Université de Strasbourg

Fellows seminar - Ice sheet humming and climate change

October 12, 2023
From 12:00 until 14:00
MISHA, Strasbourg

By Olaf Eisen, 2021 Fellow

The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets will play a major role for global sea level rise in the decades and centuries to come. Antarctic climate and mass balance have been highlighted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as key sources of uncertainty when predicting the future climate system and sea level, and that significant challenges remain in understanding and representing the dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheets. At the same time, the ice sheets are a unique archive of the paleo atmosphere. The European project “Beyond EPICA” started to retrieve an ice core going back 1.5 Ma, into the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT). Both aspects, correctly estimating future sea-level contributions and deciphering the paleo-climate archive, rely on decrypting the physical processes that control ice-sheet evolution over time.

In this seminar, I will present the USIAS project “Characterising ice-sheet properties and processes with novel seismic monitoring technology”, with which we establish new methodologies to be employed during the “Beyond EPICA” drilling to improve our knowledge of ice-sheet properties and dynamics. Apart from methodological advances, I will also put the work into the context of the global climate warming - which already became a climate crisis - and point out possible futures for our planet.

But what does an ice sheet hum sound like? We want to find out, but as a teaser: this is what a humming ice shelf does...

Some background in the article Humming Ice Shelf Changes Its Seismic Tune with the Weather (EOS, 2019).

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