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Cleaning and processing the ice cores
for transport.The excavated clean room
had a constant temperature
of well below –20?C.
image courtesy Nancy Bertler

NZ ITASE – Climate Variability Along the Victoria Land Coast

To understand and predict the local response to anthropogenically induced global warming seen in these “global” ice cores, the focus of ice core research in Antarctica is moving to the acquisition of high-resolution regional paleoclimatic archives of annual-scale that overlap with and extend the instrumental records of the last 40 years back several thousand years. This has been a key motivation behind the US-led International Transantarctic Scientific Expedition (ITASE) of which New Zealand is now a member.The project’s objective is to recover a series of ice cores from glaciers along a 14-degree latitudinal transect of the climatically sensitive Victoria Land coastline and thereby directly contribute a critical dataset to ITASE.

Contact: Dr Nancy Bertler, Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington.
ITASE (International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition)
RICE (Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution project)


Automatic Weather Station
established at Cape Hallett
in the 2003/04 season

Gus McAllister/Rachel Brown
Antarctica New Zealand:K002:03/04

Soil Biodiversity and Response to Climate Change: a Regional Comparison of Cape Hallett and Taylor Valley

An automated meteorological station (AWS) was established at Cape Hallett in December 2003 to collect data for the following parameters: barometric pressure, air and soil temperatures, relative humidity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), incoming and outgoing shortwave solar radiation, snow depth, and wind speed and direction.  This AWS will complement existing stations in the McMurdo Dry Valleys as well as throughout the region and continent. This AWS has now been handed over to the Antarctic Meteorological Research Centre. See Cape Hallett Data Products for more information.

Samples were collected from a one meter snow pit and a six meter firn core in the accumulation zone of the Towles Glacier and analyzed for major ions (Cl-, SO42-, NO3-, Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+) and oxygen and deuterium stable isotopes.  Snow chemistry data will be used to reconstruct the short-term history of climate variation for temperature, snow accumulation rates as a proxy for precipitation, and Cl- and NO3- to estimate the intensity of marine legacies on salt and N deposition.

LTER Cape Hallett snowpit analysis
LTER Cape Hallett AWS
LTER (Long Term Ecological Research)

Map showing AWS sites
in the Ross Sea region

Current Automatic Weather Stations (AWS)

There are a number of AWS in the Ross Sea region administered by various programmes. The map shows the AWS that are located along the Victoria Land coast which would be applicable to LGP studies.

See Data Products for the meteorological data available from these AWS.