Climate Change Institute Involved With Successful Recovery of A New Deep Ice Core From Antarctica

A team of scientists from nine nations led by Dr. Nancy Bertler Victoria University’s Antarctic Research Center and GNS Science (New Zealand), have made a huge breakthrough in Antarctica—successfully drilling more than 760m through the ice to the bedrock, on an island in the Ross Sea.  They completed the drilling in late December when the drill bit brought sediment up from the base of the ice sheet.

“The drill cores will provide the most detailed record of the climate history of the Ross Sea region for the last 30,000 years—the time during which the coastal margin of the Antarctic ice sheet retreated following the last great ice age,” says Dr Bertler, by satellite phone from the camp on Roosevelt Island.

Graduate students Skylar Haines and Tom Beers of the Climate Change Institute and the School of Earth and Climate Sciences each spent several months working in Antarctica on the ice core drilling project as part of their MSc research.  They will work under the direction of Paul Mayewski (Director Climate Change Institute) and Andrei Kurbatov (Research Associate Professor, CCI) to develop highly detailed reconstructions of past climate using the Institute’s W.M. Keck Laser Ice Facility.

Dr. Paul Mayewski says: “ With the success of the deep ice drilling at Roosevelt Island, Antarctica we have the ice core material necessary to make significant insights into the past, current and future behavior of the West Antarctic ice sheet – one of the greatest potential contributors to future global sea level rise and one of the major controls on Southern Hemisphere climate. “

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Hitting Bedrock, UMaine News