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Arctic lake yields climate record

Siberian drilling also penetrates meteorite crater

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12:14pm, November 2, 2010

DENVER — It took the better part of a decade, $10 million, and help from the guys who build ice roads for Canadian truckers. But scientists now have the most continuous record of ancient climate ever extracted from the terrestrial Arctic.

What’s more, the record — cored through sediment layers at the bottom of a lake in northeastern Siberia — also illuminates what happened when a big meteorite smashed into the spot 3.6 million years ago, when the ground was warmer and forested as opposed to the barren tundra it is today. Water filled the resulting crater and formed Lake El’gygytgyn (pronounced EL-gih-git-gin).

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