Ice Core Paleoclimatology Group

Lead Investigators: Lonnie Thompson and Ellen Mosley-Thompson


The Ice Core Paleoclimatology Group has a distinguished history of conducting "cutting edge" science and has propelled ice coring out of the polar regions and up to ice fields covering the highest tropical and subtropical mountains.

The group's technical capability (e.g., solar-powered drill, light-weight electromechanical and thermal-alcohol drills, specially designed domes, and small, high altitude generators) for logistically challenging field work is complemented by two large cold rooms and clean room facilities, a diverse suite of analytical equipment, and a group of highly-motivated scientists and graduate students.

The group's principal objective is the acquisition of a global array of ice cores providing high resolution climatic and environmental histories that will contribute to our understanding of the complex interactions within the Earth's coupled climate system. Ice core histories from Africa, Antarctica, Bolivia, China, Greenland, Peru, Russia and the United States make it possible to study processes linking the polar regions to the lower latitudes where human activities are most intense. These ice core records contribute prominently to the Earth's paleoclimate record, the ultimate yardstick against which the significance of present and projected anthropogenic effects will be assessed.