OCEAN:ICE News – September 2023

We hope that everyone has enjoyed their summers and has had time to relax and re-energize for the rest of the year. We cannot start this month’s newsletter without addressing the events of summer 2023. This summer has been like no other. Across the globe, people have experienced extremes – from rampant wildfires in Canada and Hawaii to scorching heatwaves sweeping through Southern Europe. Against this backdrop, the words of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres echo loudly in our minds: “The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived”.  

For the researchers of OCEAN:ICE, this summer has also brought a series of peculiar events that have raised concerns and highlighted uncertainties amongst the research community. While Antarctica may often seem distant and disconnected from the everyday lives of many across the globe, the historic lows of sea ice extent coupled with the experiences on the ground of people around the world has bridged that gap, bringing the Southern continent closer to home.  

For the UK Grant Coordinator, Andrew Meijers, these occurrences have brough forth a pressing question, “Is the climate crisis finally catching up with Antarctica?”.  In his recent op-ed for The Guardian, Andrew Meijers shed light on the significant role played by Antarctica and the Southern Ocean within the broader context of climate change, particularly considering the historic lows in Antarctic Sea ice and the uncertainties of future evolution and impacts on the global climate and population. Projections of Antarctica’s ice melt’s contributions to rising sea levels remains riddled in uncertainty, underscoring the urgency to increase our confidence in these forecasts through improving our understanding of ocean and ice processes. These summer months have highlighted the significance and urgency of the work we are undertaking in OCEAN:ICE for the EU and globally.  

As we approach autumn, we are gearing up to accelerate our efforts, coinciding with our first-year anniversary in October at the Annual Project Meeting in Paris, in collaboration with the EU Horizon 2020 project, SO-CHIC. Parallely, we are preparing for our policy briefing set to take place in early 2024, in collaboration with the EU Horizon 2020 project, ARCTIC PASSION. More to come on this in the future! For now, enjoy this month’s September OCEAN:ICE newsletter.  

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