Ice sheets and sea level: past, present, future
About the Event:
Palaeo-environmental archives provide compelling evidence that relatively small changes in global climate can lead to significant changes in mean sea level. Ice sheets such as those in Greenland and Antarctica are typically the largest contributors to sea-level change over geological timeframes, but over observational periods they appear to change only slowly. The glaciological community is therefore challenged with trying to reconcile these two lines of evidence - do ice sheets simply melt very slowly, or can they respond rapidly? In this presentation, I will present an overview of the way that palaeoglaciological studies can provide insights into the magnitudes and rates of past ice-sheet responses, how these interpretations compare to contemporary changes, and how we can use evidence-constrained models to make projections of future ice sheet and sea-level changes.
About the Speaker:
Nick Golledge is Associate Professor at the Antarctic Research Centre in Victoria University of Wellington. He uses numerical models to simulate the Antarctic ice sheet both at the continental scale and at the scale of individual outlet glaciers. His interest lies in understanding how the ice sheet responds to changes in climate using geological evidence of past changes together with a process understanding of the modern system. Much of his work employs the Parallel Ice Sheet Model (PISM), developed jointly by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and Potsdam Institute for Climate Research. View Nick's academic profile here.