Did you know that the thickest ice in Antarctica measures all of 4,776 metres?
Antarctica can be described as an icy wasteland. Over 98 % of the continent is covered in ice and snow, and with its 14 million square metre area, the continent holds 90 % of all the ice on our planet!
In Wilkes Land, which is between 100 and 140 degrees east longitude in Antarctica, the ice is at its thickest. The rest of the ice in Antarctica averages 2,000 metres thick.
At Dome C on the east side of Antarctica, researchers have extracted an ice core 3,201 metres long – the longest ice core that has been drilled in Antarctica so far.
Ice cores – or rather the tiny air bubbles that are frozen into the ice – provide researchers with information about temperature, precipitation and the chemical composition of the atmosphere in the distant past. In this way, an ice core can tell us how the climate has changed through the ages. The bottom part of the 3,201-metre ice core from Dome C was 820,000 years old and had survived eight Ice Ages and eight interglacial periods.