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166 Race for the oldest ice

14 . 03 . 2023


Watch this on video | Buy us a coffee: Chris / Henry / Mario


01 Life at the bottom of the Southern Ocean: The team of the icebreaker RRS Sir David Attenborough has been testing the new deep sea research capabilities in the 5.6 km (3.5 mi) deep and least explored parts of the Southern Ocean, the Hesperides Deep, unveiling incredible lifeforms at the bottom of the sea. | 02 New interactive Antarctic mapping tool: The Australian Antarctic Division developed the amazing interactive mapping tool, Nilas to to assist voyage planning and enhance climate research in the sea ice zone.

RACE FOR THE OLDEST ICE A global race is on to drill for the oldest known layers of Antarctic ice, so researchers can peek back in time to better understand the planet’s hotter future. Picking up from the record-breaking 2017 Allan Hills ice core, that unearthed ice dating back 2.7 million years, the US team returns to the site and aims to fill the gaps in the climate records. At the same time, the European project Beyond EPICA aims at obtaining ice cores, which are expected to provide continuous high-resolution climatic data up to 1.5 million years old at a site less than 40 km away from the Italo-French Concordia station at Little Dome C. End of January 2023, the team reached an important milestone and successfully completed the first ice core drilling campaign at a depth of 808 metres. Only five kilometres away from the European drilling site, the Australian Antarctic Division is making camp for their Million Year Ice Core project. To do so, the Australian team is mastering an incredible logistical challenge and traverses the East Antarctic Ice Sheet from the coastal Casey Station to the inland camp at the drilling site - and back. Lotter Kock, the Technical Lead for the Ice Drill System, tells his story on ABC Radio Hobart, certainly worth listening.

Check out Henry's article "Deep Freeze: Ice Core Drilling for Earth's Climate Archive" for a deeper dive into the topic.

Extra Media: Follow BAS scientists Huw Griffith and Jamie Maxwell on Twitter.

This is an episode of the Curiously Polar podcast

with Chris Marquardt Henry Páll Wulff: Mario Acquarone

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