PUBlic Professor Series | Dr. Hester Jiskoot

Glaciers ‒ A Hot Topic

Dr. Hester Jiskoot, Department of Geography & Environment

Glaciers are cool, and glaciologists have been reflecting on them for more than 200 years. However, recent global climate change patterns have rapidly overheated glaciers, resulting in widespread glacial retreat and even disappearance of glaciers.

Understanding the state and fate of the 200,000 existing glaciers in order to predict sea level rise, freshwater shortages, and landscape changes in Alpine and Arctic regions requires knowledge of individual glacier behaviour and glacier change patterns within and among regions. This knowledge allows scientists to answer crucial questions such as: “Why do some glaciers not retreat?” and “What are the wild cards in glacier and sea level rise predictions?”

Dr. Hester Jiskoot studies individual glaciers and entire glacier regions, using a variety of methods including fieldwork, remote sensing, computer modelling and data mining. In this talk she will highlight some of her main research results, including insights into processes on, under, in front of, and around glaciers, ice flow instabilities, and new techniques that she helped develop. While some of this work involved large multi-national collaborations, much was done within Dr. Jiskoot’s research team in her Glaciology and Geoscience Lab at the University of Lethbridge.

At the end of this talk, the audience will better understand some of the current hot topics in glaciology and be able to catch common misinformation about glaciers in the news.

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