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British Antarctic Survey

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Introducing the Cambridge team

Over the coming weeks we will introduce members of each team working on the iGlass consortium project. Today we will introduce the team from the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Cambridge.

Professor Eric Wolff

ImageEric Wolff is a Royal Society Research Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University. After graduating as a chemist, he has studied ice cores from the Antarctic and Greenland for the past 30 years, using them to understand changing climate, as well as changing levels of pollution in remote areas. He also carries out research into the chemistry of the lower parts of the Antarctic atmosphere.

Until June 2013, he had worked at the British Antarctic Survey, leading their programme: “Chemistry and Past Climate”.  He chaired the science committee of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA), which produced 800,000 year records of climate from the Dome C (Antarctica) ice core and co-chairs the international initiative (IPICS) to coordinate future ice core research.  He has a strong interest in understanding the similarities, differences and consequences of the interglacials of the last 800,000 years.

Dr Rob Mulvaney

ImageRobert Mulvaney is the Science Leader of the Chemistry and Past Climate programme at the British Antarctic Survey.  He is an analytical chemist and palaeoclimatologist researching climate and environment of the past using chemistry and water isotope data from the analysis of ice cores.  Particularly interests include: the transition from the Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene; millennial-scale climate change; location of chemical species in ice and diagenesis during burial; permanent gas isotopes trapped in ice as indicators of ice sheet response to climate; trace gases in ice and firn as evidence of anthropogenic changes to the atmosphere.

He is responsible for the UK ice core drilling operations in Antarctica with 18 field seasons experience.  He has worked further five seasons in the Arctic with multinational ice drilling projects, including the recent NEEM Deep Ice Core Drilling Project in Greenland.  Major successes include leading the ice core drilling projects to bedrock on Berkner Island (948m), James Ross Island (364m) and Fletcher Promontory (654m) in Antarctica. In Cambridge he leads a small team working in a modern analytical laboratory alongside a -25°C cold-room measuring the chemistry of ice cores.

Dr Katy Pol

ImageKaty Pol is a palaeoclimatologist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Graduated in Mathematics and Physics, she completed her PhD at the Laboratoire des Sciences et du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE) in France in 2011, exploring the millennial to sub-millennial scale climate variability occurring during interglacial periods as recorded in the EPICA Dome C ice core. As part of her post-doc position at BAS, she is involved in the European Past4Future and UK iGLASS projects, combining her knowledge in interglacial climates and ice cores to investigate climatic changes (in sea ice extent, air temperatures or sea surface temperatures for instance) affecting polar regions during warm climatic periods.

Within the iGLASS project, she is in particular in charge of compiling data from different types of archives (e.g. marine sediments, terrestrial sediments or ice cores) to provide a clear view of what were the climatic states of polar regions during the past MIS 7, 9 and 11 interglacial periods. This aims to assess the response of polar ice-sheets to different climatic conditions, a key point when wanting to better understand the processes involved in sea level rise.

Dr Emilie Capron

Emilie Capron is a palaeoclimatologist. She joined the British Antarctic Survey in 2010 after completing a Ph.D at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (France) where she analysed the air trapped in Antarctic and Greenland ice cores (air isotopic composition and methane concentration) in order to characterise the millennial-scale climatic variations during the last glacial inception and the early glacial period.

As part of the iGlass and the European Past4Future projects, she is working on a high latitude compilation of data on air and sea surface temperature changes (derived from marine sediment and ice cores) over the Last Interglacial period (115 000-130 000 years ago). This work deals in particular with the development of a common temporal framework between marine sediment and ice core records in order to provide a robust reconstruction of the sequence of climatic events over this time interval. This work will be used both as inputs for ice sheet modelling and targets for climate modelling of the Last Interglacial. In parallel to the iGlass project, Emilie analyses the ice (cation and anion content) and the trapped air (air isotopic composition) in Antarctic ice cores in order to provide constraints on the past evolution of Antarctic firns during large climatic transitions such as a deglaciation. She uses this information to help improving ice core chronologies.

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