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.

ANDRILL Media Guide

ANDRILL Media Guide
Updated Nov. 1, 2007

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Join the Journey to Antarctica!

Project Iceberg

Use ANDRILL as an exciting, integrative part of your classroom.

Follow the research of an international team of scientists and educators from Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the United States as they recover stratigraphic records from McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.

Six educators from the multi-national ARISE (ANDRILL Research Immersion for Science Educators) team have brought exciting real-world science into your classroom through interactive blogging, video journals, photo collections, and engaging materials produced on the ice with ANDRILL scientists during the October- January drilling season.

Join us as we travel to the coldest, windiest, driest place on earth to study the amazing geologic stories that Antarctica has to tell. Check out the ANDRILL Project Iceberg website at www.andrill.org/iceberg.

We invite you to join us on this exciting adventure. See you there!

McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) Project

The key aim of the MIS Project is to determine past ice shelf responses to climate forcing, including variability at a range of timescales. To achieve this aim ANDRILL will recover core from beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf. The primary target for the MIS site is a 1200 meter-thick body of Plio-Pleistocene (0-5 million years ago) glacimarine, terrigenous, volcanic, and biogenic sediment that has accumulated in the Windless Bight region of a flexural moat basin surrounding Ross Island. A single ~1000 meter-deep drillcore will be recovered from approximately 900m of water.

Co-Chief Scientists

naish Dr. Tim Naish

powell Dr. Ross Powell

Keep track of the MIS project

ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project Scientific Prospectus

ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project Scientific Prospectus


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