Representing more than 10,000 years of evidence of changes to our climate in 1.7 kilometres of ice core samples, the Canadian Ice Core Archive at the University of Alberta represents invaluable potential for researchers around the world to answer critical climate change questions. With a well-established reputation for research excellence in the Canadian north, researchers from the University of Alberta have spent decades getting to the bottom of what is happening at the top of the Earth, a region increasingly recognized for its valuable water, mineral, and energy resources.
Free public lecture by
Kurt M. Cuffey, University of California, Berkeley
Professor and Martin Distinguished Chair in Ocean, Earth and Climate Science
Achievements in ice core science
Uncovering Earth's ancient records
Earth's glaciers, especially the polar ice sheets, preserve ancient records of environmental change. Analyses of ice samples reveal past temperatures, snowfall rates, and other aspects of climate. The study of ice cores—samples of these glaciers—has transformed our understanding of major scientific issues including global warming and climate change.
It is now possible to learn the globally-averaged temperature of the ocean 20,000 years ago by analyzing a few samples from an Antarctic ice core. This ability emerges from our understanding of physics and chemistry as well as comprehensive knowledge of our planet's physical geography. In modern society, this research is more important than ever.
Kurt M. Cuffey is a professor in the Departments of Geography and Earth and Planetary Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His geophysical investigations encompass a broad range of topics related to Earth's glaciers, mountains, and climate. Cuffey earned his PhD at the University of Washington in 1999 and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.