Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North East Scientists Join Investigation into Huge Antarctic Glacier; INTERNATIONAL TEAM TO STUDY GLACIER 2/3 THE SIZE OF GREAT BRITAIN

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

North East Scientists Join Investigation into Huge Antarctic Glacier; INTERNATIONAL TEAM TO STUDY GLACIER 2/3 THE SIZE OF GREAT BRITAIN

Article excerpt

Byline: TONY HENDERSON Reporter tony.henderson@ncjmedia.com @hendrover

SCIENTISTS from the North East will play key roles in a PS20m investigation into the potential danger of the collapse of a glacier which is two thirds the size of Britain.

Researchers from Northumbria University have been awarded PS754,000 to take part in what is one of the most detailed and extensive examinations of a massive Antarctic glacier ever undertaken.

The research collaboration between the UK and USA involves gathering data on the Thwaites Glacier, with the aim of establishing whether it will collapse over the next few decades or centuries.

Antarctica's glaciers contribute to sea level rise when they lose more ice to the ocean than is replaced by snow.

The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier could significantly affect global sea levels, causing them to rise by between three and five metres.

The glacier is already impacting global sea levels as it loses ice into the ocean. Scientists are worried that this may just be the beginning and that ice loss may accelerate in the future.

The UK's Natural Environment Research Council has joined forces with the US National Science Foundation to fund eight large-scale projects over five years that will bring together leading polar scientists in one of the most inhospitable regions of the planet.

Several US and UK universities are involved in the project, with Northumbria University receiving the largest amount of funding among British universities.

Northumbria academics have been selected to play a role in two of the eight projects, reflecting the university's growing international reputation for research into cold, palaeo and extreme environments.

Hilmar Gudmundsson, a Professor of Glaciology and Extreme Environments in the university's Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, is the principal investigator on a project called PROPHET, which will develop new computer modelling processes to model the history and evolution of the glacier and its ice flow.

Prof Hilmar Gudmundsson This will allow the group to understand what has driven change in the glacier and will enable them to make predictions on how it will evolve in future. Co-operating with the University of California Irvine on this study, Northumbria will receive PS648,000 for its work on this project.

Meanwhile Northumbria's Professor John Woodward, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Engineering and Environment, is co-investigator on the GHC project, which is sampling bedrock beneath the ice sheet.

The GHC team will be working to identify if and when the glacier retreated in the past; and if so, how it recovered and how it is currently responding to environmental conditions.

Prof Gudmundsson said: "Understanding the dynamics of the Thwaites Glacier and quantifying its future impacts on global sea levels is not only a challenging and exciting scientific problem, but also a question of great societal significance. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.