Measurements of Antarctic Ice-Shelf Melt and Models of Global Climate Change

Aerial view of a field camp on Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf.

Ability of ice shelves to regulate movement of Antarctic glaciers directly affects potential sea-level rise.

In a finding that is expected to vastly improve models of the global effects of climate change on sea-level rise, a National Science Foundation- (NSF) funded research team, working in one of Antarctica's most challenging environments, has produced the first direct measurements of how relatively warm sea water undercuts a floating ice shelf that normally retards the movement of glaciers from the Antarctic continent to the sea.

Mathematician uses skills to study Greenland's retreating glaciers

New information about glacier melting will help fine tune climate models and improve predictions for sea level rise.

Many outlet glaciers in Greenland feed ice from the land into fjords, where discharge of icebergs and melting of the glaciers by warmer ocean waters contribute to rising sea levels.

David Holland of New York University (NYU) studies what happens in the fjord when ice meets water--how the dynamics at the margin between ice and sea are changing, and what those changes could mean in the future for global sea level rise.

Now accepting applications for PolarTREC Teachers 2014-2015

PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is currently accepting applications from teachers for the eighth year of teacher research experiences. Teachers are invited to submit an application to participate in field research learning experiences during the 2014 (usually Arctic) or 2014-2015 (usually Antarctic) field seasons.

PolarTREC Teachers 2014-2015
PolarTREC: Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating
Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S.

New Map of Antarctica Bedrock

A new dataset called Bedmap2 gives a clearer picture of Antarctica from the ice surface down to the bedrock below. Bedmap2 is a significant improvement on the previous collection of Antarctic data—known as Bedmap—that was produced more than 10 years ago. The product was a result of work led by the British Antarctic Survey, where researchers compiled decades worth of geophysical measurements, such as surface elevation measurements from NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite, known as ICESat, and ice thickness data collected by Operation IceBridge.

Online Videos Show ‘Faces of Climate Change’

Three short online videos embedded below depict the dramatic changes in Alaska’s marine ecosystems through interviews with scientists and Alaska natives. The videos were produced by the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) Alaska, the Alaska Sea Grant program, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council, and the Alaska Ocean Observing System.

To view more Alaska COSEE Resources, go to