Deciphering the Arctic Ocean climate puzzle

11/02/04

In August and September of this year, three powerful icebreakers transited to the North Pole in search of a climate record stored in sediments below the Arctic Ocean floor. During the spectacular Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX), conducted by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), 340 meters of sediment core were retrieved from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean a true "first". For the first time, with these sediments in hand, earth scientists can move away from pure speculation about the climatic evolution of the Arctic over the past ~55 million years. Following a 10-day workshop of the ACEX Science Party - 33 scientists from 11 countries - a news conference will be held:

Tuesday, November 16, 2004, 12:30 p.m.
at the IODP Core Repository
at the University of Bremen
Konsul-Smidt-Str. 30
Bremen, Germany

Early data analysis indicates that the upper 160 meters of sediment retrieved represent a continuous record of the past ~15 million years. The cores suggest that ice-covered conditions extend that far back in time. Details of the ice cover, timing, and dominance over this time period will be released to the media in Bremen.

Notes to editors and producers:

Register to Attend

Interviews with scientists from many countries (U.S., Sweden, The Netherlands, U.K., Germany) will be possible. Because arrangements will be made for the media with specific scientists, we especially ask TV teams to register prior to arrival. Digital video footage of the Arctic Coring Expedition will be available.

Contact:
Albert Gerdes, press attendant
DFG Research Center Ocean Margins at the University of Bremen
Email: agerdes@marum.de Tel. 49-421-218-7761 (office) 49-172-437-7986 (mobile)

We also will present the Bremen repository and its labs where ~70 kilometres of sediment cores, mainly from the Atlantic Ocean, are stored. Each sediment core contains an exciting story about the earth's climatic and environmental development.

More information concerning the Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) and the news conference, including directions and a map, can be found online at www.iodp.org (see Highlights).

IODP

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international marine research drilling program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth by monitoring and sampling sub seafloor environments. Through multiple platforms, pre-eminent scientists explore IODP's principal themes: the deep biosphere, environmental change, and solid earth cycles. Information: www.iodp.org

Source: Eurekalert & others

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