Experience what it's like in Antarctica right here in central Ohio

Inside these tubes are ice samples from Antarctica. They're kept in this 30 below freezer.
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We had a pretty chilly November in central Ohio. 21 days were colder than average.

The days in blue were colder than average.


But, for some local scientists, apparently November was not cold enough.

That's because this month, dozens at The Ohio State University are traveling to Antarctica for research.

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But before they go, the scientists want to give you and your family a first-hand experience of what Antarctica is really like.

On Wednesday, December 4, there are free tours in the evening of the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center. They ask that you register here. Should December's tour be full by the time you read this, more tours will be held in the coming months on the first Wednesday of each month.

On the tour, you'll get to try on specially designed parkas, polar boots, and ice shoes.

Doppler10 Meteorologist Drew Anderson tries on a polar coat and and ice crampons.

Your tour guide will also explain how Antarctica--a continent of ice--has an active volcano. Because of the volcano, there are some interesting rocks.

You'll touch those rocks and fossils in the massive Antarctic rock and fossils library. If you're a grade school teacher, you can even get those rocks in the hands of your students.

The Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center sends Antarctica rock and fossil boxes, along with lesson plans, to your classroom for free. More information on that program is here.

One row of the rock and fossil library at The Ohio State University

If you're brave enough, you can feel what Antarctica is like by walking into their freezer set to 30 below! Those freezers are filled with ice core samples.

Scientists study the air trapped in the ice because the air bubbles act like weather time capsules. They tell scientists about the amount of greenhouse gases, like Carbon Dioxide in the air thousands of years ago. The ice also tells stores what the weather and temperature were like long ago.

Besides seeing the ice cores, you can look into the University's clean room.

Scientists use a clean room because Antarctica is one of the few places that is nearly untouched by humans. So, scientists want to keep their Antarctic ice and rock samples as untouched and pristine as they can. Click on the video at the top to learn how working in the clean room is a lot like working in the International Space Station.

Doppler10 Meteorologist Drew Anderson visits a clean room at The Ohio State University.