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Cold and Palaeo Environments

The group carries out research and field-based projects around the globe. The team investigate both modern and ancient environments from the tropics to the polar regions, under the main research themes of ice and snow permafrost; and past climate and environment.

The Cold & Palaeo Environments group (CAPE) carries out research and field-based projects around the globe. The team investigate both modern and ancient environments from the tropics to the polar regions, under the main research themes of ice and snow permafrost; and past climate and environment.

Research involves field-based projects in cold regions across the globe, including Antarctica, a range of high Arctic, European and Canadian sites, New Zealand, the Alps, Alaska and Chile, all of which are focussed around two interlinked themes:

  1. Reconstruction of climate change, vegetation, palaeoseismicity, environmental pollution and sea level at decadal, millennial and million-year timescales using a variety of biological and geochemical proxies, including pollen, diatoms, dinoflagellates, stable isotopes and biomarkers;
  2. Response of the contemporary cryosphere (where the world is frozen) to recent and future climate change through geophysical investigations, micrometeorological measurements on mountain glaciers, measurement and modelling of snow properties over land, under trees and on sea ice; analysis of carbon release from Siberian permafrost and modelling of ice sheets and high mountain hydrology.

Field data collection involves a range of state-of-the-science techniques including ground-penetrating radar, seismics, eddy covariance systems, and terrestrial laser scanning (TLS).


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