Ice cores are one of the most successful tools in paleoclimatology. The huge ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica provide a climate archive that meanwhile goes back 800,000 years into the past. The physical and chemical properties of the ice yield valuable information about former air temperatures, the chemical composition of the past atmosphere, volcanic activity and even about the strength and frequency of storms in former climates.
For a more recent history of temperature change weather records have been collected globally for over 100 years by way of weather stations.
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