About Sarah M. Aciego's Work
Characterizing the evolution of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica is essential for understanding the interaction between climate change and sea level rise. These ice sheets interact with the broader climate system such that global average temperature, greenhouse gas concentrations, and regional oceanic and atmospheric conditions are all important influences on polar climates and ice sheet stability. Anthropogenic global warming is leading to melting of these large ice sheets, which is raising sea level at a rate and magnitude that is expected to displace millions of people. My research uses precise measurements of high mass isotopes and the reactive surface area of aerosol dust to determine the timescales of ice sheet dynamics. We synthesize field-work, laboratory experiments, and isotopic measurements of ice samples to map the history of ice sheets through the past in order to elucidate the scale of ice sheet response to current climate change.