Charles H. Jones Auditorium (L1205) in the Ford ES&T Building
Sea ice is a critical component of Earth’s climate system. In recent years, Arctic sea ice has decreased in extent, thickness, and age, while Antarctic sea ice extent has not decreased overall. A possible explanation for this different response in a warming world is the presence of ice shelves (large floating glaciers) in Antarctica. Sea ice that forms in the presence of basal meltwater from ice shelves often grows more quickly (and hence is thicker) than “normal” sea ice, and it is also structurally different. The presence of supercooled sea water explains these differences. In this talk, I will give an overview of sea ice’s role in Earth’s climate system, and explain the research that our group have undertaken using oxygen isotopes, sea ice thermodynamics measurements, and climate modelling to address the burning question: what does the future hold for Antarctic sea ice?