Computing the Earth

Here's a short article I wrote for Canterbury Christ Church University's "Expert Comment" series on World Environment Day about the role computer scientists might play in battling climate change... The recent Covid-19 pandemic has given the planet a brief breather from human greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the long-term outlook for the environment remains bleak, likely … Continue reading Computing the Earth

Biodiversity Day Talk: Ice Alive

On 24th May I spoke to the Biodiversity Festival - it was moderated over a Zoom call and live streamed to Youtube. You can watch HERE. I was talking about an often overlooked aspect of glacier melting that ties in very tightly with the theme of biodiversity. Here's a transcript: We do not usually think … Continue reading Biodiversity Day Talk: Ice Alive

Inside the Ice Sheet: Caving expedition

The lockdown has ended all hopes of spring field work this year, so I've been reminiscing about the last time I was out in Greenland, in winter 2018. We were on the ice for a second time to explore the moulins, which are large vertical pipes carved into the ice by melt water in summer … Continue reading Inside the Ice Sheet: Caving expedition

Antarctica 2020

On 30th December I left the UK to work in the southern hemisphere for the first time. As part of the MicroMelt project, the aim was to gather samples and measurements from a selection of glaciers on Livingston Island, to better understand and quantify the role of microscopic life on glaciers in transforming and accumulating … Continue reading Antarctica 2020

New Paper: Glacier algae accelerate melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet

This week our new paper on the melt-accelerating effects of glacier algae on the Greenland Ice Sheet was finally accepted for publication. This paper was an absolute epic to get through peer-review - I might post about that later - but for now I'll focus on the paper content. I'm really pleased to see this … Continue reading New Paper: Glacier algae accelerate melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet

First view of 2019 field site

It’s an unusually warm 17 C here in Svalbard this week, and the glaciers are responding by shedding their winter snow rapidly. In this short drone clip you can see the areas where snow melt has exposed the glacier ice underneath and dirty streaks where debris has washed over the surface. I’m expecting these warm … Continue reading First view of 2019 field site

We all foot the bill for a warmer Arctic

This week Open Access Government published the third in a series of articles I have written about Arctic science. The first showed why it is critical to understand the past, present and future of the Arctic; the second examined AI and machine learning and their potential to help us to understand and predict Arctic change, … Continue reading We all foot the bill for a warmer Arctic

Upernavik Field Work 2018

2018 saw the Black & Bloom postdocs exploring a new field site in the north western sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet. After two seasons working in the south west near Kangerlussuaq, the team migrated north to investigate dark ice where the melt seasons are shorter and the temperatures lower. We soon learned that there … Continue reading Upernavik Field Work 2018

Bio-co-albedo?

At EGU I had the pleasure of talking about BioSNICAR and biological albedo reduction with two of the big-names in albedo research. A very interesting point they raised was that the term ‘bioalbedo’ does not precisely describe the concept that it is attached to. This is true. The term bioalbedo was not coined by spectroscopy … Continue reading Bio-co-albedo?

CASPA at EGU 2018

The EGU annual meeting in Vienna is one of the major events in the earth science calendar, where the latest ideas are aired and discussed and new collaborations forged. My talk this year was in the "Remote Sensing of the Cryosphere" session. Here's an overview: Albedo is a primary driver of snow melt. For clean … Continue reading CASPA at EGU 2018