Congratulations to Dr. Gudlaugsson who recently defended his thesis “Modelling subglacial hydrology of the former Barents Sea Ice Sheet”.
Text: Maja Sojtaric
The study of the past dynamics of ice sheets, the mechanisms of their movement and melting, is of crucial importance for understanding future impacts of climate warming on our planet.
Due to human activity the global temperatures have increased fast since the industrial revolution. This is causing the melt of the ice sheets and rise of the sea level. Large ice sheets on Greenland and in Antarctica can have strong influence on our oceans and on the climate.
Predicting how quickly they will melt, what is of influence on their movements, and how important the discharge from melting can be is not an easy task.
Many of the secrets are hidden beneath the impenetrable masses of ice. Modern day data on what is happening beneath the ice sheets is difficult to come by. There is however a historical analogue to present day ice sheets: Barents Sea ice sheet that covered large areas of Eurasian Arctic some 20 000 years ago.
This ice sheet melted long time ago, but left behind geological evidence of sub glacial processes that now can be put in numerical models, to test hypotheses of how they may work in modern environment.
In his thesis Eythor Gudlaugsson aimed to investigate these sub glacial processes of the past Barents Sea ice sheet and to estimate their importance.