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Global Warming and the Melting of the Arctic Ice

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Kerstin Enright.

Admission to the lecture is free and no ticket required – for more information please contact Kerstin Enright, Millennium Mathematics Project, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge CB3 0WA (01223 766839) or email: mmptalks@hermes

The Arctic sea ice has been retreating and thinning for many decades under the influence of global warming, but in the summer 2007 the extent made a huge step downwards which led some scientists to predict that the summer ice would be gone in 5 years (since modified to 20-30). This is a massive change with huge implications for the climate, and it seems to be brought about mainly by the thinning, which allows the summer melt to get rid of the ice altogether. To measure the thickeness in winter and summer we have been working with Royal Navy submarines, sailing under the ice with upwards looking sonars, since 1971. Recently we have been using multibeam sonars which give full 3-D view of the ice underside.

Professor Wadhams will discuss in his talk how these data are collected, how they are analysed, and how they are interpreted to give scientists key parameters which are needed to understand the decay rate of the ice.

This talk is part of the Millennium Maths Project public and schools' events series.

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