Prof. dr. M.R. (Michiel) van den Broeke

Prof. dr. M.R. (Michiel) van den Broeke

Dynamics Meteorology
+31 30 253 3169

“We measure and model precisely how the climate is affecting the ice caps.”

Research focus: Polar climate change, ice sheet mass balance, sea level rise

Michiel van den Broeke is Professor of Polar Meteorology at the Faculty of Science of Utrecht University and researcher at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU). In 2015 he was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Studying the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica

His main research interest at present is to understand the past, present and future climate and mass balance of the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, which together hold enough water to raise global mean sea level by more than 60 m, if completely melted. For his work he performed fieldwork on the ice of Antarctica, Greenland, Svalbard, Iceland and in other glacierized regions. His group combines experimental fieldwork (in situ meteorological experiments, automatic weather stations and surface mass balance observations) with global and regional climate models, the latter in close collaboration with the research department of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI). His group also uses information collected by satellites to evaluate the model results.

His research is part of a large international network spanning dozens of research institutes in various countries, whose ultimate goal is to better understand the interaction between ice and climate in order to thereby more accurately predict future sea level rise, an issue of considerable importance for low-lying countries such as the Netherlands. Perhaps the most important task is to train the next generation of physically-trained climate scientists. These future researchers ought to be knowledgeable about the interactions between the atmosphere, ice and ocean, which are all important components in the climate system.


Polar Meteorology
Inaugural lecture date