11 July, 2011

BAS scientists are participating in the prestigious International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences (ISAES) in Edinburgh this week (11–15 July). Over 500 experts in the fields of geology and glaciology from around the world share their latest research findings from Antarctica to explain how present-day and future climate is influenced by geological evolution, colliding continents and the break up of ancient supercontinents.

Results from ambitious research missions to discover what lies beneath Antarctica’s vast ice sheets will be presented and discussed, including the latest reports from scientific investigations into Antarctica’s ‘ghost mountains’, hidden lakes and streams. Clues to the Earth’s past climate reaching back millions of years are revealed by experts involved in international ocean drilling projects to extract seabed sediments that help scientist understand what’s happening to the Earth today. The role that the Antarctic ice sheet plays in regulating the earth’s climate and the likely impact on sea-level rise is the urgent focus of attention during the week-long symposium. The fascinating topics of volcanoes, the evolution of life on Earth, together with the latest technologies and techniques used to study them will be the subject of much scientific debate and discussion.

The conference — a Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research collaboration — takes place in Edinburgh as the birthplace of geology. It is the first time in over 20 years that the symposium has been held in the UK. It is hosted jointly by British Antarctic Survey, British Geological Survey and the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Nick Owens, Director of British Antarctic Survey said,

“We are delighted to be involved in this meeting on the eve of the centenary of Captain Scott. The scientific discoveries and achievements that have been made since the Heroic Age have changed our world. The knowledge and expertise shared this week will strengthen existing partnerships and forge new ones to enable us to address the big questions we have about Antarctica in our rapidly changing world.”