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IPICS 40k Array - Science Plan
Authors: IPICS
Year: 2008
Abstract: The international ice core community has, under the auspices of International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS), defined four priority projects for the next decade or more. One of these is the study of a sequence of new and existing ice cores from both polar regions that document the climate evolution over the Holocene, the last glacial/interglacial transition and the latter part of marine isotope stage 3, where rapid climate changes dominate the climate history of the northern hemisphere.

These cores will provide essential information on the regional differences in ocean/atmosphere dynamics and the associated environmental changes (such as sea ice coverage, biological productivity etc.) over this time period in unprecedented resolution. Most of these cores are expected to come from smaller ice domes or coastal sites in the Arctic and Antarctic, and therefore will also provide crucial information on the extent and thickness of ice caps under various past climate conditions. Using state-of-the-art analytical tools and chronological control, the synthesis of these records using a master chronology will provide exquisite documentation of changes in the climate system over our current warm period, during the shift from glacial to interglacial conditions and during rapid climate changes of the last ice age.

To this end all existing records that fulfill the criteria of this project will be assembled and further missing drill sites will be identified. The gaps in the 40k array will be filled by new intermediate size drilling activities that can be performed by single nation or multinational teams. However, the objectives of this project can only be achieved by a high level of integration of the individual deep ice core drilling projects on an international level and by a synthesis of records based on standardized methods. A specific 40k array working group will be convened by IPICS to perform these tasks. All nations involved in the retrieval and analysis of one of the participating cores, as well as experts on climate modeling and on other climate archives covering this period, will be represented on that team.
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