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Sea-level rise – reducing uncertainty

BAS’s leadership of UK, international and European sea-level research programmes is influencing UK and European sea defence policy and planning.  Our research, funded by NERC and EU responds to the declared requirement of UK and overseas governments that the uncertainty in projections of future sea-level be reduced.

Collaboration and dialogue with stakeholders from UK and European parliamentary bodies and agencies, and with the science community, provides a robust foundation for sea-defence planning, coastal adaptation, and to support negotiations on the mitigation of climate change.

Our leadership of the Eu-funded Ice2sea programme brought together the EU’s scientific and operational expertise from 24 leading institutions across Europe and beyond. The improved projections of the contribution of ice to sea-level rise produced by this major European-funded programme informed the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration is an ambitious scientific programme funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and other institutes will investigate whether Thwaites glacier may collapse in the next few decades or centuries, and how this could affect future global sea-level rise. New knowledge about the glacier’s behaviour currently and in the past is critical for making better predictions of how the ocean and ice will respond to environmental change.

The five-year, £20 million programme is organised into eight large-scale projects, bringing together leading polar scientists aim to deliver answers to some of the big questions for scientists trying to predict global sea-level rise. Analysis of observations and measurements will create a greater understanding of the glacier and provide a major contribution to the ongoing urgent international scientific effort to help predict future global sea-level rise. The collaboration involves around 100 scientists from world-leading research institutes in both the US and UK alongside researchers from South Korea, Germany, Sweden, New Zealand and Finland, who will contribute to the various projects.