Researchers have discovered charcoal dating back almost 2,000 years in New Mexican ice caves—providing physical evidence that ancestral Puebloans used the ice deposits for drinking water during droughts.
Scientists are working fast to sample cores from the deposits, which likely formed thousands of years ago. Rising global temperatures have made it warm enough that the ice is beginning to disappear from the sites at El Malpais National Monument.
“Our wish is to try and find as much climate information as possible, because this ice is going away,” said Bogdan Onac, the lead researcher on the study.
To better understand the collected ice cores, Onac worked with a team that included University of South Florida researchers and…