Helen Amanda Fricker


My research focuses on understanding the processes driving changes on the Antarctic ice sheet, especially its floating ice shelves. One of the main unknowns is Antarctica’s current contribution to global sea level, and predicting how that will change in the future. Because Antarctica is so large, and the time scales on which it changes are so long (decades to centuries), the only viable way to monitor it is with satellites. The main technique we use is satellite altimetry (radar and laser altimetry from ESA and NASA); these multiple missions have provided ice sheet height data for nearly 30 years. Using the long, continuous altimeter records we can learn about the processes that are leading to accelerated mass loss, and how they are driven by the atmosphere and ocean.