New Zealand Antarctic Society, Wellington

What’s going on under the Ross Ice Shelf?

The future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is closely linked to the stability of the floating ice shelves that surround it, and these are susceptible to melting by the ocean.

New Zealand Antarctic Society

What’s going on with the Ross Ice Shelf? How solar heat contributes to basal melting.

Date: 23 Jul 2019 - 23 Jul 2019
Time: 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Location:

Seminar Room CO304, School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences
Cotton Building, Kelburn Campus
Victoria University of Wellington

What’s going on under the Ross Ice Shelf?
How solar heat contributes to basal melting.

Speaker: Dr Craig Stewart, Physical Oceanographer, NIWA

‘The future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is closely linked to the stability of the floating ice shelves that surround it, and these are susceptible to melting by the ocean. Despite this, we have few direct observations from beneath ice shelves, so our understanding of what drives basal melting remains limited. Here I use recent observations from the Ross Ice Shelf to examine the oceanographic processes driving melting near Ross Island. These suggest that solar heat absorbed in the surface layer of the open ocean drives rapid melting in this structurally sensitive part of the ice shelf.’

Biographical note:
Craig Stewart is a postdoctoral physical oceanographer at NIWA in Wellington. After studying engineering and physical oceanography at Auckland University, Craig worked as a field glaciologist for British Antarctic Survey and as an oceanographic technician for NIWA. Following this, Craig was supported by the Rutherford Foundation’s Scott Centenary Scholarship to undertake a PhD at Scott Polar Research Institute (UK). His thesis combined oceanographic observations from a sub-ice shelf mooring with radar observations of basal melt rates to examine the processes driving melting of Ross Ice Shelf.

Contact: Peter Barrett, Antarctic Research Centre, VUW Email: peter.barrett@vuw.ac.nz

FREE ENTRY – ALL WELCOME

Sign up to our newsletter

All the latest news directly in your inbox

The Society’s quarterly e-newsletter provides an important overview of key activity affecting the Antarctic region. Sign-up and keep up to date.