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Prof Jonathan Bamber on changing Antarctic Ice Sheets and rising global sea levels [video]

Photo: Prof Jonathan Bamber

Five of the world's leading scientists on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean present recent findings on the changing Antarctic Ice Sheets and the impact on global sea levels. A presentation from World Science Week, during the 6th Open Science Conference of the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research. 'Melting Ice, Rising Seas' was generously hosted by AUT University, New Zealand.  

In Part One we hear what the satellite data tells us about the current increase in sea level rise, and the changes in both the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. The paleo record shows that the planet has experienced rapid rises in sea level in the past, up to four metres per century during the so-called MeltWater Pulse 1A of 16,000 years.


Video: World Science Week, Prof. Jonathan Bamber, introduced by Prof. Bryan Storey.


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 here 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

In 'Melting Ice, Rising Sea' Part One, Professor Bryan Storey begins by setting the scene, while Professor Jonathan Bamber presents satellite data for both the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets going back as far as 1960. Data from the last 20 years suggests the increase in global sea level has gone from 1.5mm per year to 3.3mm per year, which would be an increase of at least 30cm over a century without any further acceleration in melting ice sheets. 


Professor Bryan Storey, Vice President, SCAR, and Director, Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, NZ

Professor Bryan Storey is Director of Gateway Antarctica, the Centre for Antarctic Studies at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, as well as Vice President of SCAR, the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research. He holds a BA from Trinity College Dublin (1974) and PhD from the University of Birmingham (1979). Professor Storey is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London and won the Polar Medal in 1987. He has 24 years experience as a geologist and programme leader at the British Antarctic Survey. His research interests include continental break-up processes, mantle plumes, the tectonic history of Antarctica, and Earth System Science.


Prof. Jonathan Bamber, Professor of Physical Geography, University of Bristol, UK. 

Professor Jonathan Bamber is a professor of physical geography and director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre. He graduated from Bristol University with a degree in Physics in 1983 and went on to complete a Ph.D. in glaciology and remote sensing at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. He then spent eight years in the Department of Space and Climate Physics, University College London, before returning to Bristol in 1996.

His main areas of interest are in applications of satellite and airborne remote sensing data in the polar regions. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles on these topics focusing mainly on Greenland and Antarctica. Since 2007, he has been the editor in chief of the journal The Cryosphere and has been an active member of the international glaciological community since the early 1990s through various roles, initiatives and outreach activities worldwide.

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