The Nuclear City Lost Under Ice | Camp Century | Summary and Q&A

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July 20, 2020
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The Nuclear City Lost Under Ice | Camp Century

TL;DR

Camp Century was a US Army base built inside the ice sheet in Greenland and served as a research facility and nuclear missile test site, providing valuable insights into the Earth's climate through the study of ice cores.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why was Camp Century built inside the ice sheet in Greenland?

Camp Century was built inside the ice sheet to test living conditions and construction techniques in extreme, remote environments, as the Army anticipated potential deployments in areas with harsh winters.

Q: What was the significance of Camp Century's ice core?

The ice core acquired at Camp Century allowed scientists to study Earth's climate over the last hundred thousand years, confirming the accuracy of other climate data sources and providing a baseline for future research.

Q: How did Camp Century contribute to the understanding of climate change?

While the ice core data from Camp Century did not directly show the effects of climate change, it revealed that current climate trends are unnatural and caused by human activities, serving as evidence of our responsibility.

Q: What is the future of Camp Century's buried waste?

Due to climate change and melting ice, Camp Century's buried waste, including nuclear and hazardous materials, will likely be exposed by approximately 2090 or sooner, necessitating retrieval and proper disposal.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Camp Century was an underground city built inside the ice sheet in Greenland, serving as a US Army base and research facility during the Cold War.

  • The base had various amenities and was powered by the world's first portable nuclear reactor, but faced challenges due to the weight and movement of the ice, as well as the production of radioactive waste.

  • Camp Century's most significant scientific contribution was the acquisition of the first long ice core, providing valuable data on Earth's climate over the last hundred thousand years.

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