This project investigates past and current drivers, mechanisms and feedbacks of ice sheet retreat in order to inform projections of future ice sheet behaviour and meltwater flux.
In a warming world, the Antarctic ice sheet (the largest reservoir of freshwater on Earth) has the greatest potential to significantly raise sea levels and disrupt global ocean circulation. Yet, we don’t know how the Antarctic ice sheet will respond to changing conditions in the near or distant future. This information is also vital to underpin understanding of sea ice production, carbon sequestration, global heat uptake and influence on marine ecosystems.
New understanding is needed of Antarctica’s climate and ice sheet configuration during previous warm periods, to compare with present-day trends and predict ice sheet behaviour in a +2°C (Paris Agreement), or warmer, world.
Objective Leader: Gavin Dunbar
Goal: to enhance insight into West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) dynamics during previous intervals of warming climate.
Objective Leader: Christina Hulbe
Goal: to enhance knowledge of ice and ocean dynamics and determining processes within and at the margins of the Ross Ice Shelf cavity (ice sheet-ice shelf system) through the instrumental period.
Objective Leader: Nick Golledge
Goal: to simulate the evolution of Antarctic ocean / atmosphere under future climate forcing scenarios to determine future response of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and identify environmental implications for the Ross Sea Region and the globe.