EOS Sun-to-Ice Project Awarded Grant by NSF Frontiers in Earth-System Dynamics (FESD) Program

EOS Sun-to-Ice Project Awarded Grant by NSF Frontiers in Earth-System Dynamics (FESD) Program

Oct 14, 2011

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the University of New Hampshire’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) new Frontiers in Earth-System Dynamics (FESD) program to support a project that crosses the boundaries between space physics, atmospheric, and ice core science.

The five-year, $5 million project will investigate, model, and test the complex, interlinked physical processes at the frontier of the dynamic Sun-Earth system.  Partner institutions in the project include the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the University of Colorado, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Arizona, Predictive Sciences, Inc., and Southwest Research Institute.

"The Sun-to-Ice project ultimately seeks to understand this chain, looking for signals frozen in polar ice as a history of extreme solar events that have affected our planet,” says astrophysicist Harlan Spence, EOS director and principal investigator on the multi-institution project. “If we are able to confirm the link, we will calibrate nitrate enhancements in ice cores, thereby unlocking historic information of extreme events and associated atmospheric transport, photochemistry, ozone destruction, and other Earth impacts.” Spence notes that each link in this chain is fraught with controversy from a scientific perspective and that, as such, the project is one of “high risk, high payoff.”

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NSF press release on the Frontiers in Earth-System Dynamics awards

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