Canada Excellence Research Chair
Center for Earth Observation Science
476 Wallace Building
University of Manitoba,
Physics of Ice, Climate and Earth
Niels Bohr Institute
University of Copenhagen
2100 Copenhagen OE, Denmark
Research Foundation, European Research Council and European Union Framework Programs. The research has led to numerous achievements that illustrate how the past illuminates potential future abrupt climate changes, including: During the Last Interglacial Period when Greenland temperatures were 5oC warmer than the present, the Greenland ice sheet thinned and contributed to the global sea level rise by about 2 meters. Dated Greenland ice cores through the last 2000 years show impact on the atmosphere from human activities, such as forest burning and industrialization, and from volcanic eruptions producing aerosols that cool the earth for about ten summers following the event. Synchronized ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show 25 very abrupt climate changes during the Last Glacial Period, and modelling shows that the events represent internal movement of energy through the ocean and atmosphere between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. I have held many prestigious appointments and I am active in international service. I have been a member of the WCRP Climate and Cryosphere Project (CliC) steering committee, and contributed to the “Snow, Water, Ice, Permafrost in the Arctic” (SWIPA) report by the Arctic Council. During my career, I have received a number of honors including the European Union Descartes Prize (2008), the VEGA Medal (2008); a Knight of Dannebrog (2010), Knight of the Academic Palm Order (2013), and the EGU Agassiz Medal (2014). My research has been published in leading journals such as Nature and Science, it is very well cited, and five others and I from my research group are highly cited researchers.
Through my CERC in Arctic Ice, Freshwater Marine Coupling and Climate change at the University of Manitoba my focus will be how the cryosphere is changing in a warming climate. The mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet, the ice caps and glaciers in Arctic Canada and around Greenland, is a major and increasing part of the sea level rise. My CERC will develop an understanding of the physics controlling glacial ice stream flow processes; the role of the ocean in the ice discharge at the fronts of ice streams. We will use ice core proxies to recreate past sea ice conditions in marine areas adjacent to the Greenland Ice sheet and use these to understand sea ice variability and change over longer time scales. The research will lead to better estimates of the sea level and to how the changing fresh water will influence the marine resources, sea ice, ocean circulation and atmospheric weather patterns at lower levels of our planet.