Drill Baby, Drill!

Ice cores, that is. The NEEM drill retrieved its first length of core on Monday, an inaugural run celebrated by the entire camp out on the Greenland ice sheet. Years in the making, the moment was a sweet one for the international team led by Dorthe Dahl-Jensen from University of Copenhagen: “A long beautiful ice core came out, and the faces of the drillers revealed that the run went really well,” the NEEM field blog reports. The NEEM team aims to harvest ice until it reaches the dirt (well, mud) some 2.5 km below the surface. The cores will be used to reconstruct climate history back in the Eemian period, the last interglacial period that ended some 115,000 years ago. Studying this period is important to scientists because the information can help us understand climate dynamics in a period of warming—similar to that which experts predict Earth is entering now. The drill will be busy all summer out at NEEM, and you can follow its progress via the blog. In addition, a PolarTREC participant, Cheri Hamilton, will spend the next few days at camp. To read Cheri’s journal entries about her adventures, visit PolarTREC here.

NEEM's iconic black dome. Inside the three-story structure: kitchen, bathroom, dining area, lounge, some sleeping quarters, and, at the top, the field master’s roost, wherein most communications work is conducted. Photo: NEEM ice core drilling project, www.neem.ku.dk.