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University of Rochester Ice Core Lab


Our research aims to understand natural and anthropogenic climate change through a lens of atmospheric composition. We use ancient air trapped in glacial ice from Greenland and Antarctica to learn about how the concentrations and isotopic composition of greenhouse gases and reactive gases have varied in the past, and what these changes tell us about Earth’s climate and atmospheric chemistry. 

Research Interests:

  • Past, present and future global methane budget
  • Atmospheric oxidizing capacity and its response to natural and anthropogenic changes
  • Cosmogenic 14C in glacial ice and its use as a tracer for past cosmic ray flux and solar activity
  • Atmospheric carbon monoxide budget and connections to biomass burning variations


Past and Present Variations in Atmospheric Hydroxl Radical Abundance
Photo by V.Petrenko
Cosmogenic Carbon-14 in Glacial Firn and Ice
C-14 in glacial ice link

Photo by V.Petrenko

Changes in Natural Methane Emissions in a Warming World
CH4 Changes link
Photo by V.Petrenko
Investigating the Paleo Carbon Monoxide Budget
CO variations link
Photo by B.Hmiel

Ice Cores Slideshow