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Durham University

Sea Level, Ice and Climate

Sea Level, Ice and Climate

An over-arching theme of the Sea Level, Ice and Climate cluster is to explain and quantify the dynamic response of ice sheets to external and internal forcing and their contribution to sea-level rise. A particular focus is on integrating our strengths in field and remote sensing with new expertise in numerical modelling to: (1) understand the decadal to millennial trajectory of the polar ice sheets to constrain how they respond to climatic and oceanic forcing; (2) advance understanding of how subglacial processes affect ice sheet dynamics, exploiting expertise in process-form relationships at the ice-bed interface; (3) develop understanding of sea-level change, especially during past transitions and interglacials, as an analogue for how sea level and ice sheets may interact and affect society in the future; (4) apply expertise in sea-level indicators of seismic activity to reconstruct earthquake recurrence and impacts in a range of settings; and (5) explain how oceans interact with ice sheets and other environments over major climate transitions (palaeoceanography), including the teleconnections between low and high latitudes, to understand better the fundamental processes that govern the role of the oceans in climate change.

This cluster was previously known as 'Ice Sheets and Sea Level'. It was renamed in October 2020 to reflect a broadening of research expertise in the department.

For further information on the activities of this cluster, please contact Dr Pippa Whitehouse.