Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change: The WAIS Divide Ice Core Record
WAIS Divide Ice Core
This award supports a project to create a 25,000-year high-resolution record of atmospheric CO2 from the WAIS Divide ice core. The site has high ice accumulation rate, relatively cold temperatures, and annual layering that should be preserved back to 40,000 years, all prerequisite for preserving a high quality, well-dated CO2 record. The new record will be used to examine relationships between Antarctic climate, Northern Hemisphere climate, and atmospheric CO2 on glacial-interglacial to centennial time scales, at unprecedented temporal resolution. The intellectual merit of the proposed work is simply that CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas that humans directly impact, and understanding the sources, sinks, and controls of atmospheric CO2 is a major goal for the global scientific community. Accurate chronology and detailed records are primary requirements for developing and testing models that explain and predict CO2 variability. The proposed work has several broader impacts. It contributes to the training of a post-doctoral researcher, who will transfer to a research faculty position during the award period and who will participate in graduate teaching and guest lecture in undergraduate courses. An undergraduate researcher will gain valuable lab training and conduct independent research. Bringing the results of
the proposed work to the classroom will enrich courses taught by the PI. Outreach efforts will expose pre-college students to ice core research. The proposed work will enhance the laboratory facilities for ice core research at OSU, insuring that the capability for CO2 measurements exists for future projects. All data will be archived at the National Snow and Ice Data Center and other similar archives, per OPP policy. Highly significant results will be disseminated to the news media through OSU?s very effective News and Communications group. Carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas that humans are directly changing. Understanding how CO2 and climate are linked on all time scales is necessary for predicting the future behavior of the carbon cycle and climate system, primarily to insure that the appropriate processes are represented in carbon cycle/climate models. Part of the proposed work emphasizes the relationship of CO2 and abrupt climate change. Understanding how future abrupt change might impact the carbon cycle is an important issue for society.
Data Management Plan
None in the Database