The White Planet: The Evolution and Future of Our Frozen World

By Jean Jouzel; Claude Lorius et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
Glacial Archives

In this extremely rich context, one might think that the glacial archives from those very distant polar regions are of only marginal, almost anecdotal interest. This isn’t true. Although it is true that reconstructing the temperatures in Greenland or in Antarctica adds only a few more sites, the possibility of looking in detail at the evolution of the climate through the years, and over very long periods, is unequaled. Above all, glacial archives are unique because of their ability to trap the atmosphere of the past and, thanks to their extreme purity, to retain traces of the slightest effect, whether of continental, oceanic, volcanic, or extraterrestrial origin, or of that linked to human activity. Before describing the methods used by glaciologists to get a piece of ice to unveil all its secrets, we will briefly tell the long story of a snowflake from the moment it is formed to when it disappears in the ocean.


The Long Story of a Snowflake

The life expectancy of snowflakes that feed the surface of glaciers and ice sheets depends largely on climatic conditions. In cold areas without summer melting, such as the central regions of the ice sheets and the very highaltitude glaciers, they have a very long life, punctuated by several stages. Their youth varies from a few dozen to several thousand years. During this period the snow crystal rapidly loses its splendid needles, rounds out, and becomes granular, then, from the effect of more layers of snow, the grains pile up and are joined together. Nature has put into play on the surface of the white planet, well before the inventive genius of humans and on a gigantic scale, the process that powder metallurgists have perfected to create matter with satisfactory properties of cohesion and rigidity. The adolescence of a snowflake is thus the phase of transformation, called névé, which leads to its adult state:

-68-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The White Planet: The Evolution and Future of Our Frozen World
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 306

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.