Ice and ClimatE Research at Sheffield (ICERS) is a research group based in the Department of GeographyUniversity of Sheffield. Our group consists of staff, postdoctoral scientists, PhD students and MSc students.

We research scientific problems spanning the fields of glaciology, palaeoglaciology, climatology and Quaternary science with a focus on polar and alpine and formerly glaciated regions.

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Research Highlights


Scientists discover networks of lakes and streams on Antarctica’s ice sheets

20th April 2017

Vast lakes and streams are widespread on the surface of Antarctica’s ice sheets according to new research published in Nature by an international team of scientists.

The study, which included geographers from the University of Sheffield, has found that huge lakes have been forming on the surface of Antarctica since at least the 1940s and extensive networks of streams have been draining water onto vulnerable ice shelves that are prone to collapse.

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Kingslake et al., 2017, Nature


New study shows Antarctic melting an important source of iron to coastal ecosystems

28th March 2017

Primary production in up to 40 % of the Earth’s oceans are thought to be limited by a lack of iron, largely due to its low solubility and a dependence upon weathered rock as the principal source. For these reasons, researchers have argued how dust and icebergs are the most important sources of new iron for marine ecosystems surrounding the frozen Antarctic continent. Since other nutrients are already abundant in these seas, marked increases in primary production can occur when iron is transferred into the sea, resulting in the globally important Southern Ocean Ecosystem. Work by Andy Hodson and Aga Nowak shows that surface melting is contributing far more significantly to the iron entering these hotspots of biological production than hitherto realised.

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Hodson et al., 2017, Nature Communications


Extreme cold winters fuelled by jet stream and climate change

26th October 2016

Scientists have agreed for the first time that recent severe cold winter weather in the UK and US may have been influenced by climate change in the Arctic, according to a new study.

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Overland et al., 2016, Nature Climate Change


New study sheds light on Antarctic ice sheet response during past warm period

12th October 2016

Melting ice sheets 3 million years ago caused global sea levels to rise by up to 20 meters above current levels, according to new research by geographers at the University of Sheffield. The study, led by Dr Ed Gasson from the University’s Department of Geography and colleagues from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, has revealed what happened to ice sheets in Antarctica the last time the level of CO2 in our atmosphere was as high as it is today.

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Gasson et al., 2016, Geology


Climate change jigsaw puzzle: Antarctic pieces missing

28th September 2016

A shortage of data on the weather in Antarctica is hampering efforts to understand climate change in the region, according to new research. The study, led by Dr Julie Jones from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Geography, has revealed that limited data on Antarctica’s climate is making it difficult for researchers to disentangle changes caused by human activity from natural climate fluctuations.

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Jones et al., 2016, Nature Climate Change


Hurricanes, storm surges and icebergs – how warmer seas are changing our planet

5th September 2016

Severe hurricanes, storm surges and an increase in the number of icebergs are just some of the changes planet Earth has experienced due to warming oceans over the last 20 years, according to a new report.

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Scientists begin to unravel summer jet stream mystery

24th August 2016

Scientists have discovered the cause of the recent run of miserable wet summers as they begin to unravel the mysteries of the Atlantic jet stream.

Hall et al., 2016, Climate Dynamics

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Study reveals meteorological impact of 2015 solar eclipse

22nd August 2016

A pioneering study by the University of Sheffield has revealed the meteorological impact of the 2015 UK solar eclipse across three countries.

Hanna et al., 2016, Phil. Trans. A

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New research reveals secrets of former subglacial lakes in North America

13th June 2016

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have provided a unique glimpse into one of the least understood environments on Earth by revealing for the first time former subglacial lakes and their drainage routes beneath the North American ice sheets.

Livingstone et al., 2016, Nature Communications

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Greenland sets melt records in 2015 consistent with ‘Arctic Amplification’

9th June 2016

Following record-high temperatures and melting records that affected northwest Greenland in summer 2015, a new study has provided the first evidence linking melting in Greenland to the anticipated effects of a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification.

Tedesco et al., 2016, Nature Communications

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Climate change and extreme weather linked to high pressure over Greenland

27th April 2016

Greenland is one of the fastest-warming regions of the world, according to climate change experts at the University of Sheffield.

Hannah et al., 2016, International Journal of Climatology

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Giant icebergs play key role in removing CO2 from the atmosphere

11th January 2016

Giant icebergs are responsible for storing up to 20 per cent of carbon in the Southern Ocean, a new study has found.

Duprat et al., 2016, Nature Geoscience

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Satellites shed light on Greenland ice sheet’s response to global warming

28th October 2015

Parts of Greenland’s ice sheet have been found to be less vulnerable to climate warming than was previously thought – a discovery that could have a small but beneficial impact on sea level forecasts.

Tedstone et al., 2015, Nature

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