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Mathematics & the Melting Polar Ice Caps


Speaker: Kenneth M. Golden, Department of Mathematics, University of Utah
Location: 1147 MSB
Start time: Tue, Nov 1 2011, 4:10PM

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. Most global climate models, however, have significantly underestimated these losses. We will discuss how mathematical models of composite materials and statistical physics are being used to study key sea ice processes such as melt pond evolution, snow-ice formation, and nutrient replenishment for algal communities. These processes must be better understood to improve projections of the fate of sea ice, and the response of polar ecosystems. Video from recent Antarctic expeditions where we measured sea ice properties will be shown.

View the promotional poster (PDF).

Reception in Alder Room at 3:30