Paul Summers


“Evidence for and against Temperate Ice in Antarctic Shear Margins”

Antarctica ice mass loss is currently a major contributor to sea level rise, and is forecast to be an increasingly large contributor to future sea level rise and uncertainty in sea levels. Antarctic ice mass loss is primarily due to iceberg calving at the coast, rather than ice melting into liquid water runoff. This ice is transported to the coast through narrow corridors of rapidly sliding ice, termed ‘ice streams’. The width and speed of these ice streams are controlled by processes within their boundaries, regions called shear margins where fast moving ice meets slow ice. I recently have focused on thermomechanical feedback within shear margins, which can warm the temperature to the melting due to friction within the deforming ice. I use existing ice penetrating radar data to investigate where such pockets of temperate ice can be found within shear margins, and compare these findings to model predictions of ice temperature.


Ice loss from Antarctic ice streams is a major source of uncertainty for future sea levels. I investigate the processes controlling ice stream velocity, an important factor for future ice loss. Through our research, we hope to reduce the uncertainty in sea level predictions.

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