Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography

Fall 2016 Seminar Series


NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
Princeton University

Monday, October 31, 2016
3:30 PM
Conference Center, Innovation Resarch Building II
4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA 23508


The freshwater flux from the Antarctic continent into the global ocean occurs through basal melting and the calving of icebergs off the edge of Antarctic ice shelves. The meltwater from basal melting affects local hydrography and plays a role in driving local ocean currents around Antarctica. In contrast, icebergs can drift long distances from their calving origins before melting entirely, depositing their meltwater remotely and affecting sea ice formation and climate away from the Antarctic coastline.

This talk focuses on the role of icebergs in the climate system and considers how icebergs distribute freshwater around Antarctica. A fully-coupled general circulation model with an iceberg component is used to investigate how the partitioning of the Antarctic freshwater flux into basal melting and iceberg calving affects the greater climate system. These results highlight the importance of accurately representing ice shelf melting and ice shelf calving in numerical models. With this in mind, we discuss a (new) Lagrangian approach to modeling ice shelves and present a discrete element ice shelf model, which provides a unified framework for modeling ice shelves, ice shelf cavities and icebergs.


Dr. Alon Stern is a polar oceanographer from Cape Town, South Africa. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town, majoring in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics. In 2009, Alon came to the US on a Fulbright Scholarship to work on his PhD at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Science at New York University. During his PhD, he worked with Professor David Holland to study ocean-ice interactions beneath the Antarctic ice shelves. This work included laboratory experiments, numerical modeling and field work, both in Antarctica and Greenland. After graduating in 2014, Alon moved to Princeton University's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) to do postdoctoral research, working with Dr. Alistair Adcroft. At Princeton, Alon's work focuses on improving the representation of icebergs in the GFDL climate model.

Reception before seminar at 3:00 PM

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