Purdue Climate Change Research Center

Polar research

Science in the Arctic and Antartic

The Earth’s polar regions are linked to the rest of the globe in complex, interactive ways that remain poorly understood. Today, these regions are changing faster than any other region on Earth, and serve as sensitive indicators of global climate change. The poles are also archives of the past; preserving in the snow and ice clues about many terrestrial and cosmogenic phenomena. PCCRC researchers are working to increase our understanding of this integral component of the Earth system and our impact on it.  

Current Research Projects

The Collaborative O-Buoy Project: Deployment of a Network of Arctic Ocean Chemical Sensors for the IPY and Beyond: A research team led by Paul Shepson has developed and deployed a number of Arctic Ocean buoys in the sea ice at various locations around the Arctic Ocean to measure CO2, O3, and reactive halogen species that destroy ozone. Read more…>>

Permafrost Thawing and Vegetation Change Effects on Cryoturbation Rates and C and CH4 Dynamics:  At Toolik Lake, northern Alaska , Tim Filley and collaborators are investigating how increasing soil thaw and changes in vegetation contribute to carbon storage capacity and the relative importance of different soil organic matter stabilization mechanisms of Arctic ecosystems. Read more…>>

Synthesis of Arctic System Carbon Cycle Research through Model-Data Fusion Studies Using Atmospheric Inversion and Process-Based Approaches: To improve how we simulate and predict carbon dynamics in high latitudes, this project seeks to comprehensively analyze the carbon cycle of the Arctic system. Read more…>>

 Studies of the Production of Molecular Halogens in Arctic Snowpacks and on Sea Ice Surfaces:  This project would involve field experiments at Barrow, AK, aimed at improving understanding of the oxidation of the sea salt halides, chloride and bromide, into the molecular halogens, Cl2, BrCl, and Br2. Read more…>> 

Collaborative Research: Quantifying Climate Feedbacks of the Terrestrial Biosphere under Thawing Permafrost Conditions in the Arctic: This study aims to quantify the climate-warming feedback potential from emitted trace gases, as well as landscape changes within Arctic ecosystems. Read more…>> 

Featured Papers

April 14, 2013
Photochemical production of molecular bromine in Arctic surface snowpackspdf


Hothouse Earth: World without Ice

The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was a period in Earth’s history characterized by a huge release of carbon into the atmosphere and the highest global temperatures of the Cenozoic Era; it was a “world without ice.” Read more...>>


PROJECT POLARSLED: a mobile platform for in-situ measurements of first-year ice

Chelsea Stephens and Kyle Custard, members of Paul Shepson’s research group, have been working on designing and building an instrumented sled from which to conduct chemical and meteorological measurements from the Arctic sea ice near Barrow, Alaska. Read more...>>

News and Reports