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  1. Alpine glaciers in the low- and mid-latitudes respond more quickly than large polar ice sheets to changes in temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, humidity, and radiation. Many high-altitude glaciers are monitored by ground observations, aerial photography, and satellite-borne sensors. Regardless of latitude and elevation, nearly all nonpolar glaciers and ice caps are undergoing mass loss, which compromises the records of past climate preserved within them. Almost without exception, the retreat of these ice fields is persistent, and a very important driver is the recent warming of the tropical troposphere and oceans. Here we present data on the decrease in the surface areamore »of four glaciers from low- to mid-latitude mountainous regions: the Andes of Peru and northern Bolivia, equatorial east Africa, equatorial Papua, Indonesia, and the western Tibetan Plateau. Climate records based on oxygen isotopic ratios (δ18O) measured in ice cores drilled from several glaciers in these regions reveal that the records from elevations below ~6000 m above sea level have been substantially modified by seasonal melting and the movement of meltwater through porous upper firn layers. Fortunately, δ18O records recovered from higher altitude sites still contain well-preserved seasonal variations to the surface; however, the projected increase in the rate of atmospheric warming implies that climate records from higher elevation glaciers will eventually also be degraded. A long-term ice core collection program on the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru, Earth’s largest tropical ice cap, illustrates that the deterioration of its climate record is concomitant with the increase in mid-troposphere temperatures. The melting ice and resulting growth of proglacial lakes presents an imminent hazard to nearby communities. The accelerating melting of glaciers, if sustained, ensures the eventual loss of unique and irreplaceable climate histories, as well as profound economic, agricultural, and cultural impacts on local communities.« less
  2. Alpine glaciers in the low- and mid-latitudes respond more quickly than large polar ice sheets to changes in temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, humidity, and radiation. Many high-altitude glaciers are monitored by ground observations, aerial photography, and satellite-borne sensors. Regardless of latitude and elevation, nearly all nonpolar glaciers and ice caps are undergoing mass loss, which compromises the records of past climate preserved within them. Almost without exception, the retreat of these ice fields is persistent, and a very important driver is the recent warming of the tropical troposphere and oceans. Here we present data on the decrease in the surface areamore »of four glaciers from low- to mid-latitude mountainous regions: the Andes of Peru and northern Bolivia, equatorial east Africa, equatorial Papua, Indonesia, and the western Tibetan Plateau. Climate records based on oxygen isotopic ratios (δ18O) measured in ice cores drilled from several glaciers in these regions reveal that the records from elevations below ~6000 m above sea level have been substantially modified by seasonal melting and the movement of meltwater through porous upper firn layers. Fortunately, δ18O records recovered from higher altitude sites still contain well-preserved seasonal variations to the surface; however, the projected increase in the rate of atmospheric warming implies that climate records from higher elevation glaciers will eventually also be degraded. A long-term ice core collection program on the Quelccaya ice cap in Peru, Earth’s largest tropical ice cap, illustrates that the deterioration of its climate record is concomitant with the increase in mid-troposphere temperatures. The melting ice and resulting growth of proglacial lakes presents an imminent hazard to nearby communities. The accelerating melting of glaciers, if sustained, ensures the eventual loss of unique and irreplaceable climate histories, as well as profound economic, agricultural, and cultural impacts on local communities.« less
  3. Abstract We report on the design and performance of the B icep3 instrument and its first three-year data set collected from 2016 to 2018. B icep3 is a 52 cm aperture refracting telescope designed to observe the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) on degree angular scales at 95 GHz. It started science observation at the South Pole in 2016 with 2400 antenna-coupled transition-edge sensor bolometers. The receiver first demonstrated new technologies such as large-diameter alumina optics, Zotefoam infrared filters, and flux-activated SQUIDs, allowing ∼10× higher optical throughput compared to the Keck design. B icep3 achieved instrument noise equivalentmore »temperatures of 9.2, 6.8, and 7.1 μ K CMB s and reached Stokes Q and U map depths of 5.9, 4.4, and 4.4 μ K arcmin in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively. The combined three-year data set achieved a polarization map depth of 2.8 μ K arcmin over an effective area of 585 square degrees, which is the deepest CMB polarization map made to date at 95 GHz.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  4. For the past decade, the BICEP/Keck collaboration has been operating a series of telescopes at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station measuring degree-scale B-mode polarization imprinted in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) by primordial gravitational waves (PGWs). These telescopes are compact refracting polarimeters mapping about 2% of the sky, observing at a broad range of frequencies to account for the polarized foreground from Galactic synchrotron and thermal dust emission. Our latest publication "BK18" utilizes the data collected up to the 2018 observing season, in conjunction with the publicly available WMAP and Planck data, to constrain the tensor-to-scalar ratio r. It particularlymore »includes (1) the 3-year BICEP3 data which is the current deepest CMB polarization map at the foreground-minimum 95 GHz; and (2) the Keck 220 GHz map with a higher signal-to-noise ratio on the dust foreground than the Planck 353 GHz map. We fit the auto- and cross-spectra of these maps to a multicomponent likelihood model (ΛCDM+dust+synchrotron+noise+r) and find it to be an adequate description of the data at the current noise level. The likelihood analysis yields σ(r)=0.009. The inference of r from our baseline model is tightened to r0.05=0.014+0.010−0.011 and r0.05<0.036 at 95% confidence, meaning that the BICEP/Keck B-mode data is the most powerful existing dataset for the constraint of PGWs. The up-coming BICEP Array telescope is projected to reach σ(r)≲0.003 using data up to 2027.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  5. Abstract We perform the first simultaneous Bayesian parameter inference and optimal reconstruction of the gravitational lensing of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), using 100 deg 2 of polarization observations from the SPTpol receiver on the South Pole Telescope. These data reach noise levels as low as 5.8 μ K arcmin in polarization, which are low enough that the typically used quadratic estimator (QE) technique for analyzing CMB lensing is significantly suboptimal. Conversely, the Bayesian procedure extracts all lensing information from the data and is optimal at any noise level. We infer the amplitude of the gravitational lensing potential to bemore »A ϕ = 0.949 ± 0.122 using the Bayesian pipeline, consistent with our QE pipeline result, but with 17% smaller error bars. The Bayesian analysis also provides a simple way to account for systematic uncertainties, performing a similar job as frequentist “bias hardening” or linear bias correction, and reducing the systematic uncertainty on A ϕ due to polarization calibration from almost half of the statistical error to effectively zero. Finally, we jointly constrain A ϕ along with A L , the amplitude of lensing-like effects on the CMB power spectra, demonstrating that the Bayesian method can be used to easily infer parameters both from an optimal lensing reconstruction and from the delensed CMB, while exactly accounting for the correlation between the two. These results demonstrate the feasibility of the Bayesian approach on real data, and pave the way for future analysis of deep CMB polarization measurements with SPT-3G, Simons Observatory, and CMB-S4, where improvements relative to the QE can reach 1.5 times tighter constraints on A ϕ and seven times lower effective lensing reconstruction noise.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  6. The BICEP/Keck Collaboration is currently leading the quest to the highest sensitivity measurements of the polarized CMB anisotropies on degree scale with a series of cryogenic telescopes, of which BICEP Array is the latest Stage-3 upgrade with a total of ∼32,000 detectors. The instrument comprises 4 receivers spanning 30 to 270 GHz, with the low-frequency 30/40 GHz deployed to the South Pole Station in late 2019. The full complement of receivers is forecast to set the most stringent constraints on the tensor to scalar ratio r. Building on these advances, the overarching small-aperture telescope concept is already being used asmore »the reference for further Stage-4 experiment design. In this paper I will present the development of the BICEP Array 150 GHz detector module and its fabrication requirements, with highlights on the high-density time division multiplexing (TDM) design of the cryogenic circuit boards. The low-impedance wiring required between the detectors and the first-stage SQUID amplifiers is crucial to maintain a stiff voltage bias on the detectors. A novel multi-layer FR4 Printed Circuit Board (PCB) with superconducting traces, capable of reading out up to 648 detectors, is presented along with its validation tests. I will also describe an ultra-high density TDM detector module we developed for a CMB-S4-like experiment that allows up to 1,920 detectors to be read out. TDM has been chosen as the detector readout technology for the Cosmic Microwave Background Stage-4 (CMB-S4) experiment based on its proven low-noise performance, predictable costs and overall maturity of the architecture. The heritage for TDM is rooted in mm- and submm-wave experiments dating back 20 years and has since evolved to support a multiplexing factor of 64x in Stage-3 experiments.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 29, 2022
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023