Title: US Global Ice Core Research Program: West Antarctica and Beyond
Author: U.S. Ice Core Working Group
Start Page: 1
End Page: 30
Abstract: Developing to its full potential the paleoenvironmental information contained in the ice masses of the world requires a long-range program in which expertise from many different fields is focused on a common goal.

The US ice core research community proposes that the US drill several deep and intermediate cores in Antarctica and Greenland during the 1990s with the first deep core in West Antarctica. The relative timing of the changes in various core parameters in cores from the Arctic and the Antarctic will help us understand the dynamics of climate and global change. The West Antarctic core should reveal the response of the West Antarctic ice sheet to the warm interglacial climate about 125,000 years ago.

Expanded drilling and analyses of shallow cores in polar regions and at lower latitudes must complement the bipolar drilling program in order to document spatial variability in environmental change and to generate transfer functions to translate the long paleoenvironmental records from the Arctic and Antarctic into changes at lower latitudes.

To attain these scientific goals in a timely manner the Ice Core Working Group recommends that:
  • NSF/DPP adopts a long-range ice core research plan and takes an active role in the realization of this plan by creating the infrastructure needed for vigorous and flexible ice core research.
  • NSF/DPP manages and actively seeks funds to support the long-range ice core research program to ensure fair and open access for all members of the scientific community.
  • NSF/DPP supports key non-core studies that are directly related to ice cores and are necessary to ensure proper site selection and interpretation of core data.
  • NSF/DPP, together with other programs and agencies, encourages the development of innovative techniques for ice sampling and analysis that may improve the quality and/or reduce the cost of paleoenvironmental information from ice cores.
  • NSF/DPP encourages scientists to optimize the data retrieval from all ice cores by analysis and interpretation of many different core parameters in multidisciplinary collaborations.
  • A database for rapid drill site selection as well as a database of the results of core analysis be collected and made available via the World Data Center.
  • Unused core sections be curated in a US ice core storage facility and be made readily available for additional studies to US investigators and investigators of countries with which the US has scientific collaboration and exchange of sample materials and research data.
  • Year: 1989