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Ice core records provide the most direct and detailed way to investigate past climate and atmospheric conditions.

Snowfall that collects on glaciers each year captures atmospheric concentrations of dust, sea-salts, ash, gas bubbles and human pollutants.

The soil was as thick as 3 meters (10 feet) in some places, and nearly nonexistent in others.

Scientists eventually recognized that the soil, called loess (rhymes with “bus”), was made of rock that had been ground into powder under the weight and movement of the glaciers.

) can be used to identify input from volcanic sources.

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There are no degrees in dendrochronology because though it is useful across the board, the method itself is fairly limited.

Analysis of the physical and chemical properties of an ice core can reveal past variations in climate ranging from seasons to hundreds of thousands of years.

Ice core records can be used to reconstruct temperature, atmospheric circulation strength, precipitation, ocean volume, atmospheric dust, volcanic eruptions, solar variability, marine biological productivity, sea ice and desert extent, and forest fires.

Other seasonal markers may include dust; certain regions have seasonal dust storms and therefore can be used to count individual years.

Dust concentrations may be high enough to be visible in the ice.

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