image of egrip radar


The Arctic Ocean is undergoing dramatic changes as sea ice thins and retreats further north throughout the year. During summer 2018, the ocean even opened north of Greenland, with thousands of square kilometers of open water where thick, perennial sea ice used to be. This sea-ice retreat changes the climate of the land surrounding the Arctic Ocean. Ice caps on these islands are thus retreating as they are exposed to warmer conditions and more melt. By studying cores from these ice caps, it is possible to retrieve proxy records of past Arctic sea-ice and climate conditions.

The Müller Ice Cap core will help answer:

  • How did sea ice conditions change in the Arctic Ocean during past millennia?
  • What climatic conditions did the Arctic ice caps experience during past millennia, and what is the relationship between sea ice change and climate change?
  • How sensitive are the Arctic ice caps to changes in sea ice and climatic conditions?
  • How old is Müller Ice Cap?


Project team

  • Dorthe Dahl-Jensen (PI)
    Professor & Canada Excellence Research Chair

    Debbie Armstrong

    David Lilien
    Research Associate

    Gary Stern
    Associate Professor

    Feiyue Wang
    Professor & Canada Research Chair

  • Partners

    University of Copenhagen

    • Grant Boeckmann - Driller, External collaborator
    • Steffen Bo Hansen - Driller, External collaborator
    • Tamara Gerber - Postdoctoral Fellow, External collaborator
    • Alak Grinsted - Associate Professor, External collaborator
    • Christine Hvidberg - Professor, External collaborator
    • Niels Nymand - PhD student, External collaborator
    • Trevor Popp - Driller, External collaborator
    • Sune Rasmussen - Associate Professor, External collaborator
    • JP Steffensen - Professor, External collaborator
    • Bo Vinther - Associate Professor, External collaborator

    Queen's University

    • Maddie Myers - Master's student, External collaborator
    • Laura Thomson - Assistant Professor, External collaborator

    University of Alberta

    • Alison Criscitiello - Assistant Professor, External collaborator

    University of British Columbia

    • Anaise Orsi - Assistant Professor, External collaborator

    University of Ottawa

    • Luke Copland - Professor, External collaborator

    Alfred Wegener Institute

    • Daniela Jansen - Research Scientist, External collaborator
    • Sepp Kipfstuhl - Professor Emeritus, External collaborator
    • Daniel Steinhage - Research Scientist, External collaborator


Impacts and outcomes

The Müller ice core will enhance our understanding of how the ocean, atmosphere, sea ice, and glaciers and ice caps interact with each other over thousands of years.

The project will provide unique insight into how sea ice has varied in the Arctic over long periods and will pair this information about how the climate and glaciers in the region have changed during the same period. This information is important context for understanding modern changes to the Arctic; sea ice extent is changing rapidly, and glaciers are rapidly retreating, but how these changes compare to those in the past is not fully known.

The ice recovered in this project will contain a wealth of other information, for example about contaminants and mercury concentrations in the area, and project partners and collaborators will make measurements on the core to determine how these properties have varied through time. A continuous record of the ice from the project will be archived at the Canadian Ice Core Laboratory in Edmonton, which will make further measurements possible when the development of new methods makes it possible to glean new information from the core in the future.

Related publications

Estimating the ice thickness of the Muller Ice Cap to support selection of a drill site.

Zinck, A.-S.P. & Grinsted, A. (2022). "Brief communication: Estimating the ice thickness of the Müller Ice Cap to support selection of a drill site". The Cryosphere, 16(4), 1399-1407.

Field stories

Read about our progress on the project.

Funding and partners

This research is undertaken thanks to funding from the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Contact us

Centre for Earth Observation Science
535 Wallace Building
125 Dysart Rd.
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada