A network of international researchers launches a European collaboration on October 14th 2021. This collaboration will train a new generation of scientists to understand how past climate changes impacted Antarctica

The new European innovative research and training network “DEEPICE” aims to equip the next generation of scientists with a solid background in ice core-related climate science, with a particular focus on Antarctica. This project will also tackle major technological and scientific challenges in order to optimally exploit the Beyond EPICA – Oldest Ice Core that will be extracted by a large European team in Antarctica in the coming years, to recover up to 1. 5 million years. Ultimately, these initiatives will answer key questions about large climate shifts that Earth faced in the past, and their impacts on the Antarctic ice sheet.

Climate changes in Antarctica may have important consequences for our society, as these may impact future global sea level due to the large volume of fresh water stored in the ice sheet. Hence, on the eve of the next Conference of the Parties (COP26), understanding climate changes and the vulnerability of the Antarctic ice sheet is a priority issue more than it ever has been before. As younger generations will inherit a planet that will look much different to today, they need to receive appropriate information to help them take actions in confronting one of the largest environmental crisis humanity is facing. Not only will DEEPICE prepare a network of young climate scientists, but it will also give them the much-needed skills to efficiently communicate the issue of climate change with the general public.

Through the PhD projects of 15 fellows, the new program will prepare the tools for optimal use of the very old ice core, developing cutting-edge instrumental techniques, state-of-the-art statistical tools for signal reconstruction and coupled climate models. These outputs will directly contribute to better understanding past processes in the climate system and, thus, improving prognoses for the future. This European network will also offer unique links with many non-academic partners that will provide these young scientists with the extended skill-set now required for pursuing academic and non-academic careers.

 Climate change is a major challenge for society today. New generations must be given the best tools to meet this challenge.

Dr Amaëlle Landais

Research director at the Laboratory for Sciences of Climate and Environment (LSCE) and the lead coordinator of the DEEPICE network, CNRS

The study of past climate is key to understanding the way our climate system works and how it might change in the future.

Dr Emilie Capron

Research scientist at the Institute of Environmental Geosciences (IGE) and the co-coordinator of DEEPICE, CNRS

The quest for Oldest Ice is one of the most intriguing and enigmatic challenges in the field of climate sciences. To tackle it, we need the best young talented scientists.

Prof. Carlo Barbante

Leader of the BE-OI project, University of Venice

A new Antarctic deep ice core will be drilled at the Little Dome C site in the coming years and optimal tools will be developed in the quest to unlock the climate and environmental secrets of the oldest ice (Credits: BAS).