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Marginal Ice Zone Evolution due to Wave-Induced Breaking

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SIPW01 - Multi-scale modelling of ice characteristics and behaviour

Co-authors: Vernon Squire (University of Otago, NZ), Fabien Montiel (University of Otago, NZ)

The influence of ice–albedo temperature feedback arising as a result of global climate change is believed to be enhanced by a contemporaneous intensification of wave climate in the polar seas. Waves break up the sea ice deeper into the ice-covered oceans, accelerating its melting and increasing the area of ice-free ocean, which in turn allows for more energetic waves and swells to develop. Although much attention has been given to the effect of a broken-up ice cover, e.g. the marginal ice zone, on the propagation of ocean waves, less is known about the impact of waves on the morphology of the sea ice. The latter is principally governed by the break-up of flexing sea-ice floes as a result of wave interactions. A sub-grid scale process-based model describing the two-way coupling between the ocean waves and sea ice systems will be discussed, with a particular focus on how to parametrize this coupling in ice/ocean models.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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