Shackleton Centenary Expedition

Professor David Drewry: Climate Change July 10 2007

As the climate of our planet changes in response to warming from the increase in "greenhouse" gases in the atmosphere, the polar regions are highly vulnerable.

This is because the circulation of the atmosphere, driven by the difference in solar radiation received at the tropics from the poles, transfers the increased heat northwards and southwards.

The polar regions will, therefore, warm more than other parts of the planet and will be the first to signal important changes - which they are already displaying.

Cross section of the East Antarctic Ice sheet

In Antarctica changes in the Southern Ocean (circulation patterns, temperature and salinity) and in the atmosphere (temperature and precipitation) are impacting the ice shelves, which lie at sea level.

In the Antarctic Peninsula there has already been significant disintegration of large ice shelves such as the Wordie and Larsen. The Ross Ice Shelf is colder and more "robust" but changes are already being detected in this important ice body. What is happening inland on the Beardmore Glacier and further in to the mass of East Antarctica?

To assist with these questions and to understand better the dynamics of the Beardmore Glacier so that future changes can be documented the Shackleton party will take ice samples along the glacier and in the upper reaches of its drainage basin. Such work is only made possible by the presence of "blue" ice zones on the glacier surface.

This is the third of six articles by Professor Drewry. Click here for the next installment.

Recent Entries from this category

Expedition Progress Bulletins

To sign up to receive daily emails about the Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition's progress please click here.


Shackleton Foundation BrochureGet a capsule view of who we are, where we're going and why we're doing this by reading our brochure.

View our brochure PDF Icon (PDF 2.5mb)

The Shackleton Foundation

Sir Ernest Shackleton is widely known as one of the most inspirational leaders of the twentieth century. The Shackleton Foundation is a new charitable trust.

Matrix Group

Matrix Group are proud to be the Headline Sponsors of the Shackleton Centenary Expedition


The South Pole Gazette

South Pole Gazette

The South Pole Gazette is a round-up of Antarctic news stories from around the web.

Open the Gazette in a new window


Find more about the Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition elsewhere on the web:

Contact & RSS

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with the SCE if you have any questions regarding our project, or if you would like to know more about how you can become a sponsor.

The Shackleton Centenary Expedition,
c/o The Lansdowne Club,
9 Fitzmaurice Place,

Email us at

For press enquiries, please contact Mark Cooper at Van Communications,

RSS Feeds

RSS feeds are a way of keeping up to date with your favourite websites by delivering fresh content to your desktop.

The SCE is a not-for-profit venture of the Shackleton Foundation.
All rights reserved © 2006 The Shackleton Centenary Expedition [SCE] except where noted.
Company No. 06107694, Charity No. 1118686.
The Shackleton Centenary Expedition, c/o The Lansdowne Club, 9 Fitzmaurice Place, London W1J 5JD

"Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all." - EHS 1909

Site by Erskine Design Back to top