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China completes first drilling for deep ice core in Antarctica

(People's Daily Online)

14:18, January 28, 2013

According to State Oceanic Administration, China's deep ice core driller had a trial run at the Kunlun Station in Antarctica on Jan. 21, and succeeded in drilling out an ice core of 3.83 meters long, achieving the maximum ice core drilling length designed for the driller, marking a significant breakthrough in the country's deep ice core drilling engineering.

Shi Guitong, who was in charge of the project on site, said,"This is the first drilling and the starting point of China's deep ice core driller." It is an important scientific research goal for the Kunlun Station expedition to drill the 3,200 meter deep ice core in order to study the global changes at a time scale of 1 million years.

Drilling and investigating the ice core that penetrates ice sheet provides a gateway to reconstructing climate change sequences of the earth system over 1 million years, ascertaining the earth's climate change mechanisms, and showing basic properties of the bottom and bed of the ice sheet.

Meanwhile, using the ice core samples, researchers can study the impact of climate changes on life on Earth, and even find out unknown life and ecological systems that have even existed in the history of earth.

According to Sun Bo, the Captain of the Kunlun Station, ice core drilling is at the vanguard of earth science. It is also the universally acknowledged ice sheet research area, and the only way to probe into the global changes in the past, theorize about future climatic and environmental changes, and achieve human development sustainability.

"China's success at drilling the deep ice core at Kunlun Station represents a breakthrough in the deep ice core drilling, and provides a great opportunity to intensify research on ice sheet." The deeper ice core will be drilled out in the future at the location this time.

Read the Chinese version: 南极深冰芯,中国打下第一钻. Source: People's Daily Online

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