At the recent AGU Annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco (9th to 13th December), Dr Mark E. Vardy, a Research Fellow in the Geology and Geophysics research group, was a co-convener of a session entitled ‘Climate Change and Cryospheric Systems’. Run in collaboration with Professor Neil Glasser (University of Aberystwyth) and Dr Carol Cotterill (British Geological Survey), the session featured 32 oral presentations and over 50 poster presentations exploring a variety of ways in which past and present glacial systems have responded to a changing climate.
Topics covered were highly varied, both in scale and method. The use of high-resolution geophysical techniques for mapping past continental ice sheets was discussed at all scales, from small freshwater lakes to whole continental shelves. Numerous talks explored the highly controversial topic of past and present ice loss in West Antarctica and Greenland, primarily using remote sensing techniques but also making use of novel field data and historical photograph archives. While a range of modelling approaches were presented to predict future variations in ice volume, both for a single glacier and the global earth system.
The oral session addressing recent ice loss in Greenland proved particularly popular, drawing a large attendance. This session was recorded as part of the AGU’s Virtual Options outreach programme, and can be viewed online, free-of-charge: http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2013/virtual-options/