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Press Release 11-165

Ethane Levels Yield Information About Changes in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Research at Greenland and Antarctic shows decline in methane and ethane levels

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Image of researchers sampling ice at the South Pole.

Researchers sample ice to investigate the history of fossil-fuel emissions of methane, based on measurements of another hydrocarbon, ethane, in air trapped in the polar ice sheets in Antarctica. The ancient air resides close to the surface, within the perennial snowpack, and can be used to study changes in the atmosphere that occurred during the twentieth century.

Credit: National Science Foundation


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