08 Feb 2012:
Russian Scientists Confirm
They Have Reached Ancient Antarctic Lake
Russian researchers say they have drilled through more than 2 miles of ice on Antarctica’s polar plateau and reached an ancient subglacial lake
that has been sealed off for as many as 15 million years. Reaching the lake caps a two-decade drilling effort
at Russia’s Vostok Station in Antarctica, which in 1982 recorded Earth’s coldest temperature of -129 degrees F. The chief of the Vostok Station, A.M. Yelagin, confirmed in a statement that Russia’s drilling team had reached the lake on Sunday, when water shot up from 12,365 feet below the surface and froze as it reached the -67 degree F air. Scientists are hoping that the lake could contain a wide variety of evolutionary secrets, including evidence of previously unknown prehistoric life forms. But Russian researchers said that clean water samples from the lake will not be taken until the next Antarctic summer, in December, since the water released over the weekend was contaminated by drilling fluids. Vostok is also the site of some of the deepest ice core samples ever taken on earth, revealing 800,000 years of climate data.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.