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First British Glacial Map to predict future climate change

23.11.2004


An academic from the University of Sheffield has produced the first glacial map of Britain, which could allow us to better predict climate change in the future. The map is published in the latest edition of the journal Boreas.



Dr Chris Clark, of the University’s Department of Geography, along with colleagues, has compiled over 150 years of scientific discovery to create the Glacial Map, which itself is the result of over ten years’ work. The map identifies over 20,000 geographical features including moraines, the movement of large rocks carried by the glacier (called erratics) and a huge system of ice-dammed lakes that existed over the Vale of York and the lowlands surrounding the Walsh.

Dr Clark explains, “The map is important from a scientific point of view, but also holds interest for people wanting to see how the glacier affected the landscape where they live.


“Glaciers are extremely important to climate change because we now know that ice sheets can actively change ocean circulation and climate over a short timescale. This isn’t just due to the ice sheets responding to climate changes, but also through their activities, such as delivering surges of icebergs into the ocean.

“If we can better understand how ice sheet behaviour has affected past climate, then we can better predict future climate change.”

Lorna Branton | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shef.ac.uk

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