Andrea Fischer and colleagues present the first dating of glacier ice using less than 2 mL STP of argon from ∼5 kg of ice, finally opening the door for radioargon dating in glaciology. Alpine summit glaciers have a characteristic age range between 100 and 1,000 years. Reliable dating is the key to access this valuable environmental archive, including the Little Ice Age. Glacier ice contains past air and thus also the rare radioisotope 39Ar, uniquely suitable as an age tracer for this time span.
Tags: Climate change, Environment & Nature.