Developing Dry Extraction of Ice Core Gases and Application to Millennial-Scale Variability in Atmospheric CO2
Taylor Dome Ice Core
This award supports the development of a new laboratory capability in the U.S. to measure CO2 in ice cores and investigate millennial-scale changes in CO2 during the last glacial period using samples from the Byrd and Siple Dome ice cores. Both cores have precise relative chronologies based on correlation of methane and the isotopic composition of atmospheric oxygen with counterpart records from Greenland ice cores. The proposed work will therefore allow comparison of the timing of CO2 change, Antarctic temperature change, and Greenland temperature change on common time scales. Such comparisons are vital for evaluating models that explain changes in atmospheric CO2. The techniques being developed will also be available for future projects, specifically the proposed Inland WAIS ice core, for which a highly detailed CO2 record is a major objective, and studies greenhouse and other atmospheric gases and their isotopic composition for which dry extraction is necessary (stable isotopes in CO2, for example). There are many broad impacts of the proposed work. Ice core greenhouse gas records are central contributions of paleoclimatology to research and policy-making concerning global change. The proposed work will enhance those contributions by improving our understanding of the natural cycling of the most important greenhouse gas. It will contribute to the training of a postdoctoral researcher, who will be an integral part of an established research group and benefit from the diverse paleoclimate and geochemistry community at OSU. The PI teaches major and non-major undergraduate and graduate courses on climate and global change. The proposed work will enrich those courses and the courses will provide an opportunity for the postdoctoral researcher to participate in teaching by giving guest lectures. The PI also participates in a summer climate workshop for high school teachers at Washington State University and the proposed work will enrich that contribution. The extraction device that is built and the expertise gained in using it will be resources for the ice core community and available for future projects. Data will be made available through established national data center and the equipment designs will also be made available to other researchers.
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