During 2007-2011, a team of ice core researchers will drill through the ice sheet in North-West Greenland to retrieve ice from the previous interglacial, the Eemian, which ended about 115,000 years ago. Ice core samples from the Eemian will contribute to the understanding of the dynamics of climate under conditions similar to those of a future warming climate.
The need for a new ice core
None of the former deep ice cores from Greenland (Camp Century, DYE-3, GRIP, GRIP2, or NGRIP) contains complete and undisturbed layers from the Eemian, because the layers have either melted or have been disturbed by ice flow close to the bedrock.
Greenland temperatures were about 3-5°C warmer higher than present during the Eemian, making the Eemian a useful analogue to the future climate, which due to global warming is projected to warm by 2-4°C per century. By understanding how the Eemian climate evolved, we can improve our ability to make projections for how our current climate will evolve in the future.