Coordinated effort in progress to decipher cenozoic ice sheet evolution
The Antarctic cryosphere has had a major effect on Cenozoic global climates, sea levels, oceanography, and Southern Hemisphere biota. Yet the climatic history of Antarctica and its contribution to global climates remain mostly unknown. Our understanding of Antarctic ice sheet history comes largely from sampling the ocean basins around Antarctica because few Cenozoic rocks are exposed onshore. Extensive seismic data and seafloor cores have been collected from the Antarctic continental margin during the past 4 decades, as well as limited drill cores through, for example, the Deep Sea Drilling Program (DSDP) and the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). These data are the foundation for a new coordinated effort to core and drill the margin to derive the Cenozoic history of Antarctic ice sheet fluctuation.