July 21, 2024

LAWRENCE — With the help of professional mountaineers, Kansas University researchers will brave shrieking Antarctic winds and deep crevasses to study sudden changes on Byrd Glacier, a massive river of ice that’s flowing into the Ross Sea. KU assistant geology professor Leigh Stearns said the team wants to see if the changes on the glacier could mean a future rise in sea levels worldwide. The glacier has been relatively stable but suddenly started showing signs of rapid movement, she said. Studying glaciers is a good way to see how the climate is changing, because they often respond so sensitively to changes in temperature and precipitation, she said. A rise in sea levels would directly affect millions of people living near coasts worldwide. It could also affect the climate in Kansas and have an impact on growing seasons and levels of moisture, she said. The work includes attaching 30 remote sensors at various spots on the glacier.
Thursday, Dec. 9, 9:30 p.m.

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