2 Feb 2024

Scientist on efforts to drill into West Antarctic Ice Sheet

From Morning Report, 8:44 am on 2 February 2024

Scientists involved in an ambitious attempt to drill deep into the rock below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet say their efforts got "tantalising close", and they will try again in November.

The international team of experts melted a hole through the 580-metre-thick Ross Ice Shelf in a bid to retrieve ancient sediment from the last time Earth was at hot as it will become in the next few decades.

They say this will reveal clues about how the ice sheet behaved then, and how quickly it might disintegrate now.

But they fell just short of their goal, drilling for sediment samples 200 metres below the ocean floor.

Richard Levy of GNS Science and Victoria University led the team on the ice.

Levy spoke to Corin Dann.