Climate Change

These posts discuss various aspects of Climate Change and how it impacts glaciers and ice sheets

Just published: most comprehensive review ever of the glaciation of Antartica

A major new review of the last glaciation of the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet has just been published by Quaternary Science Reviews. The special issue of the journal includes a suite of review papers involving an international team of experts regarding the last glaciation of the entire Antarctic Ice Sheet. This review, which comprises six review papers …

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In defence of reticence

Occasionally, comments on this website call me reticent. I think that this is because I try not to let my personal opinions cloud my professional, scientific judgement. I am proud to be reticent. I always try to be informative, to give values of uncertainties and ranges and assessments of confidence. I try to present both …

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Science highlights of 2013

As the 2013 year draws to a close, I thought it would be great to highlight some of our most important science discoveries in Antarctic Glaciology. Enjoy!

Patagonian Ice Sheet thinning during a changing climate

J.Boex, C. Fogwill, S. Harrison, N.F. Glasser, A. Hein, C. Schnabel and S. Xu.  Rapid thinning of the Late Pleistocene Patagonian Ice Sheet followed migration of the Southern Westerlies. Scientific Reports 3: 2118, p. 1-6 Download the PDF The Patagonian Ice Sheet This recent open-access paper in the new journal Science Communications, which is part …

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Antarctic ice shelves – the hidden villain

Sea ice and ice shelves What is sea ice? Sea ice is frozen sea water; it perennially expands and contracts during each year’s winter and summer. Amongst the sea ice are icebergs calved from tidewater glaciers and ice shelves. Melting sea ice does not contribute directly to sea level rise (ice floats and displaces the …

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Future sea level rise from ice sheets

A new paper in Nature Climate Change by Bamber and Aspinall attempts to untangle the thorny problem of how quickly and how much the ice sheets of the world will melt.  The rate at which ice sheets melt is difficult to understand, because there are many processes that occur.

Arctic Sea Ice

The Arctic’s sea ice extent reached an all-time low in September 2012, with the smallest recorded extent since satellite observations began. At 3.42 million square kilometres, it may still sound large, but this small extent of Arctic sea ice could have profound long-term consequences, and it follows a long trend of low sea ice conditions. …

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Greenland Melting

In this new website, www.greenlandmelting.com, you can browse maps of the surface melt on Greenland in each year from 1979. You can also look at years with extreme melt events, such as 2010 and 2011.

Climate Change Sceptics

Proving Climate Change When reading the New Scientists’ focus on Climate Change, I was struck by the number of comments along the lines of, ‘This is theory, we won’t believe it until you prove it’. Two things came to my attention. Firstly, that climate change has been accorded almost myth or religious-like status, and has …

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