse effect  
The impact of global warming  
Arctic ice
The arctic ice: climate archives

Fossilised air in the Polar ice caps
Over the years, continental ice caps form when snow accumulates and is packed down and transformed into ice by subsequent snowfalls. This ice contains bubbles of air as well as all sorts of airborne particles and pollen. Once this air is imprisoned in the ice, it conserves its original composition, so study of the air bubbles and their particles can yield invaluable information about the Earth’s climate in the past.

Ice cores: veritable time-travel machinesScientists frequently take core samples of the polar ice. The further the core goes down, the older the ice sample, so by analysing older and older ice the scientists travel back in time, gradually writing the history of the Earth’s climate. A lot of data has been gathered by studying the Greenland ice cap, while the “climate archives” in the Antarctic have also yielded invaluable information.

The Greenland ice cap
In the thickest part of the Greenland ice cap, glaciologists have extracted and studied core samples from as deep as 3,050 metres before they struck the underlying rock. The cores contain ice that fell as snow over the past 2,500 centuries! And of course evidence of various climate fluctuations: droughts, climatic catastrophes, periods of global warming, ice ages, etc.

Our pollution is sealed up in the ice too
The bubbles of air trapped in the polar ice show that the amount of methane and CO2 in the atmosphere has increased markedly over the past two centuries, i.e. since the beginning of the industrial era. The more recent ice in Greenland also contains much more pollution than ice from the Antarctic, because of the proximity of human activity in the Northern Hemisphere.


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