Over the past 40 years, ice cores have revealed more about climate change than any other scientific technique. Over the last few decades, satellites have detected changes to the amount of sea ice that covers the polar oceans. Since 1979 summer sea-ice extent in the Arctic has reduced at 10% per decade. Some major glaciers that drain the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets have accelerated by as much as 50%.

Percussive Rapid Access Isotope Drill

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. …



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 …


Data As Art

DATA AS ART is a science/art project in development at NERC’s British Antarctic Survey (BAS). It visualises science data (in its widest definition), to create stunning and thought-provoking artworks, using real Antarctic …


Brunt Ice Shelf movement

Discover the technologies and techniques to monitor the Brunt Ice Shelf and Halley VI Research Station


SubICE – Sub-Antarctic Ice Coring Expedition

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 …



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 …


Data as art – Aesthetics of water

British Antarctic Survey has an ongoing science & art collaboration with glass artist and Royal College of Art MPhil candidate Wayne Binitie. Wayne has visited BAS a number of times …


PolarGAP

The polar regions have the capacity to amaze and astound, but despite the considerable progress of recent decades we still know far less about them than less remote parts of …


DATA AS ART #10

Ice layers Radio waves can be transmitted down through an ice sheet, ice stream or glacier and are reflected off the internal layers in the ice as well as off …


DATA AS ART #09

Volcanic ash Ice cores are cylinders of ice (approximately 10cm wide) drilled out of an ice sheet or glacier. On the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, these can be up to …


Bedmap Himalayas

Bedmap Himalayas is an ongoing BAS core-funded and grant-funded programme that aims to measure how much water much is stored as glacier ice in High Mountain Asia. In warm weather, …


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 …


Ocean-driven ice-shelf thinning in Antarctica

By exploiting advances in ice sheet modelling, and new Antarctic-wide datasets, this project aims to predict how far and how fast the observed ocean-driven thinning of floating ice shelves will …



Ice Sheet Modelling

The research of the ice sheet modelling group focuses on integrating observational data with dynamical models that describe how the ice flows in order to improve our representation of how …



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 …


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 …






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 …





























































































































































































































































































































































Ice cores and climate change

1 March, 2014

Slices of ice core, drilled from the depths of the Earth’s ice sheets, reveal details of the planet’s past climate. Introduction Ice cores are cylinders of ice drilled out of …















































































































Measuring glaciers in the Himalayan mountains

11 October, 2018

Technology pioneered in Antarctica could soon be providing much-needed data on the amount of ice in the glaciers of High Mountain Asia thanks to an ingenious helicopter-mounted, low-frequency radar developed …





Boaty returns from first mission under the ice

13 March, 2018

The yellow high-tech autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), affectionately known as Boaty McBoatface, has successfully returned from an ambitious science expedition deep below half a kilometre of ice. It is the …




Giant West Antarctic iceberg disintegrates

29 November, 2017

An animation of the giant iceberg that calved off the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica just over two months ago shows an unexpected break up. Satellite images revealed a …



New Antarctic heat map reveals sub-ice hotspots

13 November, 2017

An international team of scientists, led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), has produced a new map showing how much heat from the Earth’s interior is reaching the base of the …



Large iceberg breaks off Pine Island Glacier

27 September, 2017

Latest satellite images reveal a new 100-square-mile iceberg emerging from Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. The calving event did not come as a complete surprise, but is a troubling sign with …



Huge Antarctic iceberg finally breaks free

12 July, 2017

After months of ‘hanging by a thread’ a vast iceberg the size of Norfolk has finally broken off Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf.  Around 30 metres of this 190m thick …




New footage shows crack in Larsen C Ice Shelf

21 February, 2017

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) recently captured this video footage of a huge crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf, on the Antarctic Peninsula. Currently a huge iceberg, roughly the size …



New study shows when Pine Island Glacier retreat began

23 November, 2016

New study reveals when West Antarctica’s largest glacier started retreating Reporting this week (Wednesday 23 November) in the journal Nature an international team led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS) explains …


Quest begins for oldest ice on Earth

14 November, 2016

First phase of project to collect 1.5 million years of climate data in Antarctica A team of European scientists heads to East Antarctica this month to locate the oldest ice …


FEATURED PAPER: Tidal controls on ice streams

18 October, 2016

The often large ocean tides around Antarctica can greatly affect the flow of ice streams even long distances upstream of their grounding lines. Observing and modelling this interaction serves as …



A recent pause in Antarctic Peninsula warming

20 July, 2016

The rapid warming of the Antarctic Peninsula, which occurred from the early-1950s to the late 1990s, has paused. Stabilisation of the ozone hole along with natural climate variability were significant in bringing about the change. Together these influences have now caused the northern part of the peninsula to enter a temporary cooling phase. Temperatures remain higher than measured during the middle of the 20th Century and glacial retreat is still taking place. However, scientists predict that if greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise at the current rate, temperatures will increase across the Antarctic Peninsula by several degrees Centigrade by the end of this century.


Ocean warming primary cause of glacier retreat

14 July, 2016

A new study has found for the first time that ocean warming is the primary cause of retreat of glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula. The Peninsula is one of the largest current contributors to sea-level rise and this new finding will enable researchers to make better predictions of ice loss from this region.




FEATURED PAPER: Recent snowfall increase

16 December, 2015

This paper reveals that the amount of snowfall in coastal West Antarctica has increased during the 20th century, with annual snow accumulation since the 1990s the highest we have observed …


PRESS RELEASE: West Antarctica snow accumulation

4 November, 2015

West Antarctic coastal snow accumulation rose 30 percent during 20th century Annual snow accumulation on West Antarctica’s coastal ice sheet increased dramatically during the 20th century, according to a new …


NEWS STORY: New polar ship bidder selected

12 October, 2015

Government announces preferred bidder to build new polar ship Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson announced today that the preferred bidder to build a new polar research …


NEWS STORY: Predicting polar ice loss

28 August, 2015

Most comprehensive ice loss model A new international study is the first to use a high-resolution, large-scale computer model to estimate how much ice the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could …



NEWS STORY: Polar ice cores reveal volcanic eruptions

8 July, 2015

Polar ice cores reveal volcanic eruptions that changed human history Researchers find new evidence that large eruptions were responsible for cold temperature extremes recorded since early Roman times A freshly …


PRESS RELEASE: Ice shelf at double risk

13 May, 2015

New study shows Antarctic ice shelf is thinning from above and below A decade-long scientific debate about what’s causing the thinning of one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves is settled …


NEWS STORY: BAS at recruitment exhibition

17 April, 2015

British Antarctic Survey takes part in the National Engineering & Construction Recruitment Exhibition 2015 British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is recruiting for engineers and construction workers at this year’s National Engineering …


NEWS STORY: Melting rates accelerate

26 March, 2015

New research shows volume loss from Antarctic ice shelves is accelerating New research published today in the journal Science Express (Thursday 26 March) describes how the ice shelves around Antarctica …


NEWS STORY: Frozen in to the Arctic winter

10 March, 2015

Extreme science in extreme conditions: frozen in to the Arctic winter Dr Markus Frey, a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) ice and atmospheric scientist, is living and working aboard the Norwegian …


NEWS STORY: Glacier project on stamps

25 November, 2014

Stamp of approval for iSTAR The iSTAR programme, which is looking at the stability of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica, is featured in a new set of British Antarctic Territory …


NEWS STORY: New iSTAR season starts

11 November, 2014

Scientists head to Pine Island Glacier for new research season A team of twelve scientists and support staff has arrived on Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica in the second …


NEWS STORY: Ice shelf break up explained

12 September, 2014

Antarctic Team Discovers Mechanism for Massive Ice Shelf Collapse New research has found that the cataclysmic break-up of a large floating ice shelf in the early 2000’s was primarily the …


NEWS STORY: Sea levels rising faster in Antarctica

1 September, 2014

Antarctic sea-level rising faster than global rate A new study of satellite data from the last 19 years reveals that fresh water from melting glaciers has caused the sea-level around …


NEWS STORY: Unlocking clues to past climate

1 May, 2014

Earth’s last warm phase exposed Analysis of data collected from ice cores and marine sediment cores in both polar regions has given scientists a clearer picture of how the Earth’s …


PRESS RELEASE: Glacier’s thinning charted

20 February, 2014

Previous rapid thinning of Pine Island Glacier sheds light on future Antarctic ice loss New research, published this week in Science, suggests that the largest single contributor to global sea …


NEWS STORY: First phase of glacier mission ends

10 February, 2014

First leg of Antarctic iSTAR mission accomplished A team of British scientists has returned from a gruelling 1500km journey across the ice of West Antarctica after successfully completing the first …


NEWS STORY: Glacier thinning at point of no return

14 January, 2014

Focus on Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica Pine Island Glacier, on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is the largest single contributor to sea-level rise in Antarctica.  The stability of the …



NEWS STORY: Climate records from ice cores

5 December, 2013

New ice core record shows climate variability in West Antarctica A 308-year ice core record provides new data on climate variability in coastal West Antarctica and shows that a clear …


NEWS STORY: “Stripes” hinder ice flow

8 November, 2013

Tiger stripes’ under Antarctic glacier slow the flow Narrow stripes of dirt and rock beneath massive Antarctic glaciers create friction zones that slow the flow of ice toward the sea, …


NEWS STORY: Ice melt rates measured

13 September, 2013

Antarctic research details ice melt below massive glacier An expedition of international scientists to the far reaches of Antarctica’s remote Pine Island Glacier has yielded exact measurements of an undersea …



NEWS STORY: Mission to Pine Island Glacier

9 September, 2013

Ambitious science mission sets off for Antarctica A team of British scientists is making final preparations for an ambitious Antarctic science mission. They aim to discover what’s causing the recent …


NEWS STORY: Measuring icequakes

28 August, 2013

Icequakes unlock secrets of icestreams Measuring tiny icequakes is helping British Antarctic Survey scientists investigate ice streams despite the challenging environment they have to work in. The work of Emma …



NEWS STORY: Royal Society accolade for expert

20 March, 2013

Top scientist receives Royal Society Research Professorship to fund long-term UK research A Royal Society Research Professorship has been awarded to one of British Antarctic Survey’s leading climate scientists Professor …


NEWS STORY: Greenland ice shows past trends

23 January, 2013

Greenland ice core reveals warm past temperatures British Antarctic Survey scientists have contributed to a new study published in Nature (Thursday 24 January) that provides surprising details on changes in …


NEWS STORY: Sea level rise calculated

30 November, 2012

British Antarctic Survey researchers part of landmark study to improve projections for future sea level An international team of satellite experts including researchers at British Antarctic Survey has produced the …


PRESS RELEASE: Ice sheet behaviour analysed

17 October, 2012

Ice sheet retreat controlled by the landscape Ice-sheet retreat can halt temporarily during long phases of climate warming, according to scientists. A UK team led by Durham University has found …


NEWS STORY: Assessing potential sea level rise

10 May, 2012

New studies improve scientists’ understanding of the potential contribution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to global sea level rise Three peer-reviewed papers in Nature and Nature Geoscience published in recent …


PRESS RELEASE: Ocean currents driving ice loss

25 April, 2012

Warm ocean currents cause majority of ice loss from Antarctica Reporting this week (Thursday 26 April) in the journal Nature, an international team of scientists led by British Antarctic Survey …


PRESS RELEASE: Study of largest glacier

5 December, 2011

Scientist on BBC Frozen Planet investigates how world’s largest glacier is contributing to sea-level rise A team of scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is to survey the largest glacier …


PRESS RELEASE: Glacier’s melt rate quickens

27 June, 2011

Warm ocean speeds melting of Antarctic glacier New results from an investigation into a large glacier in Antarctica and its impact on global sea level rise are published this week …


PRESS RELEASE: Greenland drilling progress

2 August, 2010

Greenland Ice Core Team Reaches Bedrock Bedrock has been reached Tuesday July 27 2010 at the deep ice core drilling site North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) on the Greenland …


PRESS RELEASE: Ice thinning captured by satellites

23 September, 2009

Lasers from space show thinning of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets The most comprehensive picture of the rapidly thinning glaciers along the coastline of both the Antarctic and Greenland ice …


PRESS RELEASE: 3D map aids ice flow estimates

20 July, 2009

New research provides insight into ice sheet behaviour A new study published this week takes scientists a step further in their quest to understand how Antarctica’s vast glaciers will contribute …