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Japan considering new base on Antarctica to probe million-year-old ice

Published on Jun 23, 2014 1:46 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan is looking at building a new base on Antarctica so scientists can study air trapped in ice a million years ago, in a bid to better understand climate change, an official said on Monday.

Tokyo already has four stations on the frozen continent, two of which are currently in use - the Syowa Station on the coast and the Dome Fuji Station inland.

Japanese research teams at Dome Fuji Station have sampled air captured in ice as long ago as 720,000 years, after drilling down 3,000m.

At the proposed new base, scientists would be able to drill down to reach ice that formed one million years ago, beating the current sampling record held by a European team, which has looked at 800,000-year-old ice.

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