Looking back... Jordanstown academics awarded grant to study global warming

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Scientists at the Ulster Polytechnic in Jordanstown were awarded a grant of £50,000 in October 1982 to study global warming.

The award was made by the Science and Engineering Council and was to be used to continue to employ research staff to investigate temperature and atmosphere of the Polar cap.

Studies had been taking place since 1978 aided by equipment from a base at Spitzenbergen by arrangement with the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Experiments took place in association with the University of Tromso in Norway and the Geophysical Institute of Fairbanks, Alaska. Research involved measurements taken at ground level and from space.

Findings were expected to be of benefit to the telecommunications industry and for space technology.

Polar ice caps were found to be shrinking at a rate of nine per cent every ten years.

Temperatures at the poles have been rising due to changes in the environment.

As temperatures rise, the polar ice caps start to melt and break apart increasing the risk of coastal flooding.

As polar ice caps shrink, sea levels begin to rise. Scientists blame the use of fossil fuels for the production of gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to higher average temperatures.