The South Pole Ice Core (SPICEcore) field camp, located a few kilometers from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, was set up during the 2014-15 field season. The 1,500 meters of ice cores extracted from this site will provide an environmental record spanning 40,000 years, covering the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum, when polar ice sheets reached their greatest extent, to the present-day Holocene. The ice at the South Pole is especially cold, which helps preserve rare gases that were in the atmosphere when the snow fell thousands of years ago. Scientists who analyze the ice cores can use these so-called trace gases to reconstruct ancient climate, which also helps researchers understand how climate may change in the future. [Note: the project actually drilled to 1751 meters depth, covering the last 54,000 years of Earth's history.] Photograph By: National Science Foundation.