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Major themes | Theme 2 | DESIRE


Leaders: Eric Wolff at the British Antarctic Survey, Pierre Friedlingstein at IPSL/LSCE/Bristol

DESIRE - Dynamics of the Earth System and the Ice-Core Record - is part of QUEST Theme 2 and involves Anglo-French collaboration between QUEST and INSU (Institut national des sciences de l'univers). The project responded to a call to “explain the major changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane concentration over glacial-interglacial timescales”. The project had three strands. In the first strand, tools to improve understanding and modelling of methane were worked on; this included improvements to models, as well as new constraining datasets. In the second strand, similar improvements for CO2 were to be made. The third strand included model simulations and a major data compilation covering the 800,000 year ice core period.

DESIRE, concentrating so many efforts on a major scientific question, has made a large impact in the palaeoclimate community. At the time of writing (May 2011), the project had delivered 25 research papers (mostly published or in press) and at least a similar number is expected in the next couple of years.