This workshop will address sea ice processes across a wide range of lengths and time scales, with an emphasis on understanding emergent and scale-invariant phenomena. Mathematical methods that account for the smaller scale processes and enable computation and analysis of these processes' effect on larger scales relevant for coarse-grained climate models will be a focus of the workshop and linkage of scales is a central theme of this workshop. It will take place at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Registration deadline: Sunday, 11 June 2017.
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. An important feature of sea ice is that it displays rich structure and behavior on scales ranging over 10 orders of magnitude, length scales from microns to hundreds of kilometers, 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, and 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.
The complex behavior of sea ice over such a large range of scales presents a fundamental challenge to modeling these systems. For example, many key processes, whose relevant length scales may be centimeters or meters to kilometers, impact climate and must be incorporated into large-scale numerical climate models with grid sizes often on the order of tens of kilometers. 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.
Potential workshop topics include: