Project Information
Completing the WAIS Divide Ice Core CO2 record
Short Title:
Completing the WAIS Divide Ice Core CO2 record
Start Date:
End Date:
WAIS Divide Ice Core
This award supports a project to measure the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the WAIS Divide ice core covering the time period 25,000 to 60,000 years before present, and to analyze the isotopic composition of CO2 in selected time intervals. The research will improve understanding of how and why atmospheric CO2 varied during the last ice age, focusing particularly on abrupt transitions in the concentration record that are associated with abrupt climate change. These events represents large perturbations to the global climate system and better information about the CO2 response should inform our understanding of carbon cycle-climate feedbacks and radiative forcing of climate. The research will also improve analytical methods in support of these goals, including completing development of sublimation methods to replace laborious mechanical crushing of ice to release air for analysis. The intellectual merit of the proposed work is that it will increase knowledge about the magnitude and timing of atmospheric CO2 variations during the last ice age, and their relationship to regional climate in Antarctica, global climate history, and the history of abrupt climate change in the Northern Hemisphere. The temporal resolution of the proposed record will in most intervals be ~ 4 x higher than previous data sets for this time period, and for selected intervals up to 8-10 times higher. Broader impacts of the proposed work include a significant addition to the amount of data documenting the history of the most important long-lived greenhouse gas in the atmosphere and more information about carbon cycle-climate feedbacks - important parameters for predicting future climate change. The project will contribute to training a postdoctoral researcher, research experience for an undergraduate and a high school student, and outreach to local middle school and other students. It will also improve the analytical infrastructure at OSU, which will be available for future projects.
Person Role
Brook, Edward J. Investigator and contact
Antarctic Glaciology Award # 1246465
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Repository Title (link) Status
USAP-DC WAIS Divide Ice Core Marine Isotope Stage 3 CO2 record exists
  1. Marcott, S.A., Bauska, T.K., Buizert, C., Steig, E.J., Rosen, J.L., Cuffey, K.M., Fudge, T.J., Severinghaus, J.P., Ahn, J., Kalk, M., McConnell, J.R., Sowers, T., Taylor, K.C., White, J.W.C. and Brook, E.J., 2014, Centennial-scale changes in the global carbon cycle during the last deglaciation. Nature, 514, p. 616-619. doi: 10.1038/nature13799. (doi:10.1038/nature13799)

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