A Newport woman is the only Welsh scientist participating in a pioneering project which will provide clues as to how the earth will react to global warming.

Former Ysgol-y-Preseli student Dr Siwan Davies is a faculty member at Swansea University's School of the Environment and Society.

She is currently on an expedition to north west Greenland to study ice from the last 'warm period' on earth in the expectation of finding vital clues on the impact of global warming.

Dr Davies has joined 32 scientists from 14 other countries as part of the The North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) project, led by the Ice and Climate group at the University of Copenhagen.

Their aim over the next three years is to retrieve a complete record of ice from the Eemian period, which took place 100,000 years ago. A 2.4km long core of ice will be recovered and a number of different techniques applied to it to reveal how temperature changed in Greenland.

32-year-old Siwan's research will focus on tiny volcanic ash particles contained within the ice-record to help date the climatic events chronicled in the ice.

Her work will also help reconstruct the history and frequency of volcanic eruptions in the past, as well as providing a way to compare the climatic evidence recorded in the Greenland ice with that preserved in the deep-sea.

"This is a landmark project that will capture ice from the last warm episode on Earth: the Eemian period," said Siwan.

"This period is thought to have been about 3to 5°C warmer than present and is thus expected to give clues to the changes that we can expect as a result of global warming over the next 100 years or so.

"The key questions are how did the Greenland ice sheet respond to these warmer temperatures and what are the implications for future sea-level rise?"

Siwan will work at the NEEM camp until June 23rd. So far she has braved nights where the temperature has plunged to minus 30 degrees and left ice crystals on her sleeping bag.

She has also been involved in building a new entrance to the drill trench and in securing an emergency exit from the science trench, essential tasks before the scientific work can begin.

"This is a very exciting scientific project that will reveal the secrets of the last warm episode and be an unmissable opportunity to experience the extreme nature of fieldwork on the Greenland ice," she said.