Cop26: Antarctic glacier named after Glasgow as climate summit opens

Body of dense ice in Getz basin to be named Glasgow Glacier

Tom Batchelor
Sunday 31 October 2021 22:16
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Glasgow is to be honoured for its role in hosting the Cop26 global climate summit with an Antarctic glacier named after the Scottish city.

More than 100 world leaders and thousands of delegates to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties are descending on Glasgow, from this weekend until 12 November.

At the request of University of Leeds scientists, a body of dense ice in the Getz basin in the west of the White Continent is to be named the Glasgow Glacier.

It is one of nine areas to be named after locations of major climate treaties, conferences and reports.

“By naming this glittering giant of nature after the city where next week humankind will gather to fight for the future of the planet, we have a stark reminder of what we are working to preserve,” the prime minister, Boris Johnson, said.

PhD researcher Heather Selley, who identified 14 glaciers in the basin that are thinning and flowing more quickly into the ocean, and was involved in the request for the glacier to take Glasgow’s name, said the move was a “great way to celebrate this international collaboration on climate change science and policy over the last 42 years”.

She said: “We wanted to permanently mark the outstanding effort the scientific community has put into measuring the present-day impact of climate change, and its predicted future evolution.”

Dr Anna Hogg, associate professor at the School of Earth and Environment in Leeds, added: “Whilst these new glacier names celebrate the knowledge gained through scientific collaboration and the action taken through policy, it is clear now that much more must be done.

“There is no doubt that there's a need for urgent action; we have great hope in the power of international collaboration which can enable significant progress to be made at Cop26 this year.

“The recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR6 report finds that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, it will not be possible to limit warming close to 1.5C or even 2C.”

In 2019, a number of Antarctic glaciers were named after satellites that have helped to reveal the continent’s shrinking ice.

Spacecraft from Europe, the US and Japan, including the American Landsat satellites and Europe's Sentinel fleet, were honoured for enabling scientists to monitor the scale of the melting.

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