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International workshop on multi-scale sea ice characteristics and behaviour
From Monday 11 September 2017
To Friday 15 September 2017
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Realistic models of Earth’s climate system are essential to making projections about what we may experience as our climate changes. Polar sea ice forms a critical system component which must be accurately accounted for in global climate models. It forms the thin boundary layer coupling the polar oceans and atmosphere, and has seen rather dramatic changes over the past two or three decades. A fascinating and important feature of sea ice is that it displays rich structure and behaviour on scales ranging over 10 orders of magnitude: length scales from microns to hundreds of kilometres, and time scales from milliseconds to decades. This broad range of scales for sea ice structure and properties is relevant to biological, chemical, industrial, weather, as well as climate–related processes. It also leads to sea ice structure at certain scales being similar to other materials​ such as porous human bone and polycrystalline metals, which can be used to bring new techniques to studying sea ice, and vice versa.

Complex behaviour of sea ice over such a large range of scales presents, however, a fundamental challenge to modelling these systems. For example, many key processes whose relevant length scales may be centimetres or meters to kilometres, impact climate, and must be incorporated into large–scale numerical climate models with grid sizes often on the order of tens of kilometres. Mathematical methods which rigorously account for these smaller scale processes, and enable computation and analysis of their effective behaviour on larger scales relevant for coarse–grained climate models will be a focus of the workshop, and linkage of scales one of its central themes. Moreover, some sea ice properties exhibit scale invariance or predictable scale dependence, while others appear to be wholly emergent, a consequence of interacting processes within and applied to the ice cover. This workshop will address sea ice processes across a wide range of length and time scales, with an emphasis on understanding emergent and scale–invariant phenomena.

Possible topics within the full workshop include:

  1. Large-scale numerical models of the evolution of polar sea ice
  2. Sea ice simulations including variability, predictability, and climate projections
  3. Sea ice microphysics; fluid transport, convection, and the porous brine microstructure
  4. Melt ponds on Arctic sea ice
  5. Ice thickness distribution; melting, freezing, mechanical redistribution – ridging and rafting
  6. Waves in the marginal ice zone
  7. Scaling in sea ice fracture and dynamics; sea ice rheology
  8. Momentum balance including form drag, interactions with currents, tides and winds
  9. Sea ice thermodynamics and exchange processes
  10. Low order models of polar climate
  11. Tipping point phenomena
  12. Stochastic processes in sea ice modelling

Deadline for applications is 11 June 2017.

For more information, please visit the workshop website.

Location Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge, UK