International Partnership in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) (Expert Group)


International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) consists of ice core scientists, engineers, and drillers from the leading laboratories and national operators carrying out ice core science, acting to further the aims as described in the mission statement. The mission is to define and develop priorities, enable coordination between different ice core laboratories, act as a voice for the ice core community, and train the next generation of ice core scientists. It now consists of representatives from 24 nations, and it is believed all nations with an active ice core programme are members.

Active since 2002, and affiliated to PAGES (Past Global Changes) and IACS (International Association of Cryospheric Sciences), IPICS became a SCAR Expert Group in 2008. Following an external review of IPICS, the SCAR Delegates Meeting in 2016 approved the continuation of the Expert Group for 8 more years (2016-2024).

IPICS set itself a goal to define a series of priority projects, around which international efforts could coalesce, but keeping them to a small number (maximum 5). The current white papers are for Oldest ice, Last Interglacial, IPICS-40k, and IPICS-2k. There is also a white paper about technical challenges such as drilling technology:

1. The oldest ice core: A 1.5 million year record of climate and greenhouse gases from Antarctica (a time period where Earth’s climate shifted from 40,000 year to 100,000 year cycles).

2. History and Dynamics of the Last Interglacial Period from Ice Cores: A comprehensive record of environmental change during the last interglacial period

3. The IPICS 40,000 year network: A bipolar record of climate forcing and response

4. The IPICS 2k Array: A network of ice core climate and climate forcing records for the last two millennia

5. A fifth, and critical, element of IPICS is the development of advanced ice core drilling technology. A technical white paper, entitled "Ice Core Drilling Technical Challenges" addresses this.


Full information about IPICS is available on the IPICS website.