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Lower Hutt Café Scientifique - Frozen Secrets Revealed

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  • Thu 1 Sep ’16, 6:00pm – 7:15pm


Wholly Bagels, 34 Knights Rd, Lower Hutt Show map


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

What does it take to melt an Antarctic ice sheet? What are the consequences for New Zealand if Antarctica melts?

Almost forty years have passed since the visionary glaciologist John Mercer wrote a paper stating that fossil fuel consumption could drive warming that would start rapid melting of the West Antarctica ice sheet and cause a five meter rise in sea level. Since then, considerable scientific research has examined the causes and consequences of ice sheet growth and collapse. Large international drilling projects have bored beneath the ice to recover hidden records of ice sheet response to past intervals of warmth.

Small teams have gathered fossils from layers of sediments in the Transantarctic Mountains to gain insight into Antarctica’s climate during times when carbon dioxide concentrations were last similar to those expected in the coming decades. Satellites have been launched into planetary orbit to monitor the ice sheets and determine rates of change. All of these efforts help us understand how the frozen continent has evolved.

Richard Levy is a paleontologist and glacial geologist at GNS Science. Come along and hear Dr Levy discuss how data gathered from Antarctica allows us to predict what is likely to happen to its ice sheets in the coming decades and centuries and the consequences for us all.

Supported by: GNS Science, Royal Society of New Zealand Wellington Branch, Wholly Bagels (Lower Hutt), Hutt City Libraries and Hutt City Council.

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