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Byrd Polar Research Center

Earth sciences, climate change (2nd tour added Tuesday)

TOUR ONE:

  • 10:30 a.m-12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19
  • Buses depart from Hilton
  • Free (registration required)
  • Limit: 40 participants

TOUR TWO:

  • 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21
  • Buses depart from Hilton
  • Free (registration required)
  • Limit: 40 participants

Named in honor of one of America’s most famous explorers, the Byrd Polar Research Center is recognized internationally as a leader in polar and alpine research. Here, Ohio State researchers store ice cores drilled from Antarctica and Greenland as well as high-mountain glaciers in South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Some of the ice samples are particularly precious, such as those taken from Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro. The research team has concluded that the ice on the mountain is melting away at such a fast pace that it is likely to disappear within a decade. After that, the world’s only remaining Kilimanjaro ice may just be the samples stored in our cold rooms. You'll enter the cold storage facility, where 3,000 meters (nearly 10,000 feet) of ice cores are maintained down to -40 degrees Celsius (and Fahrenheit). [Don't worry—you won't be in there very long!] You'll also walk through the Polar Rock Repository, which houses rock samples from Antarctica, the Arctic, southern South America and South Africa. Finally, you'll peer inside a Class 100 cleanroom, where portions of the ice cores are melted and chemically analyzed.

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