Past Meetup

Antarctic Oceans - both a destroyer and creator of ice

This Meetup is past

17 people went

Location image of event venue


Our speaker is Dr Craig Stevens, physical oceanographer at NIWA and the University of Auckland.

Last summer, Craig led a team sampling the ocean water in the dark cavity underneath the Ross Ice Shelf, one of the least explored parts of the world ocean system. They had to drill hundreds of metres through the floating ice shelf to reach ocean cavity.

There is much in the media about melting ice sheets and declining sea ice cover with our changing climate. In this talk Craig describes recent work looking at the opposing roles the ocean plays in the life cycle of Antarctic ice. The giant ice sheets feed the coastal ice shelves and going beyond we encounter sea ice manufactured by the literally freezing winds blowing off the southern continent. The warming ocean plays a role in the life cycle for all of this ice - flowing beneath ice shelves and seeping under ice sheets as well as interacting with wind to make new sea ice. Hence, we find ice melting in some places and growing in others - but all of it connected by the oceans.