An international team including scientists from the ACE CRC will drill a 2000 to 3000-year ice core climate record at Aurora Basin in east Antarctica this summer.
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Australia will lead the team, which will be made up of scientists and support staff from 15 partner organisations including China, Denmark, France, Germany and the United States. Over six weeks, between December 2013 and January 2014, 24 scientists working in two field teams will drill a 400 metre-long ice core at the remote site, 550 kms from Australia’s Casey station.
Project leader and senior glaciologist Dr Mark Curran, from the Australian Antarctic Division and the ACE CRC, said the ice core would fill a significant gap in an array of 2000-year ice core climate records distributed across Antarctica.
“Additionally, two shorter cores of about 120 metres and covering the last 1000 years will be drilled for further studies on climate and ice properties,” Dr Curran said.
“Air pumped from the borehole of one of the cores and bubbles trapped in the ice cores together will allow us to look at changes in atmospheric composition over this period.
“As well as revealing climate records from the industrial era, the ice core information will also help scientists identify linkages between Antarctic and Australian climate.”
Ice cores provide crucial information on past climate and climate processes that is critical to understanding climate and predicting future change. Modern techniques will allow the field team to make isotope measurements that reveal past temperatures at the site.
Other scientists and staff affiliated with the ACE CRC who will be travelling to Aurora Basin:
Mana Inoue (Read her blog here
Tas Van Ommen
Find out more about the Aurora Basin Project through the Australian Antarctic Division here
. Follow the expedition on Twitter: @AusAntarctic
The Aurora Basin Project was launched on October 28 by the Hon. Greg Hunt, Minister for the Environment.