Collaborative Research: Antarctic Climate Reconstruction Utilizing the US ITASE Ice Core Array (2009- 2012)
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).
This award supports a project to reconstruct the past physical and chemical climate of Antarctica, with an emphasis on the region surrounding the Ross Sea Embayment, using >60 ice cores collected in this region by US ITASE and by Australian, Brazilian, Chilean, and New Zealand ITASE teams. The ice core records are annually resolved and exceptionally well dated, and will provide, through the analyses of stable isotopes, major soluble ions and for some trace elements, instrumentally calibrated proxies for past temperature, precipitation, atmospheric circulation, chemistry of the atmosphere, sea ice extent, and volcanic activity. These records will be used to understand the role of solar, volcanic, and human forcing on Antarctic climate and to investigate the character of recent abrupt climate change over Antarctica in the context of broader Southern Hemisphere and global climate variability. The intellectual merit of the project is that ITASE has resulted in an array of ice core records, increasing the spatial resolution of observations of recent Antarctic climate variability by more than an order of magnitude and provides the basis for assessment of past and current change and establishes a framework for monitoring of future climate change in the Southern Hemisphere. This comes at a critical time as global record warming and other impacts are noted in the Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Peninsula, and on the Antarctic ice sheet. The broader impacts of the project are that Post-doctoral and graduate students involved in the project will benefit from exposure to observational and modeling approaches to climate change research and working meetings to be held at the two collaborating institutions plus other prominent climate change institutions. The results are of prime interest to the public and the media Websites hosted by the two collaborating institutions contain climate change position papers, scientific exchanges concerning current climate change issues, and scientific contribution series.
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