U.S. Ice Core Scientists Decide To Go It Alone

WASHINGTON—Scientists from all over the world are traveling to the earth’s coldest places to do what might turn out to be the decade’s hottest research. Buried deep in Greenland’s ice sheet may be answers to a problem—global warming—that threatens the entire planet. This problem has sparked much talk of international alliances among investigators. But in Greenland, United States scientists have split off from their European colleagues so that now there are tw

Elizabeth Pennisi
Oct 15, 1989

WASHINGTON—Scientists from all over the world are traveling to the earth’s coldest places to do what might turn out to be the decade’s hottest research. Buried deep in Greenland’s ice sheet may be answers to a problem—global warming—that threatens the entire planet. This problem has sparked much talk of international alliances among investigators. But in Greenland, United States scientists have split off from their European colleagues so that now there are two, not one, efforts to probe the ice.

U.S. officials admit that a joint project with the Europeans would be cheaper and, some experts contend, would benefit from valuable European expertise. But they say that the chance to call the shots is the best way for scientists in this country to carve out a name for themselves.

More than a decade ago the National Science Foundation sent a small international team to sample Greenland’s deepest ice. There they found...

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