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# Collaboration between women helps close the gender gap in ice core science

A Perspective article co-written by Dr Matt Osman and colleagues in Nature Geoscience addresses gender disparities in ice core science.

Despite historical underrepresentation, the study reveals that the gender gap is closing. Since the early 2000s, women have outperformed their estimated proportion in publishing first-authored papers, suggesting that they fill important leadership roles on coauthor teams. Crucially, woman-led studies show a 20% higher proportion of women coauthors compared to man-led studies.

The analysis emphasizes the critical role of collaboration between women, especially senior scientists, in narrowing gender gaps within the field.

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# Natan Obed, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, visits SPRI to give Research Seminar

Natan Obed is the President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. He was first elected in 2015 and was acclaimed to his third consecutive term in 2021. He grew up in Nain, the northernmost community of Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador). He graduated from Tufts University in 2001.

President Obed is the national spokesperson for Inuit in Canada and also serves as Vice-President of Inuit Circumpolar Council-Canada. As ITK President, he implements the direction set out by Inuit Leadership from the four regions of Inuit Nunangat — the Inuvialuit Settlement Region of the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut.

President Obed will meet with colleagues to discuss Arctic research and collections. The visit is supported by the ERC Arctic Cultures project, and is part of the HCEP cluster's Research Seminar Series. The lecture, "Unpacking Colonial Ties: Self-determination in Inuit Nunangat, Canada", is in the SPRI Lecture Theatre, 16.15, Tuesday 21 November 2023.

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# Becky Dell is appointed Assistant Professor in Glaciology at the Scott Polar Research Institute

We are delighted to announce that Dr Becky Dell has been appointed as an Assistant Professor in Glaciology at SPRI, starting October 1st this year.

Becky first arrived at SPRI in 2017 for her PhD, which focussed on developing remote sensing and machine learning methods for the study of ice-shelf stability in Antarctica. Since completing her PhD in 2021, Becky has worked within the Institute as a European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative Fellow.

Becky has significant expertise in both remote sensing and fieldwork-based studies of Antarctic ice shelves, which will continue to be of considerable benefit to the research, teaching, and outreach of both SPRI and the Geography Department.

# Marc Macias-Fauria is appointed Professor of Physical Geography

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Marc Macias-Fauria as Professor of Physical Geography, a position held between the Department of Geogtraphy and the Scott Polar Research Institute.

Marc is currently Professor of Biogeosciences in the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University. He is an ecologist who studies the interactions between biological systems and the physical environment they inhabit, experience, and modify, with an emphasis on environmental change in cold ecosystems, especially in the Arctic, but also cold ecosystems globally.

Marc will bring additional strength to SPRI's work on changing Arctic ecosystems and cryospheric processes, and his work will integrate across the department's research in the fields of plant sciences, biogeography, climatology, and Earth sciences, conceived within an Earth System based and solutions-oriented approach.

Marc will take up his appointment at the University of Cambridge on 1st January 2024.

Mike Hulme, Head of Department

# Ice sheets can retreat faster than previously thought possible

Dr. Frazer Christie, Scott Polar Research Institute

SPRI-based researchers Drs. Frazer Christie, Sasha Montelli, Prof. Julian Dowdeswell and Evelyn Dowdeswell have published research showing that ice sheets are capable of retreating much faster than previously thought possible.

The research, led by Cambridge Geography and SPRI alumnus Dr. Christine Batchelor of Newcastle University, analysed more than 7,600 subtle landforms called 'corrugation ridges' across the mid-Norwegian seafloor. These landforms revealed that a former ice sheet underwent pulses of rapid retreat totalling up to 600 meters per day at the end of the last Ice Age. This rate is up to 20 times faster than present-day rates of ice-sheet retreat observed from satellites, and suggests that similarly rapid retreat could occur across flat-bedded areas of the Antarctic Ice Sheet in the future.

The research is published as an article in the journal Nature, and further information can be found in the Cambridge University press release.

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# SPRI Review 2022

SPRI Review 2022 is now available online. SPRI Review is the Annual Report issued by the Scott Polar Research Institute, giving information on the Institute's activities over the past year.

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# New study finds flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet more complex than thought

Robert Law

Researchers in the Department of Geography and the Scott Polar Research Institute have identified a highly variable layer of 'warm' basal ice to exert strong control on the flow of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

The basal ice layer is highly deformable and up to 70 m thick in topographic depressions where its deformation explains 90% of the ice sheet's total motion. To study where the basal ice layer forms and how it evolves, the researchers constructed a 3D model.

The results reported in the journal Science Advances could be used to develop more accurate predictions of how the Greenland Ice Sheet will respond to climate change. "Even tiny amounts of liquid water alters the mechanical characteristics of the ice considerably" said first author Dr Robert Law, who completed the work as a PhD student in Cambridge. "The findings challenge the textbook view of how ice sheets move" added supervisor and project leader Professor Poul Christoffersen.

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# Runaway West Antarctic ice retreat can be slowed by climate-driven changes in ocean temperature

Dr. Frazer Christie, Scott Polar Research Institute

An international team of researchers, led by Dr. Frazer Christie, has combined satellite imagery and climate and ocean records to obtain the most detailed understanding yet of how West Antarctica is responding to climate change.

Their results, published in the journal Nature Communications, show that while West Antarctica continues to retreat, the pace of ice melting has recently slowed across its most vulnerable sector in-sync with changes in atmosphere and ocean conditions offshore. Ultimately, the research implies that runaway, ice-sheet-wide collapse isn't inevitable, depending on how the climate changes over the next few decades.

The study was supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the Natural Environment Research Council, the US National Science Foundation, the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration project and the European Space Agency.

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# Shackleton's Cabin on BBC iPlayer featuring SPRI Archives

Naomi Boneham, SPRI's Archivist appears in the film in interview with Sven Habermann sharing Shackleton's diaries.

On 5 January 1922, world-famous Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton died of a heart attack in his cabin aboard The Quest during his final expedition to the South Pole Moored in Norway, The Quest was broken apart. However, one of the dockers had the foresight to remove Shackleton's cabin. He took it home and it served as his family's garden shed for three generations.

Nearly 100 years after Shackleton's death, the cabin has been donated to a museum in the explorer's hometown, where master craftsman and Shackleton enthusiast Sven Habermann painstakingly restores it to its former glory. With only one surviving photograph of the cabin's interior, Sven goes to extreme lengths to retrace every detail, from the wood to the original wallpaper used. Shackleton's Cabin follows Sven as he rebuilds the cabin and explores the life and final days of his hero.

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# A new graphic novel brings story of Scott’s expedition to the South Pole to life

To celebrate the centennial year of the publication of The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard, an account of Scott's infamous expedition to the South Pole, SPRI Institute Associate and former Disney animator Sarah Airriess has transformed Cherry's tome into a soon-to-be published graphic novel. Retelling the story through cinematic visuals, the novel keeps as true as possible to the original account while bringing out the emotional core of Cherry's tale, and open up a classic book to new audiences.

Apsley Cherry-Garrard was one of the youngest members of the expedition. As things started to go wrong, he found himself drawn to the centre of events and burdened with responsibility far beyond his abilities. A painful loss of innocence is the axis on which the story turns, but The Worst Journey in the World is ultimately about the power of friendship, the value of curiosity, and the extremes to which people go for the sake of an idea.

Airriess will be releasing the story as a set of volumes, the first part following the expedition crew of the Terra Nova as they sail from Cardiff to Antarctica. The Worst Journey in the World: The Graphic Novel, will be published by independent publisher, Indie Novella, and will be available to buy online and via selected distributors from 24th November 2022.

Airriess undertook research over the course of a decade to bring her graphic novel to life, in collaboration with the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, using their archives to inform the narrative, and the collection of the Polar Museum to inform the drawings. In 2019, she travelled to Antarctica in order to follow the footsteps of Scott and faithfully portray the setting of the story from first-hand experience.

Airriess' work behind the making of the graphic novel is currently on exhibition at The Polar Museum in Cambridge and can be viewed by the public until the end of October 2022.

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