Evidence provided by University of Liverpool glaciologists features prominently in the new House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report published last week.
The UK and the Arctic Environment report highlights the need for increased funding for Arctic research and infrastructure to tackle the challenges created by the rapid changes happening at the top of the world.
The Committee notes that while UK researchers have made huge advances in our understanding of Arctic change, there is still much to learn about where, when and how big these changes will be, and what these impacts mean for the UK and the rest of the world.
Glaciologists from the University’s School of Environmental Sciences provided both written and oral evidence to the Inquiry. Dr James Lea gave oral evidence to the Environmental Audit Sub-Committee on Polar Research in June 2023 where he responded to questions from MPs about the Arctic and the future of Arctic science in the UK.
The Liverpool team are cited a total of 21 times in the final report.
Liverpool glaciologist Dr James Lea, who holds a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship, said: “We are extremely pleased that the Committee chose to listen to our evidence and that of the research community. Hopefully this will translate to the UK continuing to punch above its weight in our understanding of Arctic change.
“In particular it’s welcome to see the Committee emphasise the importance of international collaboration and working with Indigenous Peoples and Communities who are on the front line of these changes.
“Although we are not an Arctic nation, Arctic research is one of the UK’s strengths. Research that happens in this region has impacts on our day to day lives, be it the weather, future sea level, supply chain security, or even how much you are likely to pay for a fish supper at the chip shop.
“We hope the recommendations made by the Committee are taken up, and are looking forward to seeing how the government responds.”
The UK and the Arctic Environment inquiry report is available to download at the following link: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/650/environmental-audit-subcommittee-on-polar-research/publications/
University of Liverpool glaciologists Dr James Lea, Dr Stephen Brough, Professor Douglas Mair, Dr Isabel Nias and Dr Connor Shiggins contributed written evidence to the inquiry, while Dr James Lea also contributed oral evidence.