Thin Ice

Ohio State University, United States of America

Lonnie came from West Virginia to Ohio State University to become a coal geologist but glacial geologist John Mercer fascinated him with the history of ice instead. Over the last four decades he has propelled the field of ice core climatology out of the Polar Regions to the highest tropical and subtropical ice fields. He and the OSU team have developed light-weight solar-powered drilling equipment for acquisition of histories from ice fields in the tropical South American Andes, the Himalayas, and on Kilimanjaro. These paleoclimate histories have advanced our understanding of the coupled nature of Earth’s climate system. His observations of glacier retreat over the last three decades confirm that glaciers around the world are melting and provide clear evidence that the warming of the last 50 years is now outside the range of climate variability for several millennia, if not longer.