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16-Mar-2020 06:01

Krypton is a noble gas with eight isotopes, 6 stable and 2 radioactive. de Vries, Environmental Isotopes in the Hydrological Cycle: Principles and Applications, vol. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Nuclear Science Division, Berkeley Laboratory Isotopes Project, Isotopes of Krypton.

Naturally occurring krypton is made of five stable isotopes and one which is slightly radioactive with an extremely long half-life, plus traces of radioisotopes that are produced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere.The ability to discover ancient ice is critical, the researchers say, because it will allow them to reconstruct the climate much farther back into Earth’s history and potentially understand the mechanisms that have triggered the planet to shift into and out of ice ages.Results of the discovery are being published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The oldest ice found in drilled cores is around 800,000 years old and with this new technique we think we can look in other regions and successfully date polar ice back as far as 1.5 million years,” said Christo Buizert, a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University and lead author on the PNAS article.All of the other radioisotopes of krypton have half-lives of less than one day, except for krypton-79, which has a half-life of about 35.0 hours.This isotope decays by the emission of positrons and thus becoming bromine.

Naturally occurring krypton is made of five stable isotopes and one which is slightly radioactive with an extremely long half-life, plus traces of radioisotopes that are produced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere.

The ability to discover ancient ice is critical, the researchers say, because it will allow them to reconstruct the climate much farther back into Earth’s history and potentially understand the mechanisms that have triggered the planet to shift into and out of ice ages.

Results of the discovery are being published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The oldest ice found in drilled cores is around 800,000 years old and with this new technique we think we can look in other regions and successfully date polar ice back as far as 1.5 million years,” said Christo Buizert, a postdoctoral researcher at Oregon State University and lead author on the PNAS article.

All of the other radioisotopes of krypton have half-lives of less than one day, except for krypton-79, which has a half-life of about 35.0 hours.

This isotope decays by the emission of positrons and thus becoming bromine.

“Very old ice probably exists in small isolated patches at the base of the ice sheet that have not yet been identified, but in many places it has probably melted and flowed out into the ocean.” There also are special regions where old ice is exposed at the edges of an ice field, Brook pointed out.