October 31, 2022

Romilly Close

Photo of Romilly Close

PhD: Assessing the Contribution of Antarctic Peninsula Glaciers to Global Sea Level Rise

Location: Lancaster University

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My undergraduate degree was in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Sheffield. I graduated in 2016, and went into composites research and development in industry for 5 years. I am proficient in coding and enthusiastic about applying my skills to tackle some of the greatest environmental challenges facing society. I am also passionate about the role of public engagement in research, based upon my experiences of disseminating work at conferences. Based on this, I created a Raspberry Pi weather station and how-to guide (see – this project was created to complement the research project “The Secret Life of a Weather Datum”, which investigated socio-cultural influences on weather data.

Research Project:

Melting of the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets contributes more than one third of global sea-level rise. One of the most rapidly changing polar regions is the Antarctic Peninsula which, during the second half of the 20th Century, was one of the fastest warming regions on Earth.

Satellites provide a unique tool for monitoring the impact of climate change. However, making reliable measurements in remote polar regions such as the Antarctic Peninsula is highly challenging, due to the complex terrain and multitude of small, highly dynamic glaciers. Recent advances in satellite technology now offer the potential to develop new, robust estimates of glacier change across this region. My project aims to utilize new streams of satellite data and innovative A.I. and metrological techniques, to monitor glacier evolution across the Antarctic Peninsula and assess its contribution to sea-level rise. Specific aims are to (1) develop new estimates of glacier change using measurements from NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite and high-resolution radar altimeters, and (2) determine regional mass loss, including rigorous treatment of uncertainty.