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IPICS 2k Array - Science Plan
Authors: IPICS
Year: 2009
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 global array of new and existing ice cores that document climate variability and climate forcing changes over the recent past, the last 2000 years ("2k array"). The period of 2000 years is both long enough to incorporate the "Holocene/Anthropocene transition", and short enough to be accessible with ice core records on all continents, including temperate and tropical glaciers, as well as polar ice sheets.

Ice cores obtained or studied in the context of the IPICS 2k Array will provide essential information on regional changes in key climate variables such as precipitation, temperature and sea ice cover, as well as changes in climate forcing and biogeochemical cycles. New ice cores will be obtained from previously-visited sites where only low resolution records have been obtained, or where re-visiting is necessary to bring the records up to date with the instrumental record. New cores will also be obtained from areas that have not been the focus of earlier programs, such as smaller ice domes or coastal sites in the Antarctic, and from small glaciers in temperate regions.

The overarching goal of the IPICS 2k array is to contribute ice core data at sufficient resolution and dating precision to significantly enhance quantitative climate reconstruction and climate modeling studies, aimed at improved understanding of recent climate variability and change. To meet this goal, sites that can provide several hundred to 2000 years of highly-resolved, datable ice will be identified. Ice cores will be obtained from these sites and analyzed using state-of-the-art measurements and dating techniques. Quantitative studies will be conducted to evaluate the relationships between the resulting climate proxy records and the relevant climate and climate forcing variables. Finally, the data will be compiled and made accessible to the broader climate research community.

The 2k array will be achieved largely through the efforts of small teams. However, the objectives of this project can only be achieved by a high level of integration of the individual projects on an international level and by a synthesis of records based on standardized methods. A 2k array working group under the auspices of IPICS will guide and facilitate such integration.
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