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Thursday, 28 December 2006 23:30
Ice cores tell us how climate and atmospheric composition have varied in the past. IPICS will develop international plans for new projects on timescales from 2000 to over a million years. A focus in IPY will be on starting a core to bedrock in Greenland that aims to show us how the climate and ice sheet responded during the last warm interglacial period on Earth.
Thursday, 28 December 2006 10:46
"The APICS project is an effort to understand all aspects of the ice and climate system in one of the most rapidly-changing regions on Earth - the Antarctic Peninsula' Larsen B embayment. In 2002, a huge section of this ice shelf collapsed, after decades of record-warm summers. Following this collapse, glaciers in the region accelerated abruptly. Coastal ecology and nearby ocean currents changed drastically due to the loss, and a preliminary survey of the newly-exposed ocean floor showed previously unknown sub-ice life forms still present after the break-up. The APICS project is intended to use the dynamic Larsen B ice shelf region as a natural laboratory for what to expect from climate warming in Antarctica. It is a collaborative effort among 11 major U.S. research institutions, and four other countries (Spain, Belgium, Argentina, and England) to coordinate research across several disciplines, using the US research vessel Nathaniel B. Palmer as a platform. The work will include an ice core at the crest of the ice ridge above the Larsen B, remote robotic systems for glacier measurements, extensive flights to visit unique rock outcrops that may reveal the history of the region, and a remotely piloted vehicle for exploring the new life forms and ocean sediment changes. The first field season is currently planned for February/March of 2008."
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 09:24
Aboard Polarstern, bathymetry — the mapping of the seafloor using sonar — is conducted by an international working group. In recent days, they have found a distinct elevation at the seafloor of the Southern Ocean. This structure rises 600 m above ground in an otherwise featureless seascape and is situated about 450 km north of the Antarctic continent. It closely resembles an underwater volcano, presumably still active, which has never been charted on a map. This finding was reported by Elena Pugacheva from the Geographical Institute Moscow and Jan-Hendrik Lott from the University of Karlsruhe. During the expedition, long distances are covered between the continents of Africa, Antarctica and South America. Mapping of the seafloor takes place throughout the journe...
Published in IPY Blogs
Tuesday, 12 December 2006 08:06
“Polarstern” is currently anchored right next to the ice shelf, which is formed by layers and layers of snow accumulated over thousands of years forming a vertical cliff dropping more than 30m to the sea (surface). Fuel and other goods are being discharged to supply Germany’s Neumayer station in Antarctica. At longitude 8°48' west, this part of East Antarctica’s ice cap is considered stable. The complete opposite is true for the Antarctic Peninsula heading towards the southern tip of South America. This area will form the backdrop for a scientific mission of an expedition that started two weeks ago in Cape Town. During the past 15 years atmospheric warming led to the collapse of major parts of the Larsen A and B ice shelves. These areas together made up only one percent of Antarc...
Published in IPY Blogs
Saturday, 23 December 2006 06:09
ArcticWOLVES is an international initiative developed for the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008. The project will build a network of circumpolar wildlife observatories in order to assess the current state of arctic terrestrial food webs over a large geographical range. The network will provide baseline information to evaluate current and future population trends for a large number of species at several locations using standard protocols. Another aim of the project is to determine the relative importance of bottom-up (resources) and top-down (predators) forces in structuring arctic food webs, and how climate affects these trophic linkages.
Friday, 22 December 2006 07:10
The Kinnvika project will re-open an old research station from the previous polar year to study Arctic Warming and Impact Research. The spectrum of projects from geosciences to the humanities, investigates how the environmental and anthropogenic dynamics have changed recently in comparison with past records of change from existing expedition logs and photographs, proxy climate data from ice-, lake- and sea-sediment cores, and dynamic studies both on terrestrial as marine ice. This is a major multi-national multi-disciplined project involving 26 working groups and more than 80 Principal Investigators.
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 05:00
The ACE programme aims to facilitate research in the broad area of Antarctic climate evolution. The programme will link geophysical surveys and geological studies on and around the Antarctic continent with ice-sheet and climate modelling studies. These studies are designed to investigate climate and ice sheet behaviour in both the recent and distant geologic past, including times when global temperature was several degrees warmer than today.
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 04:45
CAML will investigate the distribution and abundance of Antarctic marine biodiversity, how it will be affected by climate change and how climate change will affect the ecosystem and the planet. Its key focus is a major ship based research programme in the austral summer of 2007-2008. Scientists from 30 countries and 50 institutions will collate data providing a robust benchmark against which future change can be measured.
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 02:19
Sound is an extremely effective means to monitor marine mammals in the Southern Ocean. Sound recording instruments can remain all year, despite the ice and lack of sunlight. These data may provide new insight into how marine mammals make use of the environment.
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