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Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences Special Seminar by Dr. J. Alexander Brearley

When: Wednesday, June 1, 2022
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Where: > See description for location
Description: The School for Marine Science and Technology
Department of Estuarine and Ocean Sciences
Special Seminar Announcement

"The West Antarctic Peninsula circulation and mixing: What have we learned from ocean gliders?

Dr J. Alexander Brearley
Physical Oceanographer and Head of Open Oceans
British Antarctic Survey

Wednesday, June 1, 2022
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
SMAST East, Rooms 101/102
836 S Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA

The West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) in the Bellingshausen Sea is one of the most variable environments on Earth, with significant atmospheric, oceanographic and cryospheric changes taking place since the middle of the 20th century. It has
been argued that changing ocean heat content and circulation have significantly impacted melting of the fringing ice shelves and marine-terminating glaciers over the last 30 years, but our understanding of the processes by which ocean heat is fluxed onto the WAP shelf, and the mixing and exchange that occurs on the shelf, was, until recently, remarkably limited. Over the past decade, ocean gliders have yielded important insights into both circulation and mixing. In this talk, we present results from two underwater glider studies in 2015 and 2016, which show that (a) eddies and topographically-forced flows are highly significant for the two-way flux of water across the shelf break, and (b) mixing of warm deep waters on the shelf with cold and fresh Antarctic surface waters is an important control on the delivery of heat to marine-terminating glaciers, and that the rates of mixing on the shelf are heavily modulated both by near-inertial wind forcing and by sea-floor topography. These results have important implications for the representation of circulation and mixing in regional and global models, which in turn affects sea level rise projections under future greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

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Meeting ID: 950 5051 2470
Passcode: 748542
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Contact: > See Description for contact information
Topical Areas: School for Marine Sciences and Technology, SMAST Seminar Series