Polar Seminar: "Gone with the wind: Modeling iceberg drift and decay in modern and glacial climates", Till Wagner, SIO

09/27/2016 - 2:00pm
8610 Kennel Way La Jolla, CA 92037, US
Event Description: 

September 27, 2:00pm
Location: Revelle 4301

Till Wagner
Postdoctoral Scholar, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Gone with the wind: Modeling iceberg drift and decay in modern and glacial climates
Under global warming, the calving of icebergs into the polar oceans is expected to increase. As a result, questions regarding the role icebergs play in Earth's climate system have received a recent surge of interest, and efforts are underway to put explicit representations of icebergs into global climate models (GCMs). A better understanding of how icebergs drift and decay will help facilitate an accurate representation of icebergs and guide the interpretation of the GCM results. In this talk I will present an idealized analytical model that we developed to aid this effort. I will use the model to address (i) which climate model variables are most important to accurately model iceberg evolution and (ii) whether climate models do a good job simulating these variables. I will show that (i) it's winds and (ii) they don't. In the later part of the talk, I will turn to the massive iceberg discharges called Heinrich Events that occurred during the last glacial period. These events are believed to have had large-scale impacts on the global climate system. However, modeling icebergs that lived and melted more than 10,000 years ago comes with its own challenges, as we will see.
For more information on this event, contact: 
Susheel Adusumilli
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