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July 13, 2009 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Ice Age 4: Rise of the Oceans

New evidence shows that changes to Antarctica’s most vulnerable element, the West Antarctic ice sheet, could raise global sea levels by up to five metres, according to Professor Tim Naish.

Professor Naish, the Director of Victoria University’s Antarctic Research Centre, presented this evidence at his inaugural professorial lecture at Victoria last week. Much of his research is gathered from the international ANDRILL drilling programme in the sedimentary layers of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

“Evidence shows that this sheet is expected to melt first, along with Greenland. West Antarctica sits below sea level, so as the ocean warms, the ice sheet also warms,” Professor Naish said.

“When the West Antarctica ice sheet collapsed numerous times, it raised sea levels by up to 10 metres.”

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh says Professor Naish is an outstanding researcher, teacher and leader in the field of Antarctic research.

“Professor Naish’s Antarctic research has raised international awareness about the role of Antarctic ice sheets in climate and sea-level change. Through the ANDRILL project in particular, he has provided leadership on an issue that is of global significance.”

[ssba]

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