Francesca Baldacchino

Francesca Baldacchino


Phone: 04 463 5233 x8373
Office: CO 522


BSc Edinburgh (2017); MSc Edinburgh (2018)
PhD candidate in Glaciology

PhD thesis

Working title

Investigating Antarctic ice sheet dynamics from remote sensing and numerical modelling


Project aim and description

This project aims to use a combination of different observing techniques including remote sensing (optical and radar data) and fieldwork to better characterise short-term (annual to decadal) variability in Antarctic ice sheet dynamics under the current climate. Specifically this project will quantify recent variability of ice sheet and ice shelf flow and compare this to contemporaneous observations of oceanic and atmospheric changes (such as ocean heat content, sea ice area, surface air temperature). Using these empirical datasets to constrain numerical ice sheet / shelf simulations, I will use the Ice Sheet System Model to run experiments that explore how ice sheet behaviour may be influenced by short-term environmental changes. Comparing these simulations to experiments in which short-term changes are excluded will allow me to extract the anthropogenically-forced signal. I will then attempt to quantify what fraction of observed variations in ice sheet behaviour (using a range of parameters) arise from natural internal processes (internal variability) and how much can be attributed to anthropogenic forcings.