IPICS First Open Science conference


Presqu’île de Giens, France, 1-5 October 2012

IPICS (International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences) is the key planning group for international ice core scientists. Established in 2005, it now includes scientists from 22 nations and aims at defining the scientific priorities of the ice core community for the coming decade. IPICS lies under the common umbrella of IGBP/PAGES, SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) and IACS (International Association of Cryospheric Sciences).

IPIC’s First Open Science conference, organized by the European branch of IPICS (EuroPICS), took place in a beautiful setting on the French Côte d’Azur. 230 scientists gathered from 23 nations, with a good mix of both junior and senior scientists present. While most of the participants work on ice cores, a significant number were scientists working on marine and continental records as well as on climate modeling. The sponsorship received from several institutions, agencies and projects, enabled us to invite ten keynote speakers as well as six scientists from emerging countries.


Figure 1: Inside the drilling trench at NEEM, Greenland. The North Greenland Eemian (NEEM) ice drilling is an international project managed by the Centre for Ice and Climate, Denmark, involving 14 nations. In Summer 2010, it recovered ice from the Eemian dating back from 130 ka BP, helping to describe the warming and ice sheet shrinking at a time of unusually high Arctic summer insolation (NEEM community members 2013). Photo: Jérôme Chappellaz.

The program followed IPIC’s main scientific objectives as outlined in four white papers (www.pages-igbp.org/ipics). Notably, it covered questions of climate variability at different time scales (from the last 2000 to 1 M years), biogeochemical cycles, dating, and ice dynamics. New challenges, such as studying the bacterial content of ice cores, and new methodologies were also the focal point of specific sessions. Over the five days of the conference, all attendees gathered for the plenary sessions combined with long poster sessions. These sessions offered valuable and efficient networking opportunities. The full program can be found at: www.ipics2012.org

Among the various results presented at this occasion, significant information was provided on two big recent projects of the ice core community: the WAIS Divide deep drilling in West Antarctica, and the NEEM deep drilling in North-West Greenland. Ice core projects from outside polar regions were also well represented, with results obtained from the Andes, the Alps and the Himalayas.

The beautiful and peaceful setting of the conference center enabled strong and efficient networking; no doubt, in the future we will see that many new ice core drilling projects had their roots at IPICS’ 1st OSC. Proving that ice core scientific outputs remain of prime importance to high-impact journals, the Chief Editor of Nature as well as an editor of Nature Geoscience attended the full five days of the event.

IPICS’ next OSC will take place in 2016. An open call for bids to organize it will be launched in 2013.

Category: Workshop Reports | PAGES Magazine articles

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