Science AMA Series: We’re scientists on a research ship to Antarctica.
We’re pulling up cores to look at the history of the West Antarctic Ice
Sheet, and predict its future. AMA!
Hi Reddit, this is Rob McKay and Laura De Santis, co-chief scientists on
the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 374 to
Antarctica. We’re pulling up sediments from below the sea floor to look
back in time about 20 million years to see how the West Antarctic Ice
Sheet (WAIS) evolved up to the present day. With this information,
alongside our model-making colleagues, we can predict the future of
Antarctica. This is particularly important because Antarctica is the
largest source of fresh water on the planet and could contribute about
200 feet of sea level rise! It’s important to know how much the WAIS
could contribute and when. To do this, a scientific team of
sendimentologists, micropaleontologists, paleomagnetists, physical
properties specialists, and geochemists have teamed up on the
scientifici drilling ship the JOIDES Resolution for 9 weeks to drill
thousands of feet below the sea floor and millions of years back in
time. Read more about the expedition here:
Looking forward to answering your questions!