Research Fellows Directory
Professor Jonathan Bamber
University of Bristol
Global Ice Mass Balance and sea level
Understanding and being able to predict the impacts of future climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the scientific community. One of the most serious impacts of climate warming is sea level rise. About 200 million people would be displaced by a global rise of 1 m. The great ice sheets that cover Antarctica and Greenland contain enough ice to raise sea level by 65 m, so even a relatively small change in their volume could have devastating consequences for humankind. Land ice, which includes the ice sheets but also mountain glaciers around the world, have contributed more to sea level rise over the last few decades than any other source. Glaciers and ice sheets, however, respond to climate change in different ways and over different time scales and unravelling this complexity is a key aim of this project. Over the last 20 years, our ability to monitor and measure the behaviour of glaciers and ice sheets has experienced an unprecedented advance through the launch of a number of ground-breaking satellite missions carrying new instruments and new observing concepts. By combining the data from the various satellites and ground-based observations we can gain an understanding of how land ice has responded to climate change in the past and so better constrain how it will respond in the future. In addition, these data sets allow us to identify the different factors that have influenced sea level rise over the recent past also helping improve predictions.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)