About the project
PEGSIE investigates sea ice extent in the Nordic Seas and the evolution of the East Greenland Current during the globally warm Pliocene (5.32–2.59 Ma) to better understand the link between reduced sea ice, polar amplification and the Greenland ice sheet.
Predictions show that Arctic summer sea ice may disappear by the year 2050. This sea ice reduction will change the ice-albedo feedback and increase polar amplification, which has the potential to cause major melting of the Greenland ice sheet and bring irreversible change to the polar climate. PEGSIE is an international, multidisciplinary project that employs a biomarker sea ice proxy (IP25) and palynology to extract three short-term records from the period 4.8 to 2.4 Ma that document sea ice extent in the Nordic Seas and the evolution of the East Greenland Current during the Pliocene. This offers the opportunity to investigate sea ice extent in the globally warm Pliocene on different time scales and to better understand the link between reduced sea ice, polar amplification and the Greenland ice sheet. The generated data will be integrated with climate model experiments that are targeted to reveal the mechanisms behind the evolution of the East Greenland current and sea ice extent during the Pliocene, and their influence on the Greenland ice sheet.
PEGSIE benefits from an international cooperation with the Alfred Wegener Institute Bremerhaven in Germany (Rüdiger Stein) for the sea ice proxy research.