OSU/Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center
Contact: Charmaine Koch
About OSU/Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center
Named in honor of one of America's most famous explorers, the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center of The Ohio State University is recognized internationally as a leader in polar and alpine research. The Center's research programs are conducted throughout the world. Research at the Center focuses on the role of cold regions in the global climate system, with major themes focused on: •climatic reconstruction of glacial and post-glacial times; •polar ice-sheets: dynamics, history and ice-atmosphere interactions; •high-latitude landform evolution, soils and hydrology; •geologic evolution of Antarctica; •investigations of ocean dynamics and environmental-chemical processes; •and the history of polar exploration. Scientists at the Byrd Center are reconstructing past climate by studying chemical records preserved in ice cores collected from glaciers in Greenland, Asia, North and South America, and Antarctica. Fossils provide important evidence for much older changes in climate and plant fossils collected in the Transantarctic Mountains indicate that parts of the southern continent were once forested. Environmental studies include programs in Alaska and Russia which are concerned with hydrologic and geochemical cycles in permafrost terrains and interactions with the biosphere. Modern processes such as the motion of the great ice sheets and the circulation of storm systems around Antarctica are being studied with sophisticated computer models and with satellite-borne sensors capable of imaging the surface through cloud cover and during the long polar night.