About the expedition

Expedition mapOn 1 January, 2010, I will head south to Wellington, New Zealand to get aboard the JOIDES Resolution, a seagoing research vessel that drills core samples from under the ocean floor in the context of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Programme (IODP). More precisely, we (more than 50 scientists and technician and ~65 crew members) will sail to the Wilkes Land margin of Antarctica where we will spend about two months (4 January – 9 March 2010) on the ship, working 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, to recover marine sediment cores.

The objective of the expedition is to collect a set of drill cores on the Antarctic continental margin to reconstruct Antarctica’s climate and ice-sheet history. This objective is not only of major scientific interest but also of great importance for society. The transition from the Greenhouse World to Icehouse World we are currently living in happened more than 30 million years ago and impacted global sea level, albedo, and oceanographic and biotic evolution, among other changes. State-of-the-art climate models combined with paleoclimatic proxy data suggest that the main triggering mechanism for inception and development of the Antarctic glaciation was the decreasing levels of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. With current rising atmospheric greenhouse gases resulting in rapidly rising global temperatures, studies of polar climates, and the Antarctic cryosphere behaviour in particular, are prominent on the research agenda.

Drilling the Antarctic Wilkes Land margin is designed to provide a long-term record of Antarctic glaciation and its intimate relationships with global climatic and oceanographic change.

Through the ocean leadership YouTube channel more videos from Dan Brinkhuis (ZCENE MovingMediaCompany BV) will be posted during the actual expedition.

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