Additional Participants

Technician, Programmer

Mike Handley
Sharon Sneed

Graduate Student

Tom Beers
Skylar Haines
Elena Korotkikh
Mariusz Potocki

Organizational Partners

Alfred Wegener Institute Foundation for Polar a. Marine Rese
GNS Science International Ltd.
University of Copenhagen
University of Washington
Victoria University

Project Period

June 15, 2011-May 31, 2015

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



This award supports a project to analyze a deep ice core which will be drilled by a New Zealand research team at Roosevelt Island. The objectives are to process the ice core at very high resolution to (a) better understand phasing sequences in Arctic/Antarctic abrupt climate change, even at the level of individual storm events; (b) determine the impact of changes in the Westerlies and the Amundsen Sea Low on past/present/future climate change; (c) determine how sea ice extent has varied in the area; (d) compare the response of West Antarctica climate to other regions during glacial/interglacial cycles; and (e) determine how climate of the Ross Sea Embayment changed during the transition from Ross Ice Sheet to Ross Ice Shelf. The intellectual merit of the RICE deep ice core project is that it is expected to provide a 30kyr long (and possibly 150kyr long) extremely high-resolution view of climate change in the Ross Sea Embayment Region and data essential to test and understand critical questions that have emerged as a consequence of the recent synthesis of Antarctic and Southern Ocean climate change presented in the Scientific Commission for Antarctic Research document: Antarctic Climate Change and the Environment (ACCE, 2009). Ice core processing and analysis will be performed jointly by University of Maine and the collaborators from New Zealand. Co-registered sampling for all chemical analyses will be accomplished by a joint laboratory effort at the IGNS NZ ice core facility using a continuous melter system developed by the University of Maine. The RICE deep ice core record will provide information necessary in unraveling the significance of multi-millennial underpinning for climate change and in the understanding of observed and projected climate change in light of current dramatic human impact on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. The broader impacts of the project include the fact that two CCI graduate students will be funded through the project, and will be involved in all aspects of field research, core sampling, sample processing, analytical and numerical analyses, data interpretation, writing of manuscripts, and presentation of results at national and international conferences. Data and ideas developed in this project and associated work will be used in several courses taught at the University of Maine. Innovative cyberinfrastructure will be incorporated into this work and ground breaking analytical technologies, and data access/storage tools will be used.