GLACIOCLIM: studying glaciers and climate
Glacioclim is a project studying the relationship between glaciers and climate. The Antarctic component of the project, conducted in collaboration with BELARE, aims at monitoring the surface mass balance of Antarctica to gather a data base of glacio-meteorological data and better understand how it relates to climate variability and change.
On the Antarctic Plateau, the team uses a network of polycarbonate stakes to evaluate snow density in accumulation areas in order to translate it back into water equivalent accumulation. The eventual aim is to monitor the surface meteorology and the contribution of the surface energy balance to the ablation terms in the surface mass balance equation.
Upon request from the Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Géophysique de l'Environnement (LGGE) in Grenoble (France), a team from the Princess Elisabeth Station heads into the field each year. There, they travel from beacon to beacon to take GPS coordinates and measurements, and drill for snow cores to assess snow accumulation and ice sheet movements over the past year.
Picture: Alain Hubert taking up GPS positions on the Antarctic Plateau for the Glacioclim project - © International Polar Foundation - René Robert