This Feb. 6, 2016 photo shows an ice crevasse on the Fox Glacier in New Zealand. (AP Photo/Nick Perry)
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Smooth and milky white, the 4- to 5-inch-diameter pieces -- called ice cores -- provide scientists with a wealth of historical information, from air temperature to greenhouse gases to evidence of cosmic events.Part of every ice core is archived in another, larger room at about minus 33 degrees, so future researchers can verify old results or try new tests. The archive contains nearly 56,000 feet of ice.Scientists tease data from the ice in various ways. The depth of the core and evidence of volcanoes help determine how old the ice is.Some experiments are done only on ice from the core's interior, away from the fluids.Ice cores have led scientists to significant conclusions about climate, including that CO2 levels in the atmosphere today are higher than at any other time recorded in the ice.Ice cores also help refine computer models used to make climate predictions.As technology improves, researchers find new ways to analyze the ice.
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