International scientists gather for Taking the Temperature of the Antarctic Continent—21 Mar 2018

Researchers from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), the Australian Research Council (ARC) Antarctic Gateway Partnership, the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) and the Australian Antarctic Division were joined by scientists from the US, UK, China, Japan, Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand and other Australian universities for the 2018 Taking the Temperature of the Antarctic Continent ('TACtical') Workshop,  held in Hobart.

As a result of the thick ice cover and the logistical difficulties of drilling into the Antarctic bedrock, scientists have not yet been able to accurately establish the underlying geothermal heat flow, or temperature, of the continent.

Organiser Dr Jacqueline Halpin who recieves funding through the ARC's Discovery Projects scheme to study subglacial heat flux in East Antarctica, said the workshop would discuss setting up shared databases of models and geothermal heat flow observations.

“Models which predict the future evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet need to take into account the continent’s underlying temperature,” Dr Halpin said.

Accurate estimates will allow scientists to fine-tune predictions of how the Antarctic Ice Sheet will contribute to future sea level change.

“It’s an exciting time in the development of research in this field, as we combine expertise from a range of disciplines to explore the underlying temperature of the Antarctic continent,” Dr Halpin said.

Media issued by the University of Tasmania.


Image: Mount Erebus, an active volcano on Ross Island by jeaneeem on Flickr
Source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, March 21, 2018