This joint project between the Department of Earth Sciences and British Antarctic Survey (BAS) aims to constrain estimates of if, how and when the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) retreated during the Last Interglacial (LIG), 130 to 115 thousand years ago.
Evidence suggests that sea level during the LIG peaked at between 6 and 9 metres higher than present, a range which necessitates at least some contribution from Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat, the WAIS being the most likely candidate. Antarctic temperatures during this time period were in line with projections for the year 2100. These figures warn of the potential for significant future sea level rise resulting from anthropogenic climate change.
Continue reading “An update on WACSWAIN: WArm Climate Stability of the West Antarctic during the last INterglacial”
My last blog about the WACSWAIN project was in February 2020. We had just started the chemical analysis of our 651-metre-long ice core from Skytrain Ice Rise (Antarctica). The theme of this article is time – the first aspect being that a lot of time has since passed. Soon after I wrote last, our labwork was completely shut down by the pandemic, some of the team went back to their families in other countries, and we all learnt what Zoom meetings were.
Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Time and ice”
There is a lot to be said about corals: their diverse beauty, their importance for marine ecosystems and, of course, their plight against climate change and warming oceans. And yet this only begins to scratch the surface of these complex, mesmerizing and somewhat alien animals.
Continue reading “Corals on climate, and why they are even cooler than you already think”
In the final instalment of this WACSWAIN fieldwork diary, Isobel Rowell describes the heartbreak of ending her fieldwork earlier than planned, as drilling takes a dramatic turn.
Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Sherman Island Drilling—Part Three”
In part two of her three-part series, Isobel Rowell describes her daily routine as part of the WACSWAIN team, drilling into the Antarctic ice sheet and sampling ice chippings from the borehole in search of ice from the last interglacial.
Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Sherman Island Drilling—Part Two”
In a three-part series of blog posts, Isobel Rowell describes her experiences on the second field campaign of the WACSWAIN project. Part one outlines the motives behind the Sherman Island drilling project, and details the team’s journey to their drill site.
Continue reading “WACSWAIN: Sherman Island Drilling—Part One”
The last time I blogged about WACSWAIN was in January 2019, when we were in the euphoria of having drilled to the bedrock at Skytrain Ice Rise, and retrieved 651 metres of ice. So what have we been doing since then?
Continue reading “WACSWAIN: the hard slog of analysis”
The aim of our fieldwork in Antarctica is to retrieve an ice core reaching through the entire depth of the ice cap on Skytrain Ice Rise, to obtain ice extending at least 130,000 years back in time. Last night, on Tuesday 7 January, we succeeded. The feeling of elation is all around me, with all six members of the party relieved and excited.
Continue reading “WACSWAIN Drill Log: ice core complete!”