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Small to big, quick to slow: The many scales of sea ice properties and processes

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SIPW01 - Multi-scale modelling of ice characteristics and behaviour

Sea ice properties and processes exhibit tremendous variability over spatial scales from millimeters to megameters. Sea ice also evolves over temporal scales of hours to days to seasons to decades. To understand sea ice properties, it is critical to examine and connect the processes that occur on these different scales. For example, sea ice microstructure impacts the partitioning of sunlight. Melt ponds are governed by meter-scale topography and millimeter-scale brine channels. There are similarities in the size distributions of brine pockets, melt ponds, and floes; features that span spatial scales of several orders of magnitude. The timing of short term events, such as snowfall or lead openings, has a large impact on the seasonal evolution of the ice cover. Sea ice scale issues are also important when considering the interactions of the atmosphere-sea ice-ocean-biogeochemical system.

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

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