Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

February: Antarctic Adventures

Antarctica is a continent of extremes – temperatures drop to 80 degrees below freezing, intense storms rage, and breathtaking mountain ranges transect the expansive ice-scape. Yet, even here, the Thwaites Glacier stands out. Almost the size of Britain, this vast, flowing ice body has been dubbed the “Doomsday Glacier” due to the substantial impact its melt and retreat will have on global sea level rise.

Since 2018, UK and US scientists have been collaborating to investigate The Thwaites Glacier, one of the most important and unstable glaciers in the world. From icebreaker ship surveys and satellite imagery to complex computer models, the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC) has been working to understand the physical processes affecting the glacier, and better predict what will happen to it in the future.

We hosted an event on 24th February 2021, where scientists from the ITGC who are based in Scotland explaimned the significance of Thwaites Glacier, our current scientific understanding of the glacier, and the next steps for the research programme. We were joined by researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews for a lively, interactive discussion event focused on the excitement and challenges of this vital research that is directly impacted by climate change.

If you missed the event or would like to revisit it, the full event is now available to watch on our Youtube channel;

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