The state of polar ice
8 November 2011
Professor Jonathan Bamber, Director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre in the University’s School of Geographical Sciences, was one of five leading UK scientists invited to brief journalists on the state of the world’s polar ice at the Science Media Centre this week.
This year has seen the Times Atlas incorrectly claim that the Greenland ice sheet has shrunk by 15 per cent, a number of reports of Arctic channels open to shipping, and arguments over whether Antarctic ice is growing or receding. The briefing aimed to provide a clearer picture of how the landscape is really changing across Greenland, the Arctic and the Antarctic – and what this means for the planet.
Professor Bamber discussed the behaviour of Greenland ice cover over the past five decades. “Since the 1990s, the Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at an accelerating rate,” he explained. “This loss could be responsible for about 30cm of sea-level rise by 2100.”
The other speakers were Professor Peter Wadhams (University of Cambridge, Professor Chris Rapley (University College London), Professor David Vaughan (British Antarctic Survey) and Dr Seymour Laxon (University College London).