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Ocean drilling expedition to West Antarctica seeks to reveal climate history in region with significant ice loss

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Amundsen Sea off Antarctica could play a pivotal role in future sea level rise, but many questions remain unanswered, scientists say. Now, researchers taking part in an international ocean drilling expedition funded by the National Science Foundation and international partners are on Antarctica's remote Amundsen Sea looking for clues through an analysis of the ice sheet's history. Led by researchers at the University of Houston and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 379 left Punta Arenas, Chile, on Jan. 23 for a two-month trip to Antarctica on the scientific drillship JOIDES Resolution. The ship has now arrived at the Amundsen Sea. A sedimentologist and co-chief scientist on the voyage said this is the first time the JOIDES Resolution has been to the Amundsen Sea.

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