The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) is seeking expressions of interest from researchers in the climate, Antarctic and related science communities to work with the team on the Million Year Ice Core (MYIC) Project.

AAD palaeoclimatologist Dr Joel Pedro said the MYIC team needs a diverse and inclusive community of researchers to undertake this interesting work.

“Scientists from all career stages, including Masters and PhD students, are invited to participate in a range of Working Groups covering site selection, field work, ice core analysis, science linkages and outreach,” Dr Pedro said.

Currently the oldest continuous Antarctic ice core is an 800,000 year record. The MYIC Project aims to recover a continuous ice core from Antarctica reaching at least 1.2 million years into the past.

This record will help solve a long-standing mystery about the timing of past ice ages – why, almost one million years ago, the cycle of ice ages shifted from a regular 41,000 year cycle to an ice age every 100,000 years.

“The main objective of the MYIC project is to extend the ice core record and test competing hypotheses on what caused this change,” Dr Pedro said.

“The detailed greenhouse gas and climate records from the core will also place current human influences on the carbon cycle and climate system into a much longer term context.”

“Drilling is expected to begin next year at the earliest, and continue over multiple seasons with the aim of reaching the oldest ice in 2025/26.”

“The duration of the project means that there is time to develop novel ideas, find ways to collaborate on the science, and plan innovative outreach,” he said.

A webinar on 20 July at 11am (Hobart time) will provide background information about how to become involved in Working Groups, and includes a Q&A session with the MYIC science team.

How to lodge an Expression of Interest PDF to join a working group by 30 July 2021.