A snow pit shows the stratigraphy at WAIS Divide Antarctica. Each layer traps water, aerosols and gases, which when compacted into ice will record the environmental conditions when the snow fell.
The WAIS Divide ice core project has developed high time resolution paleoclimate records extending to 68ka from an Antarctic ice core. A wide range of paleoenvironmental parameters where measured including atmospheric gases, aerosols, ice physical properties, and water isotopes. Annual layers have been continuously identified to an age of 31.2 ka, and the gas age-ice age difference varies from 205 to 525 years. These records have unprecedented time resolution for an Antarctic ice core covering the last 68ka. The project focused on understanding the relationship between greenhouse gases and global climate, determining the precise timing of environmental changes in Antarctica and other regions, the magnitude of a variety of southern hemisphere environmental changes, and cryobiology. This effort has resolved many long standing questions. This special issue of Paleoceanography collects all the AGU publications associated with the WAIS Divide project into a single volume.