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CACHE- Climate and Chemistry: forcings, feedbacks and phasings in the Earth System


This project is part of the BAS GSAC five year research programme. It was funded by NERC and covered a period from 2005 to 2009.

CACHE aims to improve the understanding of the interplay between Antarctic ice, climate and atmospheric chemistry and to improve models and their predictions. The project will use data from ice cores, ocean and lake sediments and contemporary measurements of atmospheric chemistry, to cast a new light on the climate of the last million years.

CACHE will drill and analyse the first complete Holocene ice core climate record from the Antarctic Peninsula and the results will be combined with those from the cores extracted from Dome C and Berkner Island, existing data from other sector of Antarctica and other climate history data worldwide.

CACHE has three component projects:

  • CEFAC- Chemical Exchange and Feedbacks between the Atmosphere and Cryosphere
  • DRAM- DRivers and AMplifiers of late Quaternary climate change
  • PEP- Natural climate variability, extending the Americas Pole-Equator-Pole paleoclimate transect through the Antarctic Peninsula to the Pole

It also has links to other GSAC projects as ACES, BIOFLAME, COMPLEXITY, GRADES and SEC.

Scientific Objectives

The main objectives are:

  • Extend the existing 10,000 year climate record for the Americas by sampling from the sub-Antarctic, through the Antarctic Peninsula to the South Pole
  • Understand the relationship between the Antarctic and global climate over timescales up to a million years
  • Determine the main causes and amplifiers of climate change over the last ~1 million years
  • Quantify the chemical exchanges between the atmosphere and Antarctic ice and snow
  • Understand how changes in the amount of ice and snow on Earth affect the chemistry of the atmosphere

Data Availability

Data sets collected during this project are available to the academic community.

Acronyms used in this text:

BAS- British Antarctic Survey

GSAC- Global Science in an Antarctic Context

NERC- Natural Environment Research Council

ACES- Antarctic Climate and the Earth System

BIOFLAME- Biodiversity, Function, limits and Adaptation from Molecules to Ecosystems

COMPLEXITY- Natural Complexity Programme

GRADES- Glacial retreat in Antarctica and Deglaciation of the Earth System

SEC- Sun Earth Connections Programme