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Antarctic sea-ice and the global climate

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lois Salem.

We know sea-ice is a critical component of the global climate system as it has the capacity to greatly amplify and respond rapidly to small perturbations in climate through complex positive feedbacks on atmospheric and oceanic systems. Efforts to accurately represent sea-ice in climate models have met with limited success, partly due to the complexity of feedbacks associated with sea-ice and partly due to the paucity of sea-ice data on which the models are based. In particular, very little is known about the areal extent and persistence of Antarctic sea-ice prior to instrumental records.

Claire Allen is a marine micropalaeontologist and palaeoceanographer in the Chemistry and Past Climate Research Programme at the British Antarctic Survey. Claire’s research focuses on the use of diatoms (marine algae) as proxies for ocean and climate conditions around Antarctica and covers a range of timescales spanning from recent decades to glacial-interglacial cycles.

The presentation will look at the role of sea-ice in the global climate, introduce the proxies used to reconstruct Antarctic sea-ice and discuss what we can learn from reconstructing past changes in Antarctic sea-ice.

This talk is part of the Sedgwick Club talks series.

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