Sea Ice, Climate, and Multiscale Composites Followed by the Video <i>The Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem Experiment II</i>

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Keller 3-180
Kenneth Golden (The University of Utah)
The precipitous decline of the summer Arctic sea ice pack is probably the most
visible, large scale change on Earth's surface in recent years. In fact, the
observed losses have significantly outpaced the projections of most global
climate models. As a material, sea ice is a porous composite of pure ice with
brine inclusions. Moreover, sea ice displays composite structure on many length
scales, from millimeters to kilometers. We will discuss how mathematical models
of composite materials and statistical physics are being used to analyze the
effective properties of sea ice on various scales. The results give insight
into key sea ice processes such as melt pond evolution, snow-ice formation, and
nutrient replenishment for algal communities living in the brine microstructure.
These processes must be better understood to improve projections of the fate of
sea ice, and the response of polar ecosystems. Video from an Antarctic
in 2012 where we measured sea ice properties will be shown after the talk.


Video Information

Produced by Ken Golden, Co-Produced by Gordon Jones

The video chronicles the SIPEX II expedition off the
coast of East Antarctica
aboard the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis during the fall of
2012. The science,
adventure, and wildlife of an Antarctic expedition are highlighted
using footage taken by
Ken Golden, with contributions from others on the voyage. The film
sequences in the
video are not only visually stunning, but help to illustrate how
mathematics is being used
to advance our understanding of climate change in the polar regions.