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Northumbria is working closely with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and other partners on several research projects investigating a key driver of sea level rise and understanding its response to climate change. Sea level rise is a serious global issue threatening infrastructure and coastal populations around the world. Understanding the factors affecting sea level rise and using these to model and predict future changes is essential to develop strategies to adapt to/mitigate the threat from sea level rise. 

The BAS is a world-leading centre for polar science and polar operations, conducting collaborative research to advance understanding of global environmental issues and help society adapt to a changing world.

Find out more about our ongoing projects below. 


Projecting sea-level rise: from ice sheets to local implications (PROTECT)

This is an EU project with many partners including Northumbria and the BAS. PROTECT is investigating sea level rise due to the melting of ice sheets and glaciers worldwide under climate change. The work will help improve understanding and modelling of all parts of the cryosphere to predict the future social and environmental impact of sea level rise. Find out more 

Drivers of Oceanic Change in the Amundsen Sea (DeCAdeS)

This is a large NERC grant led by Northumbria, with six other UK partners including BAS. This project is investigating the role of the ocean in determining the contribution of the Antarctic ice sheet to sea level rise. This is one of the biggest uncertainties in estimating future sea level change. The project will involve two research cruises to the Amundsen Sea, and the deployment of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle that will be left there for a year to make observations beneath the sea ice. Find out more 

West Antarctic Ice Sheet retreat in the context of ENSO variability

Satellite observations show rapid changes in the rate of ice loss from West Antarctica, but the causes of this are unclear and require modelling of the full ice-ocean system. This project will investigate the influence of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on ice loss in West Antarctica and its effect on sea level changes. ENSO is a climate phenomenon defined by an irregular periodic variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the Pacific Ocean which can affect temperature and precipitation around the world. Find out more

Quantifying Human Influence on Ocean Melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

This project is funded jointly by UK Research and Innovation and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and involves partners in the UK (BAS, University of Southampton and Northumbria) and Japan (Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and Hokkaido University). State-of-the-art numerical ocean/ice models are being subjected to atmospheric forcing from a range of climate model simulations, designed to separate the roles of anthropogenic forcing and natural climate variability in driving mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

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