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Prof Rob DeConto explains how polar ice sheet movements can help to predict future sea level rise [video]

Photo: Knut Christianson, University of Washington

In part four of Melting Ice, Rising Seas, Prof Rob DeConto, Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, explains his research using physical and numerical models of ice sheet movement in Greenland and Antarctica to simulate the modern system, and to test those models relative to future scenarios of greenhouse gas increases.


Video: World Science Week, Prof Rob DeConto, Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherstoul


World Science Week New Zealand brought together more than 2,000 of the world’s leading scientists, researchers and government science advisors for a series of international science summits in Auckland during August and September 2014. These included the 31st triennial General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and  the 6th biennial Open Science Conference of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR). 

Many of the scientists took part in a series of public lectures supported by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Royal Society of New Zealand, and hosted at the University of Auckland and AUT University.  

'Melting Ice, Rising Sea' was a presentation by five of the world's leading experts on the current state of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and surrounding Southern Ocean, how climate change is impacting upon them, and the consequences for Planet Earth as the 21st century progresses. (The video recording of the seminar is presented in four separate parts). 


  • Bryan Storey, Vice President of SCAR, Director, Gateway Antarctica, the Centre for Antarctic Studies at University of Canterbury, NZ (Convenor)
  • Jonathan Bamber, Professor of Physical Geography, University of Bristol, UK
  • Tim Naish, Director of Victoria University of Wellington’s Antarctic Research Centre, NZ
  • Rob DeConto, Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, USA
  • Steve Rintoul, Research Team Leader, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia


Prof Rob DeConto, Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, USA

Prof Rob DeConto is Professor of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, USA. His background spans geology, oceanography, and atmospheric science. He has held research positions at both the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). His early research used numerical climate models to better understand the mechanisms responsible for past periods of extreme global warmth. In recent years, his research has shifted toward the polar regions – including fieldwork in Antarctica, the development of coupled climate-ice sheet models, and the application of those models to a wide range of past and future climate scenarios. DeConto currently serves on a number of national and international science boards and advisory panels and he is currently co-chair of ACE (Antarctic Climate Evolution), an international research programme under the auspices of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.


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