DEEPICE - Research and training network on understanding Deep icE corE Proxies to Infer past antarctiC climatE dynamics
Figure 1: Key paleoclimatic records over the past 1.5 Myr. (a) Antarctic climate and (b) atmospheric CO2 concentration measured in the EPICA Dome C (EDC) ice core; (c) Marine benthic foraminifera δ18O indicative of ice-sheet volume changes; (d) 65°N summer insolation.
EU H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020 European Training Network DEEPICE project (GA n° 955750) January 2021 - December 2024
Exciting challenges lie ahead for the European ice-core community.
A new continuous deep ice core will be soon drilled down to the bedrock in East Antarctica and will recover potentially 1.5 million of years (Ma).
This new deep ice core will enable the paleoclimate community to address major scientific questions on the role of ice-sheet size and greenhouse gas concentrations on the dynamics of past climate changes.
In particular a key challenge is to understand why the periodicity of glacial to interglacial cycles changed from 41 to 100 thousand of years during the so-called Mid-Pleistocene Transition, between 0.8 and 1.2 Ma, while at the same time the orbital forcing given by astronomical parameters keeps the same periodicity (See Fig. 1).
In addition to the logistical challenges associated with the drilling of a ~3 km-long ice core in extreme climatic conditions, large technological and scientific challenges need to be tackled in order to exploit this unique archive in the field and back in the laboratory.
The new climatic records between 0.8 and 1.5 Ma will be located at the bottom of the ice core and hence, the ice will be extremely thinned (1 m of ice covering 10 000 years). An optimal analysis of this precious ice for getting the best scientific outputs require the development of new techniques to analyse precisely very small quantities of ice. In addition, the results related to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration changes and climate change will have to be confronted to climate model simulations in order to progress on the physical processes.
The DEEPICE network (2021-2025) capitalizes on this unique European scientific endeavour, providing an educational and training program to 15 PhD students. Such a subject is closely related to the major societal questions on climate change and its impact in the polar vulnerable regions.
The goal of DEEPICE is, hence, to build a training program benefiting from the momentum created by the Beyond EPICA Oldest Ice drilling project and its societal impact, by complementing it with a program of basic and applied science questions in preparation of the Oldest Ice analysis that will start in 2024.
Moreover, DEEPICE will offer unique links with many non-academic partners that will provide the students with the extended skill-set now required for academic and non-academic careers.
The study of climate change is a complex scientific subject as well as a long-term challenge for society. Hence, DEEPICE will provide a full educational program including a robust scientific understanding of climate processes and technical skills (statistics, specific instrumentation, climate modeling), transferable skills, and a unique experience in the synthesis and communication of updated data on climate change.
A network of international researchers launched a European collaboration on October 14th 2021. This collaboration will train a new generation of scientists to understand how past climate changes impacted Antarctica
The new European innovative research and training network “DEEPICE” aims to equip the next generation of scientists with a solid background in ice core-related climate science, with a particular focus on Antarctica. This project will also tackle major technological and scientific challenges in order to optimally exploit the Beyond EPICA – Oldest Ice Core that will be extracted by a large European team in Antarctica in the coming years, to recover up to 1. 5 million years. Ultimately, these initiatives will answer key questions about large climate shifts that Earth faced in the past, and their impacts on the Antarctic ice sheet.
Climate changes in Antarctica may have important consequences for our society, as these may impact future global sea level due to the large volume of fresh water stored in the ice sheet. Hence, on the eve of the next Conference of the Parties (COP26), understanding climate changes and the vulnerability of the Antarctic ice sheet is a priority issue more than it ever has been before. As younger generations will inherit a planet that will look much different to today, they need to receive appropriate information to help them take actions in confronting one of the largest environmental crisis humanity is facing. Not only will DEEPICE prepare a network of young climate scientists, but it will also give them the much-needed skills to efficiently communicate the issue of climate change with the general public.
Through the PhD projects of 15 fellows, the new program will prepare the tools for optimal use of the very old ice core, developing cutting-edge instrumental techniques, state-of-the-art statistical tools for signal reconstruction and coupled climate models. These outputs will directly contribute to better understanding past processes in the climate system and, thus, improving prognoses for the future. This European network will also offer unique links with many non-academic partners that will provide these young scientists with the extended skill-set now required for pursuing academic and non-academic careers.
Read more about DEEPICE objectives on the Objectives page.
Connection to PAGES
Each of the 15 PhD students will write a two-page letter about their work in a special issue of the Past Global Changes Magazine dedicated to DEEPICE results planned for publication in 2024.
For this realisation, the PAGES International Project Office (IPO) will also host four of those students for a secondment and supervise them for the editing of the special issue.
The IPO will also be involved in a training school dedicated to Science and Climate Change Communication, Education, and Engagement.
Many people in DEEPICE are PAGES members or have participated in PAGES events and are, therefore, well acquainted with its interests and standards.
The involvement of PAGES in DEEPICE also greatly contributes to reinforcing the strong network of experienced and young scientists.
See the list of key scientists and stakeholders involved in DEEPICE on the People page.
Go to the official website: http://deepice.cnrs.fr/
Email the DEEPICE coordinators Amaelle Landais and Emilie Capron. Details are on the People page.
Follow DEEPICE on Twitter / @deepice_project
Join the DEEPICE mailing list to receive the biannual newsletter here.
Beyond EPICA Oldest Ice project video: The first teaser of the Beyond EPICA project is now online on the project's YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/ls_inIwtAZI. It can be also downloaded (in high resolution) here: https://we.tl/t-UYLkNU25iy
Download the DEEPICE fact sheet.