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CReSIS Staffer Completing Greenland Mission

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets A University of Kansas staff member is in Greenland sharing information as part of a polar ice sheet field study.

Cheri Hamilton, the K-12 education coordinator for the National Science Foundation-funded Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) headquartered at the University of Kansas, is part of an international team at the North Greenland Eemian (NEEM) ice-drilling project. 

International scientists are working at NEEM to drill and retrieve an ice core from the Eemian era, the interglacial era that took place more than 115,000 years ago, to learn more about global warming.

CReSIS develops new technology – including radars, vehicle transports and computer models – to measure polar ice and predict changes in sea level.  Investigators from the center routinely perform radar and seismic testing of Greenland’s glaciers to learn more about their thickness, movement, rate of melting and more.  KU researchers collected and provided data used to select the NEEM drill site, where the ice is more than three kilometers thick.  The site is believed to be the most promising spot in Greenland to offer researchers an undisturbed ice core from the Eemian era.

During the Eemian, average temperatures were about five degrees warmer and sea levels were about five meters higher than they are today. Studying ice samples from the era could show researchers what the future may look like if global temperatures continue to rise.

Currently, Hamilton is spending three weeks in Greenland and is expected to return June 9.  Hamilton is providing an online journal for educators and the public to follow as part of the endeavor on PolarTREC .

 

Learn more about CReSIS

 



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