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Willi Dansgaard

Willi Dansgaard was the first to realise that ice cores drilled from the ice sheet could contain information about past climate. The story of his career is also the story of how a good idea in 1952 could develop into an international sensation in 1969 and then turn into an entirely new branch of climate research and geophysics.

11 September 2014

Part 1: A Danish pioneer
Willi Dansgaard was the first to realise that ancient water in the form of ice could contain information about past climate and he became the founder of ice core research. But the story begins in 1922 …

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11 September 2014

Part 2: Greenland 1947
The lifelong love for Greenland begins in 1947 when Willi Dansgaard is stationed in Godhavn where he will observe magnetic turbulence. But there is something not quite right about the measurements … 

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12 September 2014

Part 3: A really good idea
After many trials and tribulations Willi Dansgaard finally returns to the Biophysical Laboratory, but nobody is interested in his work. “Depression was about to set in,” when he gets a good idea in 1952
 
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12 September 2014

Part 4: Back to Greenland
After a year in the United States, Dansgaard gets a contract for a new Greenland expedition and the opportunity to analyse his first ice core. This results in his first climate curve … 
 
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12 September 2014

Part 5: The Bubble Expedition
The Bubble Expedition in 1958 gives Dansgaard the opportunity to test his theory on a specific problem, but then catastrophe happens that will prove to have welcome consequences …

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12 September 2014

Part 6: IAEA and the Tellus article
Professor Dansgaard makes a name for himself internationally with the Tellus article, but the Soviet nuclear tests create problems for subsequent expeditions …
 
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12 September 2014

Part 7: The city under ice
In 1967, Willi Dansgaard and his group get to analyse an ice core from the world’s first drilling all the way to the bedrock. The results cause a sensation everywhere, but not everyone believes Dansgaard …

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12 September 2014

Part 8: New horizons
A new drilling project back to the ice age is the dream of the small, close-knit group that is working hard and making groundbreaking discoveries up through the 1970s …

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12 September 2014

Part 9: Drilling at Dye 3
The group builds their own ice drill, ISTUK, from scratch and it proves problematic. But they finally manage to complete a drilling and now they can determine whether Dansgaard was right 10 years earlier … 

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12 September 2014

Part 10: The perfect drilling site
The long-standing collaboration with the Americans falls apart and old friends become competitors in the race to beat the world record for deep drilling …

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12 September 2014

Part 11: The legacy of Dansgaard
The Centre for Ice and Climate is a world leader in drilling techniques and ice core research and today they are chasing ice from the last interglacial period, the Eemian …

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