Carnegie Mellon University

Ken Golden on polar expedition

February 19, 2019

Community Talk

By Kaushik Dayal

Kenneth M. Golden from the University of Utah will present "Pattern Formation in Melting Arctic Sea Ice." Ken Golden is a mathematician who goes on polar expeditions.

Sea ice is a critical indicator of Earth's changing climate, with the rapid decline of the summer Arctic ice pack outpacing expert predictions. As a material, frozen sea water is a composite of pure ice with millimeter scale brine inclusions, which is quite different in structure than an ice cube in a drink. In fact, the freezing, dynamics, and melting of sea ice form beautiful patterns over a vast range of length scales. From the brine and polycrystalline microstructure of first year ice and meter scale pancakes that form in a wave field, to the complex mosaics of snow and melt ponds atop sea ice floes that stretch for kilometers, we will explore mathematical models of these patterns and the physical properties they determine.

Our models are developed in conjunction with experiments we have conducted in both the Arctic and Antarctic. This work is helping to advance how sea ice is represented in climate models and to improve projections of the fate of Earth's sea ice packs and the ecosystems they support. The lecture is intended for a wide, interdisciplinary audience, and will conclude with a short video on a recent Antarctic expedition where we measured sea ice properties.

This Community Talk is presented to the CMU community as part of a scientific workshop organized by Kaushik Dayal, professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Irene Fonseca and Giovanni Leoni, professors in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. This workshop is sponsored by the Center for Nonlinear Analysis (CNA) and the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.

Read about the Center for nonlinear Analysis Workshop 2019