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Over millions of years, our planet has evolved environments that may seem worlds apart: from the mighty frozen ice sheets of the poles to the sweltering humidity and heat of the tropical rainforest. Yet, when faced with manmade threats like global warming and deforestation, both these delicate systems show signs of meltdown and disintegration. Join two earth scientists as we explore Earth's force and fragility in the face of manmade change. Plus, win more than knowledge in our half-time activities! (With the Nat. Centre for Earth Observation.) Not accessible for those with impaired mobility.
Antarctica and Greenland: the coldest places on earth
The world’s two great ice sheets, Antarctica and Greenland, are vast and beautiful wildernesses. With ice over 3 km thick, they together hold 99% of freshwater ice on earth and cover an area larger than Europe. These ice sheets have fascinated us since the age of polar exploration, but we have only recently begun to understand how dynamic and fast-changing they can be. Come along to hear how ice sheets work, how they are changing, and how they may evolve in the future.
It was a jungle out there: mapping the world’s disappearing forests
Deforestation is one of our most significant environmental challenges, causing huge carbon emissions that drive climate change and loss of species. Sumatran tigers face a fragmented landscape as plantations replace forests and prey numbers are reduced by human hunting. Plants are also under threat, as collectors target even protected forests for valuable exotic specimens. This talk covers how we map this tropical forest habitat using a combination of gruelling fieldwork and satellite imagery, and the implications of forest loss for the global climate and biodiversity.