Hydrock William Smith Lecture
Professor Jerry X. Mitrovica of Harvard University
The Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building
Sea level changes are a particularly dramatic consequence of global warming and estimates of the average rise in sea level over the past decade are routinely reported in the media. However, such estimates obscure the fact that observed sea level changes vary dramatically around the globe.
This lecture will describe the sources of this variability and focus on the unique patterns – or fingerprints – of sea level change that follow the melting of ice sheets and glaciers. In particular, sea level will actually fall within about 2000 km of a melting ice sheet and rise by increasing amounts at great distance. Thus, counterintuitive as it may seem, Bristolians should be far more concerned about the fate of the distant Antarctic Ice Sheet than the future of their neighbour, the ice sheet that now covers Greenland.
Jerry X. Mitrovica is the Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University. His work focuses on the Earth's response to change on timescales from seconds to billions of years. He has written extensively on topics ranging from the influence of mantle convection on the geological record to ice age geodynamics and the signatures of ice sheet melting in our progressively warming world. Professor Mitrovica is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America and a past Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Hydrock is the proud sponsor of this year’s William Smith Lecture. This Bristol-based engineering consultancy is led by University of Bristol geology alumni, Dr. Brian McConnell and Dr Matt Hilton. Locally, Hydrock has delivered the engineering design for the University of Bristol’s Fry Building, expansion of Bristol Airport, the stunning transformation of Bristol General Hospital and the Aerospace Centre which houses Concorde. Nationally, the company works across a number of sectors including nuclear, energy, aviation, defence and regeneration. Hydrock has been listed in the top 30 of the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For in the last three years.
If you require additional support at this lecture, e.g. wheelchair access or sign language interpretation, please contact Anne Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org at the earliest opportunity and we will endeavour to meet your requirements.