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Leeds features in UK's best breakthroughs

Leeds features in UK's best breakthroughs

Influential Leeds research into Antarctic ice melt is featuring in a national campaign about the benefits of universities.

The Universities UK MadeAtUni campaign, launched today, highlights the impact universities have on people, lives and communities.

It features some of the most significant inventions, discoveries and social initiatives to come from UK universities.

The Leeds-led research revealed that Antarctic ice is melting faster than ever before.

Andrew Shepherd, Professor of Earth Observation at the University, said: "According to our analysis, there has been a steep increase in ice losses from Antarctica during the past decade, and the continent is causing sea levels to rise faster today than at any time in the past 25 years.

"This has to be a concern for the governments we trust to protect our coastal cities and communities."

MadeAtUni

The first phase of the MadeAtUni campaign focuses on research conducted by UK universities and how it is manifested in every aspect of our lives.

Research impact is the good that researchers can do in the world and this is something we pursue passionately at Leeds.

Professor Nick Plant

Professor Nick Plant, Dean of Research Quality and Impact at Leeds, said:

"Research impact is the good that researchers can do in the world and this is something that we pursue passionately at Leeds.

"Our research, which achieved a top ten rating for research power and impact in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), is world-leading in many areas, and has an impact way beyond academia."

Antarctic ice melt

Professor Shepherd, from Leeds' School of Earth and Environment and Dr Erik Ivins at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory led a team of 84 scientists from around the world to produce the most complete picture of Antarctic change since records began in the 1990s.

"We have long suspected that changes in Earth's climate will affect the polar ice sheets ... we can now track their ice losses and global sea level contribution".

Professor Andrew Shepherd

"We have long suspected that changes in Earth’s climate will affect the polar ice sheets. Thanks to the satellites our space agencies have launched, we can now track their ice losses and global sea level contribution with confidence."

The research showed that the rate of melting from the Antarctic ice sheet has tripled in the last five years. The change is due to ocean melting of ice in West Antarctica and ice shelf collapse at the Antarctic Peninsula – which are both signals of global climate change.

The value of universities

The next phase of the MadeAtUni campaign will focus on community and, in particular, the value of student volunteering. It will take place in National Student Volunteering Week – 18-24 February 2019.

  • Universities UK is the voice of universities, helping to maintain the world-leading strength of the UK university sector and supporting its members to achieve their aims and objectives. 

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