Guardian Polar Zero Glasgow Science Wayne Binitie 1765 Air Study 10/10/2021
An ampoule of Antarctic air from the year 1765 forms the centrepiece of a new exhibition that reveals the hidden histories contained in polar ice to visitors attending the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.
The Polar Zero exhibition at the Glasgow Science Centre features a cylindrical glass sculpture encasing the air, extracted precisely from 1765 – the date that many historians pinpoint as the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. A second cylinder presents an ice core containing tiny bubbles of air that were trapped as snow fell and compacted, and which now reveal the horrifying rate of increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since that date.
“What helps is that every so often we know that a certain volcano blew up in a particular year and we may find evidence of that. So using our drills to find a specific year isn’t quite as hard as you would imagine.”