The Australian Antarctic Division has made the difficult decision not to proceed with ice core drilling for the Million Year Ice Core project for the 2023–24 season. COVID-19 impacts mean the work is not achievable within the narrow weather window. The multi-year project to extract an ice core more than a million years old is planned to resume next summer.

“The remoteness and the conditions of Antarctica or the ‘A Factor’ as we call it, require us to constantly adjust our planning,” head of the Australian Antarctic Division, Emma Campbell said:

“Unfortunately on this occasion the combination of challenges mean that, for the safety of our people, we need to pause drilling until next year. 

“The safety of our people will always come first.

“Thank you to our people who have worked so hard to prepare this project, and then reconfigure and replan in the face of adversity. 

“We are looking forward to resuming the project in full next year.”