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Lake to offer clues about climate effects

Scientists have delved to the bottom of an arctic lake in order to chart the effects of climate change over the past 10,000 years.

A team of geoscientists from the University of Aberdeen travelled to a glacier beyond the margins of the Greenland ice sheet to retrieve samples from the bed of a glacier-fed lake which is ice-free only during the summer months.

By analysing the sediment from the lake, the team, which included scientists from the University of Bergen, hope to understand how the glacier which feeds the lake has behaved in the past, which will give an indication of how the climate was thousands of years ago.

Researcher and project leader, Craig Frew said: "There are less than 100 years of detailed observations of climate available on a global scale, so to reconstruct a more comprehensive timeline of change over thousands of years, one of the things we can look at are proxy records of glacier variability.

"These help us to put the contemporary warming trend into a longer context to try and understand how sensitive the area is and how temperature and precipitation have changed according to climatic forcing

"The past is a key to understanding the future. To have confidence in climate models that are designed to predict future climate we have to be able to test and constrain them using instrumental or proxy records."

The team travelled to an island called Ammassalik in southeast Greenland to retrieve the samples.

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