Lecture: Ice sheets and sea level rise: past, present and future

Speaker: Professor Jonathan Bamber, Director, Bristol Glaciology Centre, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol

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

A consensus is beginning to emerge about both the magnitude and trend of mass losses from Antarctica and Greenland over the last ~15 years, covering the contemporary satellite era. Here Prof. Bamber reviews the results of this work, explains the origin of the inconsistencies between estimates and considers the mechanisms responsible for the dramatic changes in ice dynamics observed. He will also provide an overview of sea level rise since the last glacial maximum to place the recent observations in context. Reliable, direct observations of the contribution of both ice sheets over a longer time scale do not, in general, exist and have been estimated from proxies, which contain large uncertainties. It is difficult, therefore, to assess how representative the recent satellite-based observations are and whether they represent a secular, or short term, acceleration in mass loss. Are we witnessing ice sheet ‘weather’or ‘climate’? Based on glaciological theory, he will speculate on this and on the likely response of the ice sheets to climate forcing over the coming century.

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