Research projects



See also Atmosphere, Ice and Climate team or Climate & climate change


This project will reconstruct millennial-scale ice sheet change in the western Amundsen Sea Embayment, Antarctica, using high-precision exposure dating.

Antarctic Climate over the last millennia

The Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica have warmed dramatically in recent decades, with some climate records indicating that these are among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth. The Antarctic …

Arctic marine geophysics

This research focuses on investigating the glacial histories of Arctic ice sheets and ice caps using the marine geological record preserved on continental margins. By reconstructing past ice sheets, their …

turbulence probe over sea ice

Arctic Summer-time Cyclones

The Arctic Summer-time Cyclone Project is a joint project of scientists from the University of Reading, University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey with expertise in atmospheric dynamics, …

BAS Field Camp on the Rutford Ice Stream

BEAMISH: Basal Conditions on Rutford Ice Stream

The polar ice sheets play a major role in controlling Earth’s sea level and climate, but our understanding of their history and motion is poor. The biggest uncertainty in predicting …

Beyond Epica

A decade ago, the European EPICA project completed drilling a deep ice core at Dome C, revealing the close link between climate and atmospheric greenhouse gases over the past 800,000 …

Climate and Ice during the Last Interglacial

During the Last Interglacial (129-116 thousand years ago, ka) CO2 and global temperature were both higher than they were before human industrialisation. By examining Last Interglacial climate, we thus gain …

Chart showing climate temperature records from the Arctic in a blue to red colour scale

Climate Code

This collaborative project is born from exploring novel ways of visualising environment​al data and telling the climate change story. Read more about the project and the science behind it through the project page.

Ice core data showing CO2 (yellow) and temperature going back 800,000 years


Environmental research relies on digital infrastructure (hardware, software and methods) to provide services that help researchers answer questions about the environment around us, and innovators to work out ways that …

Background pattern

Digital Twins of the Polar Regions

Digital Twinning is next generation technology for data fusion and computer modelling enabling us to rapidly get answers to “what-if” questions. DTs are already in operation in industry and involve …

A group of people on a boat in the water.


Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow (DynOPO) is a collaboration between BAS, the University of Southampton and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC). The project aims to investigate the flow of …


A strategic framework to connect science and society

A snow covered mountain.

Filchner Ice Shelf System, Antarctica

Understanding the contribution that polar ice sheets make to global sea-level rise is recognised internationally as urgent.  The mission of this five-year project is to capture new observations and data …

A close up of a snow covered slope.

Geological History Constraints on the Magnitude of Grounding Line Retreat in the Thwaites Glacier System

GHC (“Geological History Constraints”) will gather information about past ice sheet behaviour and relative sea level change in the Thwaites Glacier system. Determining the timing and magniture of past episodes …

Ice Floor installation - close up of ice core

Ice Floor Sci-Art Installation

Ice Floor, is an immersive exhibition commissioned by engineering consultants Arup. UK born artist Wayne Binitie created the installation.

Three polar bears on the edge of a small iceberg


physicists, chemists, biologists, economists, and sociologists from 21 institutes in 11 countries across Europe assess the rapid retreat and collapse of Arctic sea-ice cover

Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Sea-Surface

  In order to assess the impact of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) on the oceans today we are investigating the effect of decreasing upper ocean pH on calcifying zooplankton. Pteropods, …

A close up of a purple flower.


PI: Markus M. Frey Co-I’s: X. Yang, R. Mulvaney NERC Grant: NE/N011813/1 The ozone layer shields all land-based life forms from harmful ultraviolet radiation; and indirectly influences the climate at …

A man holding a package

iStar-D The contribution to sea-level rise from the Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica

iStar-D will identify the potential contribution to sea-level rise, from ice locked in the Amundsen Sea sector of Antarctica

A collection of small marine creatures

Larsen-C Benthos

On 12 July 2017, the Larsen-C Ice Shelf calved one of the largest iceberg originating from the Antarctic Peninsula ever recorded. As iceberg A68 moves north, it  leaves behind an …

A group of people on a hill.

Late Quaternary changes in the Westerly Winds over the Southern Ocean

In this NERC-funded project, we are generating Southern Hemisphere Westerlies (SHW) proxy records from each of the three major sectors of the Southern Ocean, focusing on subantarctic islands situated in …


In order to accurately predict impacts of space weather and climate variability on the whole atmosphere we need an accurate representation of the whole atmosphere. The mesosphere (~50-95 km altitude) …

A person riding a snowboard down a snow covered mountain.

Meteorology and Ozone Monitoring

Long-term meteorological and ozone observations and data help determine the causes of climate change in the polar regions. Meteorology Meteorological observations are made regularly throughout the day at Halley and …


Methane Observations and Yearly Assessments

Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and changes in its concentration could have major influences on the Earth’s climate. Measurements made around the world …

ozone measuring

National Capability for Global Challenges

Polar Expertise – Supporting Development

A plane flying over a body of water.

North Sea Methane

Offshore gas fields worldwide are major sources of methane emissions. Developing reliable methods to locate emissions and pinpoint sources is critical for quantifying the volume of methane emissions from gas …

A close up of a refrigerator.


The ice sheets of Antarctica can be several kilometres thick, and contain precious information about the past climate. However, the bottoms of the ice sheets are melting, erasing this information. …

ice stories composite

Polar Zero – Ice Stories

Polar Zero forms a major part of British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) multi-media engagement plan for COP 26.  Ice Stories draws on personal anecdotes, memories and oral testimonies from the national …

a slice of an Antarctic Ice Core

Polar Zero: climate science-art collaboration

The Polar Zero experience at Glasgow Science Centre is a fusion of science and art made for COP26 climate summit

A sunset over a body of water.


Global shipping is undergoing significant changes. In January 2020 the maximum sulphur emission by ships in international waters will reduce from 3.5% to 0.5% by mass, as a result of …

A man flying a kite in the snow


The NERC funded SIWHA_CO2 project “Sea Ice and Westerly winds during the Holocene in coastal Antarctica, to better constrain oceanic CO2 uptake” will be a breakthrough in our understanding of how …


We are constructing observationally-constrained estimates of the state of the Weddell Gyre, including associated ice shelves and sea ice Introduction In the 25 years between 1992 and 2017, ocean melting …

A person riding a wave on top of a mountain.


The Southern Ocean is one of the most important and poorly understood components of the global carbon cycle that profoundly shapes Earth’s climate. It is the primary hot spot for …

Panorama view of South Georgia looking SSW

Southern Ocean Clouds

SOC is a project of the NERC CloudSense Programme The biases observed in climate models over the Southern Ocean in surface radiation and sea surface temperature are larger than anywhere …

A view of a large wave in the ocean.

Stability and Instability – Records of External Drivers and Resulting Behaviour of Thwaites Glacier

THOR is a ship-based and ice-based project that will examine sedimentary record both offshore from the glacier and beneath the ice shelf, together with glacial landforms on the sea bed, …

A close up of a hand.


The Sub-Antarctic – ice coring expedition (SubICE), part of the international Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE), successfully drilled several shallow ice cores, from five of the remote and globally significant sub-Antarctic …

A snow covered mountain

The Big Thaw

The Big Thaw is an ambitious new UKRI/NERC-funded Highlight Topic project assessing past, present and future changes in global mountain water resources by studying snow/ice accumulation and melt in the …

Background pattern

The evolution and ecology of Antarctic sea floor communities

The evolution and ecology of Antarctic sea floor communities is a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, led by Dr Rowan Whittle, looking at the past, present and future of life at …

The role of Antarctic sea-ice in global climate

Sea-ice is frequently cited as a likely driver and propagator of abrupt climate change because of the rapid and far-reaching impact of its feedbacks. However, numerical climate models are still …

Rough seas of the Southern ocean

The role of the Southern Ocean in regulating atmospheric CO2 on glacial-interglacial timescales

The cause of the variability in atmospheric CO2 over glacial-interglacial timescales has been a puzzle since its discovery in the early 1980s. It is widely believed to be related to …

UKESM logo


Reliable projections of the Earth’s climate are at the heart of scientific support for international efforts to address global change. There is increasing recognition that reliable projections require that physical …

Cloud reflections and pack ice in the Weddell Sea

Water isotopes in UKESM2

We will add water tracers (including stable water isotopes) to the UK Earth System Model (UKESM2) which will track through the model’s hydrological cycle. This work started under the EU …

Weddell Sea ice sheet and climate

In the south of the Weddell Sea lies the Ronne and Filchner Ice Shelves. During the coldest part of the last glacial period about 25,000 years ago, the ice in …

West Antarctica wind strength and atmospheric circulation

Changes in wind strength and circulation patterns above the Antarctic Peninsula are linked to its warming and increased upwelling of warm circumpolar deep water, resulting in accelerated melting and thinning …

Schematic of atmospheric waves and the large-scale circulations they drive.

Whole Atmosphere Climate Change

The near-Earth space environment is host to an increasing amount of advanced, satellite-based technology, used for both commercial and scientific purposes. To safeguard this technology and ensure that we can …