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What do ice core samples really prove?

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  • Through analysis of ice cores, scientists learn about glacial-interglacial cycles, changing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and climate stability over the last 10,000 years. Many ice cores have been drilled in Antarctica. Antarctic ice core drill sites with depth and record duration. From the US ITASE project.
    MD HEDYET · 1 0
  • They prove nothing. They are evidence.
    For a proof, proper logic must be applied along with the testable evidence.
    Donut Tim · 2 5
  • "Prove"?
    They provide evidence for the composition of the atmosphere of the recent past but that evidence has to be weighed with the limitations from various factors including the long time that it takes for fern to form and trap the bubbles of air and the differences in how different gases dissolve in water and move through the ice as it is formed. I think they are probably a pretty good proxy for relative gas percentages in the atmosphere during the hundred + years it was trapped. Plant stomata proxies seem to be at odds with ice core data and they tend to indicate that the atmospheric CO2 concentrations is more variable than ice core data suggests. Since ice core data seems to be a pillar in AGW alarmists belief system, it is blasphemous to even challenge it. If any proxies differ in what they indicate, a good explanation needs to be made for why.

    Clearly warming tends to increase CO2 in the atmosphere in the past. Since we have been emitting CO2, we are obviously adding to that increase but the ocean holds so much CO2, it is hard to know what the CO2 concentration would have been without our emissions. You can't determine that by looking at ice cores, at least not without numerous limitations. You also can't "prove" the CO2 caused the warming we have had in the last 100 or 300 years.
    JimZ · 1 3
  • They are a record of the weather going back tens of thousands of years. One can see the trends that make climate. They are one excellent way to show that the Earth is warming, or cooling, and just when these things happened. Volcanic activity is also recorded (as layers of volcanic ash). Chemical analysis can be done, to show the amount of CO2, and all sorts of other compounds over a long period of time as well
    capitalgentleman · 6 2