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Past Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics (PAIS)

AGU Session: Southern Ocean climate and Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics

For the 2019 meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) lead scientists of recent expeditions of the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) brought together researchers to decipher past Southern Ocean and Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics. The goal was to advance knowledge and understanding of Miocene to recent atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere interactions in the Southern Hemisphere, especially under warmer conditions than today, and to use this understanding to gauge the behavior of these interactions in the future. Contributions mainly came from IODP Expedition 361 – South African Climates, 374 – Ross Sea West Antarctic Ice Sheet History, 379 – Amundsen Sea West Antarctic Ice Sheet history, 382 – Iceberg Alley, and 383 – Dynamics of the Pacific Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Oral and poster presentations focused on studies of the ‘cold-water’ route to the Atlantic through the Drake Passage along the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the ‘warm-water’ route through the Agulhas Current, and on the interaction of these currents and associated movements of oceanographic and atmospheric fronts with the ice-mass loss history from the Antarctic continent.

Conveners were Mike Weber (University of Bonn), Gisela Winckler (Columbia University), Sid Hemming (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), and Trevor Williams (Texas A&M University)

Details about the session can be found at:

AGU Media Roundtable: What can Antarctica’s past tell us about the future?

In the associated Media Roundtable Mike Weber (University of Bonn), Gisela Winckler (Columbia University), Rob McKay (University of Wellington), and Julia Wellner (University of Houston) provided journalists with background information and answered overarching questions on IODP cruises to Antarctic waters over the past two years, undertaken on their flagship vessel, the JOIDES Resolution. These expeditions resulted in part from long-term planning within the SCAR Scientific Research Programme PAIS (Past Antarctic Ice Sheet Dynamics). The four cruises recovered kilometers of sediment and rock core that provide the first long-term continuous records in underexplored areas of Antarctica. Ongoing scientific analysis of these unique records will tell scientists about Antarctica’s past and the data will be used in models to predict the icy continent’s future. Co-chief scientists from each of the Antarctic expeditions gave an overview of their work in Antarctica and explained what results will come from these unique records and how cross-expedition studies will be conducted.

Mike Weber (University of Bonn, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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