Dr. James Levine - Profile
As part of the Chemistry and Past Climate Programme, I am interested in the insights that chemicals measured in polar ice cores can offer into past changes in the earth system, particularly interactions between atmospheric chemistry, composition and climate.
To date, much of my work at the British Antarctic Survey has focussed on the causes of changes in the concentration of atmospheric methane accompanying past changes in climate, for example the near-doubling between the Last Glacial Maximum (21,000 years ago) and the pre-industrial era (200 years ago). A full understanding of the causes is a prerequisite to meaningful future predictions, with implications for climate and air quality.
More recently, I have begun looking at sea salt in ice cores as a possible proxy with which to infer past sea ice extent. As sea ice is both a reflection of, and a feedback on the Earth's climate, a record of past extent, and its co-evolution with climate, could also inform future climate predictions. I am also interested in sea ice as a source of chemically reactive (halogenated) trace gases that profoundly affect polar atmospheric chemistry.