SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY EARTH SECTION RESEARCH CANDIDATE SEMINAR
DATE: August 31st, Thursday, 4pm
LOCATION: Munk Conference Room
TITLE: Piecing together a "Long Data" perspective in Antarctica to understand ice-sheet variability
In the past decade, both the East and West Antarctic ice sheets have proven to be more dynamic than previously thought, with changes to the fast-flowing ice across the continent coupled to the global ocean and atmosphere. While modern satellite-borne instruments can provide snapshots of processes that drive ice-sheet dynamics, understanding the evolution of these processes over timescales important for societally relevant sea-level projections (10s to 100s of years) requires detailed observations over long durations—datasets that are typically not available in Antarctica. We therefore have to piece together datasets, sometimes through (glaciologically) unconventional methods, to provide a coherent assessment of ice-sheet processes that can vary through time and space. In this talk, I will present three examples of how, through re-examining existing data with novel techniques, we can better characterize past conditions of the ice sheet to constrain complex and variable processes, including subglacial hydrology, snow accumulation, and ice-stream flow. By generating this “Long Data” perspective of the co-evolution of the ice, freshwater, ocean, atmosphere, and rock systems in Antarctica, we create the context required for robust interpretation of results from glaciology’s coming “Big Data” revolution that will arrive with recently launched (e.g., ESA’s Copernicus Programme) and future (e.g., NASA’s ICESat-2 and NISAR) satellite missions.