Lecture: Antarctic Palaeoclimate Under the Microscope

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Pike, School of Earth, Ocean & Planetary Sciences, Cardiff University

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £5.00

Date and Time

19:30 -


Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath BA1 2HN

Lecture Description

Antarctica is a long way from NW Europe and, as such, we don’t tend to think very much about how it could impact on our climate. Antarctica has two ice sheets: the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. These two large volumes of ice contain the equivalent of ~66 m of global sea level so, potentially, could have a large impact on the coastlines of the world (including NW Europe!) if they melted. So what is the chance of this happening? The Antarctic Peninsula is a major part of the WAIS and is currently warming at a rate of more than double the global average and many large ice shelves around the peninsula have collapsed in the recent past. However, it is believed that in many regions of East Antarctica the EAIS is expanding. In this talk we will explore the late Quaternary geological record from the coastal regions of Antarctica, focusing on the last deglaciation, to see how the Antarctic ice sheets have behaved during past periods of rapid warming. In particular, the fossil record of diatoms (marine algae) will be used to explore the large-scale interaction between the atmosphere, ice and oceans of Antarctica.

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