DEEPICE

H2020 Innovative Training Network DEEPICE (2021-2025): Research and training network on understanding Deep icE corE Proxies to Infer past antarctiC climatE dynamics

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).

deepice fig

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.

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.

Objectives

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.

People

See the list of key scientists involved in DEEPICE on the People page.

Further information

Email the DEEPICE coordinators Amaelle Landais and Emilie Capron. Details are on the People page.

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/e07KKftOg6w. It can be also downloaded (in high resolution) here: https://we.tl/t-UYLkNU25iy