Why Ice Sheets Matter for the Global Carbon Cycle
In this research seminar, Prof. Jemma Wadham (University of Bristol) gives an overview of the different mechanisms by which glaciers and ice sheets impact the Earth’s carbon cycle, drawing upon recent field research in Greenland, Antarctica and Patagonia.
Jemma Wadham is a Professor of Glaciology at the University of Bristol, specialising in the hydrology and biogeochemistry of cold regions. Jemma is particularly interested in the impacts of melting glaciers and ice sheets on regional and global biogeochemical cycles, using novel in situ chemical sensing technologies to gather data from challenging locations.
She started her career on high Arctic glaciers in Svalbard, with her later research taking her to glacial field sites all over the world, including Greenland, Antarctica, Patagonia, Peru and the Himalaya. Jemma recently received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award in recognition of her research achievements and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) has commended her contribution to subglacial science.
In this research seminar, Jemma gives an overview of the different mechanisms by which glaciers and ice sheets impact the Earth’s carbon cycle, drawing upon recent field research in Greenland, Antarctica and Patagonia. These feedbacks range from glacial melt driving the productivity of marine waters by stimulating nutrient release, to ice sheets storing and cycling sizeable reserves of legacy carbon in their basal regions, which ultimately leads to the production of the greenhouse gas, methane.
She reviews the current state of this relatively new field and where it needs to go in order to close errors associated with current carbon cycling budgets in glacier-influenced regions.