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13 July, 2004

Polar News: Lake Vostok Map, New Climate Model, and More!

New Map Reveals Hidden Features of Ice-buried Antarctic Lake: Measurement shows that two distinct ecosystems may exist http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/newsroom/pr.cfm?ni=10000000000113 excerpt from NSF press release:

Scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) at Columbia University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York State have developed the first-ever map of water depth in Lake Vostok, which lies between 3,700 and 4,300 meters (more than 2 miles) below the continental Antarctic ice sheet. The new comprehensive measurements of the lake-roughly the size of North America's Lake Ontario-indicate it is divided into two distinct basins that may have different water chemistry and other characteristics. The findings have important implications for the diversity of microbial life in Lake Vostok and provide a strategy for how scientists study the lake's different ecosystems should international scientific consensus approve exploration of the pristine and ancient environment.

The team published the new maps in the June 19 edition of Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

For more information see:

An archived Webcast in which NSF-supported researchers and other scientists explain the scientific value and research challenges of exploring Lake Vostok: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/02/vostok_webcast_images.htm An NSF news release on an international agreement on sharing ice cores from Lake Vostok: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/02/pr0247.htm An NSF news release that describes a paper in the journal Nature on ways to explore Lake Vostok with contaminating its waters: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/02/pr0219.htm

An NSF news release about a paper in the journal Nature describing how microbes might thrive in Lake Vostok: http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/press/01/pr0194.htm Principal Investigator: Michael Studinger, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (845) 365-8598 mstuding@ldeo.columbia.edu

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New Version of Premier Global Climate Model Released http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/newsroom/pr.cfm?ni=10000000000106 Excerpt from NSF press release:

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo., is unveiling a powerful new version of a supercomputer-based system to model Earth's climate and to project global temperature rise in coming decades. Scientists will contribute results to the next assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an international research body that advises policymakers on the likely impacts of climate change. The system, known as the Community Climate System Model, version 3 (CCSM3), indicates in a preliminary finding that global temperatures may rise more than the previous version had projected if societies continue to emit large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

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Arctic Research of the United States

Volume 17, Fall/Winter 2003 http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2004/nsf0437/start.htm

Online Version Available

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Inaugural Voyage of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Now Under Way http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/newsroom/pr.cfm?ni=10000000000111 Excerpt from NSF Press Release:

Scientists affiliated with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), an international scientific research program designed to contribute fundamental knowledge to the topics of climate change, geologic hazards, energy resources, and Earth's environment, departed Astoria, Ore., June 28, for the first leg of six planned expeditions. ***************************************


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