22 September, 2016

Research beneath Antarctica’s vast ice sheets has revealed mountain ranges the size of the Alps, lakes bigger than Windermere, rivers, streams and ancient volcanoes. But why should we care? Professor David Vaughan from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) lifts the lid on this enigmatic continent at the premiere of New Scientist Live on Friday 23 September.

Antarctica is a remarkable continent – remote, hostile and uninhabited. This frozen continent is key to understanding how our world works, and our impact upon it. Antarctica is important for science because of its profound effect on the Earth’s climate and ocean systems. Professor Vaughan will describe the latest research expeditions taking place on the continent, how Antarctica was the birthplace of a supercontinent called Gondwana and explain how what happens in the Polar Regions affects all of us.

He says:

“Although it is thousands of miles from the UK, there are changes taking place in Antarctica which are going to affect all our lives. I’ll explain what we have discovered about the region and its hidden world and what is still to be explored.”

The BAS exhibition space at New Scientist Live

Professor David Vaughan is Director of Science at British Antarctic Survey. He is a leading expert on the role of ice sheets in the Earth system and the  implications of climate change and rising sea levels. He has led seven scientific campaigns in remote parts of Antarctica to investigate what lies beneath its vast ice sheets and map the bedrock beneath Pine Island Glacier – the fastest melting glacier in Antarctica, responsible for about 25 per cent of Antarctica’s ice loss. He has contributed to the sea-level rise section of several Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

The talk: Antarctica’s Hidden World by Professor Vaughan takes place in the Earth Theatre at 13.30-14.10.

More details: https://live.newscientist.com/david-vaughan/

Debate: Life in the Anthropocene. Professor Vaughan is joined by Gaia Vince, environmental science writer and broadcaster and Oliver Morton, science writer and editor in Earth Theatre at 15.30-16.30.

More details: https://live.newscientist.com/life-in-the-anthropocene/

Join the BAS exhibit ‘Exhibition Antarctica – sounds from the magnetosphere’ which highlights space weather research at stand 659 in the Earth Zone from 22-25 September 2016.