New Evidence From NSF-funded ANDRILL Demonstrates Climate Warming Affects Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability

An ANDRILL Sediment Core (Credit: Peter West / NSF)
An ANDRILL Sediment Core (Credit: Peter West / NSF)

A five-nation scientific team has published new evidence that even a slight rise in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, one of the gases that drives global warming, affects the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). The massive WAIS covers the continent on the Pacific side of the Transantarctic Mountains. Any substantial melting of the ice sheet would cause a rise in global sea levels.

The research, which was published in the March 19 issue of the journal Nature, is based on investigations by a 56-member team of scientists conducted on a 1,280-meter (4,100-foot)-long sedimentary rock core taken from beneath the sea floor under Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf during the first project of the ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing) research program--the McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) Project.

Scientists say Antarctic climate evidence too strong to ignore

Wellington, New Zealand – More than 50 top international polar scientists will meet at Victoria University of Wellington next week to discuss their cutting-edge climate change research.

The focus will be establishing models that explain how Antarctica’s ice sheets have behaved in Earth’s recent past and explore how they may change in the future.

For several years, scientists from Italy, Germany, New Zealand and the United States have been studying a 1300 metre-long rock core recovered by the multinational ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing) programme from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf, in McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

The Offshore New Harbor expedition has been a great success

The Offshore New Harbor Expedition has finished collecting multi-channel seismic data after an extremely successful season.  We exceeded our proposed plan by collecting over 47 km on two lines. The two seismic lines will allow us to evaluate the stratal geometry of sediments deposited in the New Harbor area during the Greenhouse World (>34 million years ago) and tie them into a pre existing borehole (CIROS-1) that recovered upper Eocene strata in the lower portion of the hole. The goal of the Offshore New Harbor Project is to use these seismic profiles to locate the ideal place to drill these Greenhouse World sediments.

Catch up with this year's expedition at their blog and find more information about the project at the ONH website

ANDRILL's 2nd Antarctic drilling season exceeds all expectations

Released on 11/28/2007, at 12:01 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

McMurdo Station, Antarctica, November 28, 2007 -- A second season in Antarctica for the Antarctic Geological Drilling (ANDRILL) Program has exceeded all expectations, according to the co-chief scientists of the program's Southern McMurdo Sound Project.

Southern McMurdo Sound Project Underway

SMS LogoDuring the austral summer of 2007 the ANDRILL Program is drilling from a sea-ice platform in Southern McMurdo Sound to obtain new information about the Neogene Antarctic cryosphere and evolution of Antarctic rift basins. A team of more than 56 on-ice scientists, engineers, technicians, students and educators are engaged in the recovery and study of sediment and rock cores recovered by drilling below the seafloor from a sea-ice platform supporting the drill rig and field camp. Additional work to characterize these cores is conducted by the ANDRILL team in the Crary Laboratory of McMurdo Station, and by groups of collaborators off-ice, working in their home institutions.

ANDRILL Achieves Record-Breaking Drilling Record

The Antarctic Geological Drilling (ANDRILL) Program drilled to a new record depth of 1,000 meters below the seafloor from the site on the Ross Ice Shelf near Scott Base in Antarctica Dec. 16.

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