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# New study reveals Antarctic ice shelf retreat

A new study led by researchers from Scott Polar Research Institute, with colleagues from Loughborough University and the Geological Survey of Norway, calculates that ice shelves surrounding the Antarctic coast retreated at speeds of up to 50m per day at the end of the last Ice Age - a rate roughly 10 times faster than observed by satellites today.

Using drones, satellites and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles during the Weddell Sea Expedition 2019, our researchers were able to study ice conditions in the Weddell Sea in unprecedented detail. "By examining landforms on the seafloor, we were able to make determinations about how the ice behaved in the past," said Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute Professor Julian Dowdeswell, who was chief scientist on the expedition. "We knew these features were there, but we've never been able to examine them in such great detail before."

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# Communication at a distance

SPRI PhD Candidate, Premdeep Gill, recently joined the Royal Greenwich Museum as a special guest on their online show, speaking to BBC presenter Helen Czerski on the theme of communication at a distance throughout history.

Prem discussed his use of satellites to track seals and how he uses "seal grime" to connect with a wider audience, and encourage young people from diverse backgrounds to consider polar science and conservation.

The episode is available to watch online and featured on BBC online as part of their "culture in quarantine" programming.

# New paper on subarctic treelines

A new paper, whose co-authors include Dr Gareth Rees, Dr Olga Tutubalina & Zuzana Swirad of the Scott Polar Research Institute, is now available as open access.

The paper, 'Is subarctic forest advance able to keep pace with climate change?' demonstrates that the still widespread assumption that treelines are moving northwards into the arctic tundra at a rate determined by climate change is wrong. The authors discuss that they are moving much more slowly than thought, and climate-change models must consequently be adapted accordingly.

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# SPRI Review 2019

SPRI Review 2019 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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# Sea-floor and sea-ice conditions in the western Weddell Sea, Antarctica, around the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance

A new paper authored by several SPRI researchers has just been published in 'Antarctic Science'.

'Sea-floor and sea-ice conditions in the western Weddell Sea, Antarctica, around the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance', represents part of the research undertaken in preparation for the Weddell Sea Expedition 2019.

The Scott Polar Research Institute was represented in the expedition team and included our Director Professor Julian Dowdeswell who was Head of Science for the expedition, and Friends of SPRI Chair, Dr John Shears, who was Expedition Leader.

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# University of Cambridge buildings closure

In light of recent government announcements, and of recent developments including a growing number of staff members now working from home, the University of Cambridge has now moved into its "red" phase in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, the Scott Polar Research Institute closed its doors on Friday 20th March, for the foreseeable future. Find out what this means in a statement from University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope.

Please check our social media platforms and this website for further updates and news on our re-opening.

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# Closure of the Polar Museum

Due to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and in the interest of public safety, the Polar Museum will be closed effective immediately until further notice.

The well-being of our visitors, volunteers and staff is very important to us and this decision has not been made lightly. We look forward to welcoming you all back to the Polar Museum very soon.

In the meantime, you can explore our range of online resources, Virtual Shackleton and view our collection on the Polar Museum pages.

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# Quaternary Glaciations - top of the pops!

The Geological Society

Quaternary Glaciations - Extent and Chronology - A Closer Look. Developments in Quaternary Science 15. 1108 pp. published by Elsevier: Amsterdam in 2011, ISBN: 978-0-444-53447-7, edited by Emeritus Professor Philip Gibbard with J. Ehlers and Philip Hughes was the most downloaded e-book from the Geological Society of London's Library in 2019.

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# Antarctic research features on BBC Radio 4 Today programme

Current glaciological research being undertaken by Ian Willis and Alison Banwell as part of a joint US-NSF and UK-NERC funded project featured on a recent edition of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, guest edited by Greta Thunberg. The research investigates the role of surface meltwater movement on the stability of Antarctic Ice Shelves and involves fieldwork on the George VI Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsular from where the SPRI scientists have recently returned. Their work is mentioned as part of a larger report into Antarctic glacier melt and sea level rise, which begins about 47 minutes into the programme.

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# Drone images show Greenland Ice Sheet becoming more unstable as it fractures

In a new study, researchers at the Scott Polar Research Institute used drones to observe how fractures form on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The new research, published 2nd December 2019 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, explains why supraglacial lakes in Greenland drain rapidly, and how the drainage creates conduits for continued supply of surface meltwater to the base of the ice sheet.

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