Turning the vertical into time: How glaciology became a climate science

Achermann, Dania (27 December 2019). Turning the vertical into time: How glaciology became a climate science (Unpublished). In: Centre for Earth and Space Research (CITEUC). University of Coimbra (Portugal). 27.12.2019.

Today’s knowledge about global climate change heavily depends on the results of ice core research. However, until the mid-twentieth century, the study of glacial ice and the study of climate had little in common. How has ice core science become a new scientific discipline? And what were the consequences for both glaciology and climate research? In the 1950s, Danish physicist Willi Dansgaard developed a method to identify the temperature of the atmosphere in precipitation. Hence, he concluded, it would also be possible to reconstruct the temperature of the past by studying old precipitation: glacial ice. Glaciological expeditions subsequently set out to find the oldest ice. By drilling deep into Polar glaciers and using their depth as an archive of Earth’s deep history, they began to reconstruct past climates layer by layer back in time. The results they presented fundamentally changed our understanding of climate. Due to the inaccessibility of glaciers and the high expenses of drilling expeditions, ice coring influenced the glaciological practice as well as the international cooperation. This presentation will analyse the rise of ice core paleoclimatology in the 20th century and investigate the consequences for the glaciological research practice as well as for our understanding of climate.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Economic, Social and Environmental History

UniBE Contributor:

Achermann, Dania

Subjects:

500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology
900 History
900 History > 940 History of Europe
900 History > 970 History of North America

Language:

English

Submitter:

Dr. Dania Achermann

Date Deposited:

21 Feb 2020 16:40

Last Modified:

26 Feb 2020 11:22

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/139452

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