Change on ice

14 December 2020

THE UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO is drawing on its extensive research experience in Antarctica as it takes the lead in one of four multi-million dollar projects to understand more about how climate change could impact the frozen continent.

Marine Science head of department Professor Miles Lamare says the six-year research programme, under the umbrella of the Antarctic Science Platform, will investigate how changes in climate could affect Ross Sea ecosystems.

“It’s all about how the Ross Sea will respond to two-degree warming. The Paris Agreement aims to restrict warming to below that, so this study will look at what that will mean for Antarctica.”

Otago researchers are involved in all four projects that make up the programme.

One is Antarctic Ice Dynamics, looking at ice sheets and previous ice sheet movements.

A second project, Antarctic Ocean Mechanics, involves another leading Otago researcher Dr Christina Riesselman who is co-principal investigator for a team looking at oceanography and how the Ross Sea and Southern Ocean are likely to change under different climate scenarios.

Lamare heads a third project dealing with the impact of warming on Ross Sea ecosystems, while a fourth project examines Sea Ice and Carbon Cycle Feedbacks.

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