From Your Freezer To Antarctica: All About Ice

What can we learn about history from ice?

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Modern ice harvest from Rockland Lake...by traditional methods.
Photo:Timothy Englert
Captain Nathaniel Palmer
Photo:Tucker Ives
Captain Nathaniel Palmer's House in Stonington, CT
Photo:Tucker Ives
Captain Palmer's Ice House
Photo:Tucker Ives
Models of ships designed by Palmer.
Photo:Tucker Ives
Palmer's workbench, believed to be made out of an old ship rudder.
Photo:Tucker Ives
Interior of the Palmer House
Photo:Tucker Ives
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What Can Glaciers and Ice Cores Teach Us?
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Harvesting Ice, Before Refrigeration
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In Shackleton's Footsteps
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The Connecticut Man Who Found Antarctica
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Web Bonus: Palmer and the Penal Colony
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Audio Playlist
Listen to the Full Show
What Can Glaciers and Ice Cores Teach Us?
Harvesting Ice, Before Refrigeration
In Shackleton's Footsteps
The Connecticut Man Who Found Antarctica
Web Bonus: Palmer and the Penal Colony

Today, we’re talking about ice --- and no, not because of today’s weather.

But the icy regions of our planet are telling us important information about our climate. Ice locks in historical data that researchers are just starting to unlock. They’re finding greenhouse gases trapped during the industrial revolution and even the results of nuclear arms testing.

We’ll also go back to life before modern refrigeration. When ice came from freshwater ponds and lakes...and a 2-3 week ice harvest would have to last through the year.

And we’ll hear the story of Connecticut's Nathaniel Palmer who was the first American to spot Antarctica...but the magnitude of it took some time to set in.

“They didn’t realize what Nat Palmer had seen on this historic sealing voyage was not an island but actually the tip of an entire continent,” explained Mary Beth Baker, Executive Director of the Stonington Historical Society.

That continent was also home to Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famous trek --- we talk to someone who re-enacted it last month.