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The latter is not, however, feasible for stone surfaces.
A spatially resolved dating technique has been developed encompassing laboratory processing of stone samples, two devices for high-resolution spatial recording of OSL (HR-OSL), a software program for data evaluation, and dose-rate modelling at grain-size level.
They determined that the ice they gathered was 120,000 years old.
Now, scientists can begin looking for more ancient ice than the oldest available ice core that has been found so far, which is approximately 800,000 years old, according to Christo Buizert, a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University and the lead author of the study.
The company will provide financial support so that the institute could further the dating research on its collection of some 10,000 ceramic samples and improve the RHX dating method.
“The ultimate thing we would like to know is what the climate was like in the past…because that helps us understand what the climate might be like in the future,” said Edward Brook, co-author of the report.
Studying the contents of very old ice could help scientists understand how the relationship between greenhouse gases, which speed up global warming, and climate has evolved over time, he added.
The number of protons in an atom determines which element it is, while the number of neutrons determines which isotope it is.
For example, strontium-86 has 38 protons and 48 neutrons, whereas strontium-87 has 38 protons and 49 neutrons.