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  • NIRB File No:


  • Application No.:


  • Project Type:

    Scientific Research

  • Project Name:

    Arctic climate variations during the late glacial

Completed Screening

  • Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences / Hungary
  • Gábor Újvári
  • Konkoly Thege Miklós út 15-17.
  • Budapest, Pest 1121 Hungary
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Project title: Arctic climate and atmospheric dust variations during the late glacial period from remnants of the Laurentide Ice SheetLead researcher: Dr. Gábor Újvári PhD, senior researcherAffiliation: Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth SciencesThe global climate was unstable and turbulent during the last glacial period on Earth, and large and fast temperature variations (in the order of 5–16 °C) occurred in the North Atlantic region. The causes of the events are debated, but they were likely connected to sudden changes in the water circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean that took place when icy meltwater from the ice sheets entered it. As the present climate warms up, glacier meltwater entering the Atlantic Ocean could once again trigger abrupt climate changes. It is therefore of great importance to understand exactly how past rapid climate changes events occurred, so as to better predict the future consequences of current global warming. One way to do this is to look for natural archives that contain a record of these events. Barnes Ice Cap (BIC) on Baffin Island is made in part of ice left behind the Laurentide Ice Sheet melted over 12,000 years ago. These ancient ice layers contain soil dust particles that were transported by winds from distant regions during the ice age. This is the only place we know of where it is possible to recover such ancient ice without drilling deep boreholes. Analyzing the dust particles trapped in ancient ice from BIC can provide clues about how the global climate adjusted during the rapid climate change events of the last ice age.This project therefore aims to recover ancient ice from BIC to help reconstruct the history of past changes in global temperatures, winds, and continental dryness, during the last ice age. We plan to collect ice samples from BIC surface across part of its northwest margin, where the oldest layers are exposed. This will be done by a 5-person team from Canada, Hungary, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland during a 14-day period between 17-31 August 2023. The only motorized equipment we will use is a portable generator and ice auger, and there are no plans to install long-term equipment at the study site. We will also bring a small battery-operated drone (quadcopter) to film our work, which will be later show in outreach presentations to communities. At the end of the field work, the field party and all equipment will be evacuated. Hence our project should have a very low impact, if any, on the local environment. The ice samples will be sent to several laboratories in Canada and Europe for scientific analyses. The analyses will likely take 1-2 years to complete and the final data will be made available to the public in databases (e.g. Pangaea repository) and scientific publications. In the meantime, we will regularly communicate our progress and findings to Nunavut communities via the Nunavut Research Institute.

Assessment Phase / Activity
  • Application screening completed 2023-07-13
  • NOI Issued 2023-07-13
  • SDR Issued 2023-07-13
  • Board voting 2023-07-13
  • Extention to Screening Deadline requested 2023-06-13
  • Technical advisor assigned 2023-06-01
  • Received Comment submissions from Parties: Notice re comments received 2023-05-24
  • Commenting period 2023-05-24
  • Application screening started 2023-04-28
  • North Baffin
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