What is ‘firn’, and how does it impact the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets?

‘Firn On Ice Sheets’, by The Firn Symposium Team, was published today in Nature Reviews Earth and Environment (23.1.24).

The paper explains what firn is, what affects it, and the future of firn, as well as discussing how research in this area is rapidly developing.

Firn is multi-year snow and ice which covers the earth’s two ice sheets, in Greenland and Antarctica. It has an important role to play in preventing meltwater running off into the ocean and protects ice shelves surrounding Antarctica from catastrophic collapse. This research paper discusses how extreme events and atmospheric patterns affect firn structure and how future climate scenarios may amplify this.

The Firn Symposium Team, consists of 35 co-authors from multiple countries including, Assistant Professor Dr Sammie Buzzard and Research Fellow Dr Athul Kaitheri (both CPOM members at Northumbria University).