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An international (Canada, England, Spain, United States) team of researchers, including faculty and students from Hamilton and several other institutions, will begin a month-long expedition to Antarctica on February 11. The purpose of this expedition is to determine if events like the recent ice shelf breakups have occurred in the past 10,000 years or if these are unprecedented events. The Antarctic Peninsula is undergoing greater warming than almost anywhere on Earth, perhaps associated with human-induced greenhouse effects. Our proposed work contributes to understanding of these changes where they are occurring first and with greatest magnitude and impact upon the environment.
Read about the team's progress through their regularly updated project log.
The team will depart from Punta Arenas, Chile, and will spend the following four weeks on board the RV L.M. Gould. From the deck of this vessel, the team will collect water samples, core samples and gather video footage from the ocean floor for later analysis. Ultimately they will map and sample the sea floor.
Last year the research team was unable to access this area due to heavy ice conditions. This year the ice seems to be clearing, so the team will probably be able to enter the study area.
Faculty and students from Hamilton have been participating in research cruises in Antarctica for over a decade. They have primarily studied the Antarctic Peninsula region, but have also researched the East Antarctic Margin.
This project is funded through grants from the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs.