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Lakes beneath the Antarctic ice sheet believed to contain life forms possibly millions of years old

Slide 8

Antarctica is part of the world

Antarctica is part of the world

The Earth system involves the whole Earth

Antarctic studies are essential

There can be no weak link in understanding the Earth system

Climate feedbacks involving ice, snow, sea ice and ocean currents provide the greatest challenges in predicting the future

Slide 9

The Arctic

The Arctic

Contains cities, towns and universities

Indigenous population share the region with new settlers

All Arctic land is under the jurisdiction of a sovereign state

UK scientists regularly work in the Arctic

There is far more science activity in the Arctic compared to the Antarctic

Slide 10

The Antarctic ice sheet

The Antarctic ice sheet

Ice up to three miles (4500 m) thick

Coldest surface temperature -89 degrees C

Enough ice for each person in the world to have a block 180 m by 180 m by 180 m

If all melted, sea level could rise 65 metres

If all the glaciers doubled their speed of flow it would take 12,000 years for the ice to float into the Southern Ocean

Slide 11

Antarctic ice and sea level rise

Antarctic ice and sea level rise

A small change in the size of the Antarctic ice sheet would be serious for sea level

One small part of Antarctica is above freezing in the summer - the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Antarctic Peninsula is warming and its coastline is changing

Maps of Antarctica need updating regularly because of the changes to the coastline

The disintegration of ice shelves from the Antarctic Peninsula has had no effect on sea level

Most of Antarctica is not warming

In a warmer world more snow will fall over the Antarctic

Enhanced Antarctic snowfall is possibly the only natural way that sea level rise can be slowed

Slide 12

Future developments in Antarctica

Future developments in Antarctica

Exploring the largest lake under the ice sheet

Obtaining a reliable climate record over half a million years

Exploiting natural “antifreeze” in Antarctic organisms

Studying the effects of increased UV-radiation and “global warming” on Antarctic life

Celebrating the centenaries of the historic expeditions of Scott, Shackleton and Bruce

Slide 13

Antarctic Schools Pack

Antarctic Schools Pack

Fifteen sections : each with worksheet and tasks and resources for multiple photocopying

Teachers notes

Sent free to every UK secondary school

Aimed at A-level standard

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