Jonathan Bamber (Physicist)

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Jonathan Bamber (Physicist)
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Jonathan Louis Bamber
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
  • BSc
  • PhD
Alma mater
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
Known forKnown for his pioneering work on satellite remote sensing of the polar regions and especially the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets
  • Rudi Bamber (father)
  • Helen Bamber (mother)
  • European Geosciences Union Service award (2007)
  • Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award (2015)
  • Fellow of American Geophysical Union (2019)

Jonathan Louis Bamber is a British physicist who is known for his pioneering work on satellite remote sensing of the polar regions and especially the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. He has authored more than 180 refereed scientific publications about the cryosphere and its interaction with the rest of the Earth System and is recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a "highly cited researcher” [1]. In 2019 he was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union “For pioneering satellite remote sensing in glaciology and building bridges to other disciplines of the geoscience community.” [2]. He is the first non US scientist in the Cryosphere division to receive this honor.


Bamber is the son of Helen Bamber [3] who was a British psychotherapist and human rights activist and Rudi Bamber, a first generation Holocaust survivor [4]. Rudi’s testimony is held as part of the oral history of the Holocaust at the London Imperial War Museum [4], where Helen also recorded her experiences of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp after its liberation [3].


Bamber went to Creighton Comprehensive school in North London, made famous by a book written by Sunday Times journalist Hunter Davies [5] and then went on to study physics at the University of Bristol, gaining a BSc in 1983 and a Phd from the University of Cambridge in glaciology and remote sensing in 1987 [6].

Research and appointments

Bamber spent eight years in the Dept of Space and Climate Physics, University College London before returning to the University of Bristol to the Dept of Geography in 1996 where he has been since . His focus has been on satellite observations of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets but he has also studied other parts of the cryosphere in the Arctic, Patagonia and Himalaya [6]. In 2013, Bamber published a paper on the discovery of the longest canyon in the world, buried beneath the Greenland ice sheet, that has been dubbed the “Grand Canyon” of Greenland [7]. His work also looks at the different factors that influence contemporary sea level variations funded by the European Research Council [8] and the role of freshwater fluxes from Arctic land ice on ocean circulation [1].

Award and honors

In 2007 Bamber was awarded the European Geosciences Union Service award.In 2015 he was awarded a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award and in 2019 he was made a fellow of American Geophysical Union [6]. In 2015 he was elected as the incoming president of the European Geosciences Union, serving for four years as president-elect and president [9].

Personal life

Bamber is a keen mountaineer, climber and long distance runner. In 1990 he climbed the 1938 route on the North Face of the Eiger with Wil Hurford [10]. He won his first major running race in 1991 at the Woodley 10 mile road race in a time of 54 minutes . A year later in 1992, while climbing in the Indian Himalaya, close to the Pakistan border, he was hit by a rockfall sustaining life threatening injuries to his left leg. It took six days to get him off the mountain and he contracted gangrene and frostbite [11]. He spent almost four years on crutches before being able to take a few steps unaided [11]. His leg was 2 cm shorter and his ankle fused. Ten years after his climbing accident, two days before his 40th birthday he ran and won a half marathon in Somerset [12]. Since then he has competed in races over various distances winning a number outright and in his age category [13] at distances from 5 to 50 miles [14]. In 2018, he ran the Everest marathon, the highest in the world, placing 2nd international runner . The following year, he teamed up with the first international runner from the Everest marathon to compete in the eight day, TransAlpineRun, covering 280 km and 16,500 m ascent starting in Germany and finishing in Italy. His running partner retired after stage 5, but Bamber continued and completed the course in a time of 41 hours 57 minutes [15].

In 2015, a team of three Swiss climbers made the first ascent of the mountain, Tupendeo, that Bamber attempted 23 years earlier. They made a film about their ascent and Bamber’s ordeal that was premiered at the Kendal Mountain Festival in 2016 [16] and subsequently shown at other outdoor film festivals across Europe [17]. It was also aired on German and Swiss television[18].

In the media



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Jonathan Bamber's Publons profile". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  2. "Union Fellows | AGU". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Bamber, Helen Rae (Oral history)". Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Bamber, Rudi (Oral history)". Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  5. "Hunter Davies", Wikipedia, 2020-06-24, retrieved 2020-07-03
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Bristol, University of. "Professor Jonathan Bamber - School of Geographical Sciences". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  7. "Grand Canyon (Greenland)", Wikipedia, 2020-04-15, retrieved 2020-07-03
  8. "GlobalMass – Attributing global sea level rise to its component parts". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  9. "Union Council". European Geosciences Union (EGU). Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  10. American Alpine Club. (September 2017). The American Alpine journal 2017. ISBN 978-1-933056-96-8. OCLC 978286900.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Tupendeo – One Mountain, Two Stories". Sidetracked. 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  12. "Jonathan Bamber: A Man Born To Challenge The Limits". Entrepreneur Podcast With Join Up Dots. 2014-11-16. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  13. "Athlete Profile". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  14. "2017". Butcombe Trail Ultra. 2017-09-03. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  15. "TRANSALPINE RUN 2019 - PLAN B event company GmbH - Anmeldungs-Service". (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  16. "Tupendeo – one mountain, two stories | Trento Film Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  17. "Torelló Mountain Film". Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  18. Zeitung, Jungfrau (2017-03-04). "Filmpremiere einer Bergsteiger-Tragödie". Jungfrau Zeitung (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-07-03.

External links

This article "Jonathan Bamber (Physicist)" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.