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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. To better understand the collected ice cores, Onac worked with a team that included University of South Florida researchers and National Park Service archaeologists. Evidence in the ice cores suggests the caves were used more intensely during periods of drought, based primarily on data from tree rings in the southwest, according to the report, published Wednesday in Scientific Reports. When they came back, the caves would have been one of the few places to find ice in the summer months. “With the ice caves and the water resources, I think everyone is aware of global warming here,” Bowekaty said.