The project will help scientists and policymakers understand whether recent climate-linked extreme conditions in Antarctica were one-off events or if we can expect them to occur more often. That information is crucial to forecast how quickly ice sheets will melt and so how urgently coastal communities around the world need to prepare for rising sea levels.
To find out, SURFEIT will bring together the international scientific community to analyse and model physical key processes in Antarctica in unprecedented detail. These processes include the formation of polar clouds, how warmer conditions influence snowfall, how liquid water and solid ice interact, and how to apply models and forecasts more precisely to smaller and more specific Antarctic regions.
Together, the research programme seeks to reduce the uncertainty in predicting ice sheet change and sea level rise at a time when society is facing the effects of climate change and policymakers need the best evidence on how Antarctica will contribute to this change. As such, an important part of the project is to pass on the findings to decision makers and the public as they become available.