Since its discovery in 1840, polar scientists have gone to great lengths to explore Antarctica’s depths. An ice-covered continent the size of the United States and Mexico combined, it has been the site and subject of revelatory scientific studies and awe-inspiring adventures. In its vastness and mysteriousness, it has captured imaginations and has been the source of inspiration for centuries.
The significance of Antarctica’s role in the maintenance of ideal life conditions across the entire planet has since been established. Its ice, ocean and ecosystem play a vital role in the regulation of the global climate. Although many questions remain about its past and its present, particular attention has been turned to the future of its ice sheet. Concerns about its diminishing size have been at the heart of the polarising climate change debate.
In this recording of an online event, Professor Helen Fricker speaks of the physical processes which determine the state of the ice, the transformational impact of satellite observation on her studies as well as the effects that the atmosphere and the oceans have on the ice.
As getting to grips with Antarctica involves a range of specialisms and extensive international collaboration, Helen goes beyond her background in geophysics to provide a comprehensive understanding of the continent. As one of an increasing number of women polar scientists, it’s a privilege to hear from someone who has first-hand experience of seeing the effects of climate change.
This online event was organised in collaboration with the Institute of Physics.
Find out more about the IoP here: https://www.iop.org