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Heather Selley

Heather SelleyName: 

Heather Selley 

Job title: 

PhD Researcher in Earth Observation of Ice Sheet Dynamics  

Area of work, and why it’s important: 

My research focuses on measuring and interpreting changes in the Antarctica Ice Sheet using satellite data. I look at how large areas of fast moving ice, called glaciers, flow from the ice sheet into the ocean and whether there are changes in speed.  By using high-resolution satellite data we can measure these changes in speed and calculate the amount of ice loss in ever increasing detail, enabling us to refine our projections of ice sheets contribution to sea level rise.  

What will you be doing at, or how are you involved in, COP26?  

At COP26 I am running and presenting ‘West Antarctica: Getz on the run’ in the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative (ICCI) Cryosphere Pavilion in the Blue Zone. It will be highlighting the importance of measuring changes in Antarctica and the amazing amount of information satellite data can provide. It will be live streamed at 10 am GMT on the 10 November on FacebookTwitchCryosphere Pavilion Youtube and ICCI YoutubeI will also be in the Green Zone during the second week of COP26 on the Space4Climate stand talking about the importance of satellite for measuring changes occurring on our planet.  

What are your hopes for the COP26 negotiations? 

COP26 marks an important moment in time. Scientifically, it is possible to limit warming to 1.5°C. However, it requires strong rapid and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions now. The disruptions in our climate system become larger in direct relation to the amount we increase our greenhouse gases emissions. My hope is that ambitious concrete actions, timeframes and commitments will be made.  

Any tips for readers about climate action?  

We need to do everything we can to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, every tonne of carbon and degree of warming saved is important. We can do things on an individual level but there also needs to be structural change and applying of pressure to businesses and policy makers. Talk about climate change with your colleagues, friends, family and people you meet on the bus. Having open discussions and spreading awareness of climate change and the impact it is already having, and will continue to have, is one of the most important things you can do.