Lay summary

The goals of the international North Greenland Eemian (NEEM) ice core drilling project are to obtain a reliable high-resolution northern hemisphere ice core record over the last glacial cycle and to retrieve for the first time climatic information from the last interglacial period about 130,000 years ago, the Eemian. Moreover ice from the preceding glacial epoch should be retrieved if possible. This project has been declared top priority by the International Partnerships in Ice Core Science (IPICS), and will be the first of four international polar ice core drilling projects to be realized in the next decade.

During the 2011 and 2012 field seasons, bedrock and if possible deviational ice core drilling will be performed to access detailed information on the ice-rock interface and potential sediments, as well as to provide replicate ice from the most interesting Eemian ice core section. The division for Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern will contribute to this task with drill expertise and special dedicated drill equipment. The focus of the analytical research performed by our division on the NEEM ice core will be high-resolution Continuous Flow Analyses (CFA) of chemical aerosol parameters. After completion of the project, a full multi-parameter CFA data set will be available for the 2.5 km long NEEM ice core. These data will allow to document changes in environmental and climate conditions from chemical aerosol tracers in the ice (e.g. sea salt aerosol, mineral dust, biogenic nitrogen etc.). In addition, we contribute to the analysis of greenhouse gases on the NEEM ice core.