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Norwegian-American Scientific Traverse of East Antarctica


Project Summary

One of the most pressing environmental issues of our time is the need to understand the mechanisms of current global climate change and the associated impacts on global economic and political systems. In order to predict the future with confidence, we need a clear understanding of past and present changes in the Polar Regions and the role these changes play in the global climate system.

A significant portion of the fresh water on Earth exists as snow and ice in the Antarctic ice sheet. A massive, largely unexplored region, the East Antarctic ice sheet looms large in the global climate system, yet relatively little is known about its climate variability or the contribution it makes to sea level changes.

The project includes international exchange of graduate students and international education of undergraduate students. It involves extensive outreach to the general public both in Scandinavia and North America through the press, television, science museums, children’s literature, and web sites. Active knowledge sharing and collaboration between pioneers in Antarctic glaciology from Norway and the US, with the international group of scientists and students involved in this project, provide a unique opportunity to explore the changes that half a century have made in climate proxies from East Antarctica, scientific tools, and the culture and people of science. 

This project is a part of the Trans-Antarctic Scientific Traverse Expeditions – Ice Divide of East Antarctica (TASTE-IDEA), and the International Partners in Ice Coring Sciences (IPICS), both highly international endeavors that have ISCU-WMO endorsement for the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

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