Glaciology
Professor Bryn Hubbard

Researchers in the arctic

Research at the Centre for Glaciology focuses on investigating and explaining changes in Earth’s glaciers and ice sheets.

Collaborating with colleagues internationally and using the latest technology, we work to improve understanding of the response of Earth’s ice masses to environmental changes. For example, climate change is causing an increase in periods of warm föhn winds  around the fringes of Antarctica, leading to a significant rise in surface temperatures on the continent’s ice shelves. 

Meteorological and snow-temperature measurements taken on Larsen C Ice Shelf revealed periods when surface temperatures rose from typical values of -25 °C to as high as +15 °C even in the dark Antarctic winter.

These föhn events last several days, with the meltwater they produce refreezing within near-surface snow. This creates impermeable ice layers that result in the formation of surface ponds and rivers which influence the stability of all of Antarctica’s ice shelves.

Importantly, our research has revealed that föhn-driven melting occurs just as strongly in the dark Antarctic winter as it does in the light Antarctic summer.

Further Information

Professor Bryn Hubbard

Academic Department

Department of Geography & Earth Sciences

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