Confusion over fate of valuable climate record chills researchers.

An unusual ‘help wanted’ advertisement arrived in the inboxes of Canadian scientists last week. The e-mail asked the research community to provide new homes for an impressive archive of ice cores representing 40 years of research by government scientists in the Canadian Arctic.

The note was sent out by Christian Zdanowicz, a glaciologist at the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) in Ottawa. He claimed that the collection faced destruction owing to budget cuts at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the government department that runs the survey, and a “radical downsizing” of the Ice Core Research Laboratory. The e-mail pressed scientists at universities and other institutions to take in the ice cores before they were left to melt.

But David Scott, director of the GSC’s northern Canada division, denies this and says that there have been no budget cuts at GSC. He says that GSC management did not approve the letter, and it contains a number of factual errors. “There is no shutdown of the ice-core facility being contemplated. We’re not actively dispersing the collection,” he says. “Nothing that meets the criterion of having scientific value would be destroyed.”

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This story was posted on, and mentioned on Mother Jones‘ Blue Marble blog






Written by Hannah

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