University of Maine Climate Change Institute researchers will return to the Allan Hills blue ice space in Antarctica as a part of a new Center for Oldest Ice Exploration, or COLDEX, led by Oregon State University and made doable by a 5-yr, $25 million National Science Foundation grant.

COLDEX is one in every of six new NSF science and technology centers “to advance ambitious, complex research in fields ranging from mechanobiology to particle physics to climate change.” The NSF Center for Oldest Ice Exploration, led by Oregon State paleoclimatologist Ed Brook, goals to remodel the present understanding of Earth’s local weather system by discovering and recovering a number of the oldest ice on Earth. 

The multidisciplinary workforce will drive this new science and discovery whereas constructing local weather literacy and motion in school rooms and communities throughout the United States, based on the NSF information launch. The heart’s researchers are from Oregon State University; American Meteorological Society; Dartmouth College; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Irvine; University of California San Diego; the University of Kansas; the University of Maine; The University of Texas at Austin; the University of Washington; University of Minnesota Duluth; University of Minnesota Twin Cities; Princeton University; Amherst College; and Brown University.

Internationally recognized UMaine local weather scientists Paul Mayewski, who directs the Climate Change Institute, and Andrei Kurbatov, an affiliate professor within the Climate Change Institute and School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and a number of other graduate college students will take part in COLDEX challenge utilizing the state-of-the-artwork UMaine Keck laser ablation system. 

“The Climate Change Institute has a long history of Antarctic research, including some of the earliest expeditions to Antarctica’s blue ice areas where the new approaches to be undertaken by COLDEX will help to unravel climate change history going back millions of years,” Mayewski says.

The UMaine workforce will likely be accountable for coordinating the planning, web site choice and restoration of an anticipated 1,250-meter-lengthy ice core from the Allan Hills blue ice space. The researchers are anticipated to take part in three Antarctic discipline seasons to get better and analyze the traditional ice to additional inform understanding of how the Earth’s local weather has modified over thousands and thousands of years. 

In 2017, Princeton, Oregon State University, University of California San Diego and UMaine researchers introduced the restoration of an Antarctic ice core that contained document-setting ice 2.7 million years outdated — shattering the earlier document by 1.7 million years. The captured gasses locked in small bubbles within the historic ice provide a glimpse of the ambiance throughout a pivotal time in Earth’s local weather historical past. The examine was one in every of 9 runners-up for Science’s 2017 Breakthrough of the Year.

“We are very excited to start a new chapter in our scientific understanding of the Allan Hills blue ice area,” says Kurbatov, who will likely be making his fourth expedition to the Allan Hills blue ice space. He first went to the Transantarctic Mountains area in 2004 to gather GPS and floor penetrating radar measurements. 

“This Antarctic site is already well known for one of the largest collections of Antarctic meteorites, and one of the oldest greenhouse gas measurements from trapped air bubbles,” Kurbatov says. “We hope that the COLDEX team will continue U.S. leadership in research on Earth’s oldest ice, and recover the longest continuous ice core paleoclimate record.”

News releases concerning the new Center for Oldest Ice Exploration from NSF and Oregon State University are on-line.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, [email protected]