Media coverage

CPOM has a significant presence in the media, whether it’s expertise provided by our scientists or news about CPOM itself.  You can read a selection of recent media coverage below:

24.09.20: Sea level rise matches worst-case scenario

Comments from Professor Andy Shepherd (CPOM Director) are included in coverage of a new study examining the impact of global warming on Antarctica:

Scientists have released a shocking computer animation showing Antarctica emerging from under its ice sheet due to melting linked to rising temperatures […] Andrew Shepherd, Director of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds, who was not involved in the study, said this was not a scenario we are likely to see any time soon.

‘These are long-term predictions of how much ice Antarctica will have lost in perhaps 150,000 years’ time,’ he said.

‘Although we won’t be around to see it, it’s a stark warning that the melting can’t be reversed unless we can cool our planet to below pre-industrial temperatures. Now is the time to act.’

Daily Mail, UniLad

21.09.20: Arctic sea-ice shrinks to near record low

Whilst exact levels may vary from year to year, sea ice in the Arctic is shrinking and will continue to do so, warns Professor Julienne Stroeve (CPOM PI and Associate Investigator, UCL):

“The way I look at it now is that we’re always going to have low sea-ice; it’s never going to go back to the way it was in the 1980s or 1990s,” said Prof Julienne Stroeve from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at University College London (UCL), UK.

“But whether or not we get a new record low from one year to the next – that really depends a lot on whatever happens in the summer weather patterns,” she told BBC News.

The BBC, The Washington Post, TODAYOnline, El Confidencial (in Spanish)

31.08.20: Sea level rise matches worst-case scenario

An article led by CPOM’s Dr Tom Slater (University of Leeds), alongside Dr Anna Hogg (University of Leeds) and Ruth Mottram (Danish Meteorological Institute), was published this week in Nature Climate Change. They found that ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica whose melting rates are rapidly increasing have raised global sea level by 1.8cm since the 90s and are matching worst-case climate warming scenarios.

“Although we anticipated the ice sheets would lose increasing amounts of ice in response to the warming of the oceans and atmosphere, the rate at which they are melting has accelerated faster than we could have imagined,” said the study’s lead author, Tom Slater, a climate researcher at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds. “The melting is overtaking the climate models we use to guide us, and we are in danger of being unprepared for the risks posed by sea level rise,” he added.

The article has garnered international coverage: The Independent, Daily MailThe SunDaily Express, Sky News, CBBC NewsroundDaily MailViceThe Brussels TimesEcoWatch

An Early Day Motion (02.09.20) was tabled in parliament by MP Caroline Lucas, which quotes this study:

“That this House expresses profound alarm at the climate and ecological emergency, with wildfires raging in California, and ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica melting in line with worst case scenario predictions for sea level rise according to a study by the University of Leeds and the Danish Meteorological Institute; acknowledges that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” are needed in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C”.

Continued interest in this article includes (09.09.20): Greta Thunberg quotes lead author, CPOM’s Tom Slater, on Twitter, new articles published in The Express, GizmodoCBC News (Canada), Business Standard (India), CNN Indonesia (In Indonesian), University news

24.08.20: CPOM-led study showing that the earth has lost 28 trillion tonnes of ice in less than 30 years receives widespread attention

Widespread coverage of a study carried out by scientists from the University of Leeds, University of Edinburgh and University College London which shows that 28 trillion tonnes of ice have disappeared from the surface of the Earth since 1994 due to greenhouse gas emissions. CPOM researchers Professor Andy Shepherd, Dr Tom Slater (first author on the paper, and Dr Isobel Lawrence are quoted in a number of articles:

“To put the losses we’ve already experienced into context, 28 trillion tonnes of ice would cover the entire surface of the UK with a sheet of frozen water that is 100 metres thick,” added group member Tom Slater from Leeds University. “It’s just mind-blowing.”

Andy Shepherd (CPOM Director) discusses the article in depth on ABC Radio National, Australia.

Articles include: The Guardian, The i (Print), The Times (Print), Daily Mail, BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Scotland, Sky News (23 August, at approximately 15:45), Fortune Italia (in Italian), Publico (in Portuguese), Esquire Russia (in Russian), Metro Time (in French), News-24fr (in French), The Irish TimesNation of ChangeThe Jakarta Post, the Evening StandardFox News, The IndependentWorld Economic Forum, Daily Express, Yahoo, Al Jazeera Balkans (in Bosnian), El Espectador (in Spanish), (in Chinese), (in Vietnamese), Business Insider (in Japanese)

High-profile social media attention includes: Greta Thunberg, Greenpeace, Caroline Lucas

20.08.20: CPOM comments on a study that shows Greenland’s Ice Sheet Saw Record Mass Loss in 2019

Reports in New York Times that ice-sheet loss in Greenland hit a record high in 2019 include quotes from Professor Andy Shepherd (CPOM Director) about the implications of this:

If the rate of ice loss experienced in 2019 were to continue, the annual impact on sea levels could cause increasing coastal flooding that affects up to 30 million more people each year by the end of the century, said Andrew Shepherd, a polar scientist at University of Leeds who specializes in ice sheet observation. Shepherd was not involved in the new research.

The new findings underline that “we need to prepare for an extra 10 centimeters (4 inches) of global sea level rise by 2100 from Greenland alone,” Shepherd said. “We have to invent a new worst-case climate warming scenario, because Greenland is already tracking the current one.”

10.08.20 A study, contributed to by CPOM researchers, supports predictions that the Arctic could be free of sea ice by 2035

A new study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, supports predictions that the Arctic could be free of sea ice by 2035. Dr David Schroeder (CPOM staff researcher) and Professor Danny Feltham (CPOM Sea Ice Lead) developed and co-led the implementation of the melt pond scheme in the climate model, and Julienne Stroeve (CPOM Associate Investigator) also contributed to the study. Dr Schroeder is quoted in The Independent and Science Daily:

“This shows just how important sea-ice processes like melt ponds are in the Arctic, and why it is crucial that they are incorporated into climate models.”

Media coverage includes: National Geographic, BBC Science Focus Magazine, The Daily Express , CTV News, India Times, The South African

30.06.20 CPOM research and comments included in articles on rising temperatures in Antarctica

A study published in Nature Climate Change (led by Dr Kyle Clem, Victoria University of Wellington) showed that Antarctica has warmed at three times the global average over the last three decades up through 2018 and that warming at the South Pole was seven times higher than the overall average for the continent. CPOM research is quoted in a Carbon Brief article discussing the research alongside comments from Andrew Shepherd:

It is important to note that, away from the south pole, human-caused warming is causing significant ice melt, says Prof Andrew Shepherd, director of the NERC Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling and scientist at the University of Leeds. He tells Carbon Brief: “Climate change has caused significant ice loss from Antarctica, even if its fingerprint in the frozen interior of the continent is difficult to detect.”

Julienne Stroeve, CPOM Associate Investigator, is also quoted in a number of articles about this research, such as The New York Times, Daily Sabah, and CBC:

The new study shows that Antarctica is “waking up” to climate change, Stroeve warned. “That, to me, is alarming.”

23.04.20 European State of the Climate 2019 report released, featuring CPOM research

Media coverage of this report focuses on the fact that 2019 was Europe’s hottest year on record. Comments from Professor Shepherd, a co-author on the report, have been quoted widely:

Andrew Shepherd, director of the University of Leeds’ Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, said C3S’s data was all the more worrying as it foreshadowed accelerated melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

“We can’t avoid the rapid changes in climate that are happening around our planet, even if they occur miles away in the polar regions, because they affect our weather today and will affect our coastlines in the future,” he said.

Sources include: The The Times, IndependentInternational Business Times, India Today, Breitbart, PhysOrg, RTE, BBC, The GuardianThe Economic Times and Evening Standard.

12.03.20 Six-fold increase in polar ice losses since the 1990s shown from CPOM research

This story has been covered extensively by media outlets and engaged with heavily on Twitter, reaching the top 20 trending topics in the UK at around 10am on 12th March 2020. Sources include: The Guardian, The BBC, The Daily Mail, The Independent, EcoWatch, The Japan Times, The Standard, iNews, Daily Sabah, LaVanguardia (in Spanish), The Australian, The Express, The Evening Standard, Sputnik News (translated from Russian), Bangkok Post, USA Today, IB Times Singapore, Forbes


03.03.20 Professor Andy Shepherd is quoted in a number of articles on the threat of rising sea levels to the world’s beaches

Professor Shepherd’s draws on CPOM research in comments on new research that highlights the risk rising sea levels and storms potentially pose to around half the beaches around the world. These comments were picked up by a number of media sources, such iNews, The Daily Mail, Today Online and SBS News:

The director of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds, Andrew Shepherd, said the impact of receding coastlines that still maintain a thinning ribbon of sand should also be considered.

“Between a quarter and half of the UK’s sandy beaches will retreat by more than 100m over the next century, depending on how rapidly polar ice sheets melt,” he said.

“Unfortunately, ice losses from Antarctica and Greenland are both tracking the worst-case climate warming scenarios.”

 10.12.2019 CPOM’s Nature study shows that Greenland is losing ice ‘faster than expected’

This research has been covered extensively by media sources, such as The Guardian, the BBC, National Geographic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Telegraph, Sky News, and New Scientist. Inès Otosaka also explored the implications of this ice loss in a The Conversation article.

Professor Shepherd, CPOM Director and first author of the study, said: “As a rule of thumb, for every centimetre rise in global sea level another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet.

On current trends, Greenland ice melting will cause 100 million people to be flooded each year by the end of the century, so 400 million in total due to all sea level rise.

These are not unlikely events or small impacts; they are happening and will be devastating for coastal communities.”

 16.05.2019 The Guardian CPOM’s study shows that ice losses are now affecting a quarter of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet

The study has received extensive media coverage, including by the BBC, CNN, The Independent, and the New York Post.

06.03.2019 BBC Mal McMillan describes how the Sentinel-3 mission can be used to monitor the Antarctic ice sheet

13.06.2018 BBC Andy Shepherd’s work on the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise (IMBIE) shows how Antarctica is losing 159 billion tonnes of ice each year

This study has been covered by more than 200 news outlets worldwide, also including The Guardian, The New York Times and Le Monde

12.04.2018 Scientific American Hannes Konrad explains how warming ocean water is causing glaciers to melt