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Warm welcome for ice chamber that will help UEA scientists research Arctic’s response to climate change

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 February 2014

An iceberg and its reflection in Disko Bay, Greenland. Photo: Ian Joughin/PA Wire

An iceberg and its reflection in Disko Bay, Greenland. Photo: Ian Joughin/PA Wire


Things could be about to get a little chilly at the University of East Anglia after scientists won two million euros in funding to build a sea ice chamber in a specially constructed cold room.

The five-year research project is designed to predict how the Arctic will cope with global warming, and will reproduce the chemical exchanges between the ocean, sea ice, snow and the atmosphere in polar regions.

The ice chamber itself will measure two metres cubed, and the project will also use state-of-the-art computer models.

European commissioner for research, innovation and science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “These researchers are doing ground-breaking work that will advance our knowledge and make a difference to society.”

The funding for the project, agreed today, comes from the European Research Council.

Lead researcher Prof Roland von Glasow, from UEA’s Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at the School of Environmental Sciences, said: “The Arctic ocean is a vast expanse of sea ice. Most of it is covered with snow for about half of the year, but climate change has caused temperatures to rise more than anywhere else in the world over the last few decades.

“2012 saw record lows of snow and sea ice. Global environmental change of this nature is one of the greatest challenges facing society.

“We will focus on the links between melting sea ice and snow, and the changing chemistry of the troposphere – the lowest 10km of atmosphere. This is important because the troposphere is home to concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosol particles which play key roles for our climate.”

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