CReSIS Greenland Ice Sheet Studies

What Are They Doing?

Much of our knowledge of past climate comes from ice cores drilled from the Greenland ice sheet. These records stretch back more than 100,000 years, but existing ice cores do not include clear records from the Eemian stage, the second-to-latest interglacial period, which occurred about 130,000 years ago. During this period, evidence indicates that temperatures were about 3-5 ˚C warmer than present, so more information would help us understand and predict how our climate is likely to evolve in the warming future.

Under the North Greenland Eemian (NEEM) ice drilling project, an international team of researchers worked to obtain complete and undisturbed layers of ice from the Eemian by drilling a new core in northwest Greenland. Choosing the right spot to drill was critically important to the project’s success. NEEM scientists collaborated with researchers from the Center for the Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) at the University of Kansas. The CReSIS team provided Radar Echo Sounding profiles over the ice sheet, which provided information on ice layer thickness and variability over time and space and helped NEEM researchers select the drill site.

The NEEM team began deep drilling at the site in 2009, and CReSIS scientists were able to compare the detailed information collected from the core with their radar data in order to better understand variations in snow accumulation and other environmental parameters. This helped improve the accuracy of the Radar Echo Sounding profiles.

Where Are They?

The NEEM drill site was on top of the Greenland ice sheet, where the ice is 2.5 km thick. The NEEM team spent much of the 2008 research season constructing a camp at the site. The majority of the ice core drilling took place during the summers of 2009-2011, during which the camp accommodated about 30 researchers and technicians for 3-4 months.

Expedition Map

Journals

It is back to work for me at the University of Kansas! Today 26 students and five chaperones from Eaton Academy Charter School in Eastpointe, Michigan visited us at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets.I gave them a brief presentation about our center and the research we do. It's 8:00 AM and the students are sleepy I also showed them a few of our Ice, Ice, Baby activities. Since I am just coming off the ice myself, I had many cold weather experiences to share with them.Glacier goo is a popular activity in Ice, Ice, Baby The Detroit-area students have devoted the past year to...
It's 3:30 PM and we all are waiting for the plane to land. The whole camp is out here to help load, say goodbye and greet the new team members. Seventeen new people arrived in camp and eleven departed. Our camp did have 24 members. How many does Sarah have to cook for now? (Answer at the bottom!) New NEEM team members arrive and others depart There are many sad goodbyes for the friendships made at NEEM. "Will you be back next year?" I hear them asking. I imagine I will never see this place again. When watching the plane land, we all witnessed something amazing. The plane "...
Lars Berg Larsen, the Field operation Manager of NEEM took us on a field trip on our last day in Greenland. He said we were going to the "ice edge". At first, we saw so many giant hills of rocks and a lot of boulders.Every place you looked was brown, all different shades of brown   Evidence of glacial rocks were everywhere you looked. This was one big boulder left by the glacier Every once in a while there was a small patch of purple flowers peaking out. He said the whole area will be purple in a week or so.Soon the fields will be covered with these flowers We drove about...
Why is it odd that camp members kept seeing a penguin in their camp? It's on the ice, isn't it? Oh, penguins don't live in the north! They live in Antarctica! Penguin hangs out with drilling buddies Not much help with clearing the skiway No driving around for fun in camp,sorry! Waiting to be pulled! Needs to hurry in! Lou and Sarah like the penguin! JP had to constantly answer a lot of questions Hope the plane heads south... Nice guard members staff the camp flights
After two nights of sleeping in the very cold girls’ tent, JP and Sarah suggested I move to a smaller, warmer tent. This tent had a portable radiator heater in it for Princess Victoria when she spent the night a few days ago. I was feeling a little wimpy about this until I entered the tent. What a difference! Who cares about being a wimp? The temperature had to be 20 degrees warmer! Smaller and slightly heated! One noticeable difference was that my water bottle was not an ice block when I woke up. So it was above freezing in this new tent! I still slept in most of...

Project Information

Dates:
22 May 2009 to 8 June 2009
Location: NEEM Camp, Greenland
Project Funded Title: Validation and Calibration of High Resolution CReSIS Radar Data

Meet the Team

Cheri Hamilton's picture
Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS)
Lawrence, KS
United States

Cheri Hamilton is currently the K-12 Education Coordinator for the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS). Funded by the National Science Foundation, this science and technology center is located in Lawrence, Kansas at Kansas University, and develops new technologies and computer models to measure and predict the response of sea level change to the mass balance of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. As part of her outreach, Ms. Hamilton developed a hands-on activity program called “Ice, Ice, Baby” which is taught in K-8 classrooms in the Topeka and Kansas City public schools. She presents at teacher workshops and conferences as well. Ms. Hamilton has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Kansas University. Since teaching elementary school, Ms. Hamilton has taught in many informal science programs including EarthWorks, Kansas Starbase, and the Challenger Learning Center.

Dorthe Dahl-Jensen's picture
University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Denmark

Coming Soon.