Alberto Alberello

University of East Anglia

The dynamics of water waves in sea ice

Fluids and Materials Seminar

16th May 2024, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Fry Building, Fry 2.04

Sea ice is the largest ecosystem on Earth and plays a central role in the climate system. New record lows for Antarctic sea ice extent have been set in 2023, highlighting the urgent need to understand its response to anthropogenic climate change. The marginal ice zone (MIZ), where sea ice properties are affected by interaction with ocean waves, is the exterior dynamic region that regulates air-sea heat and momentum exchanges at large spatial scales and, as a consequence, the seasonal cycle of advance and retreat.

In this talk, I will focus on wave properties in the MIZ. Prompted by experimental results, I will introduce a modification of the nonlinear Schroedinger equation (NLS) to reproduce wave evolution in the MIZ. Viscous sea ice losses induce a frequency-dependent attenuation (high frequency components are attenuated at a stronger rate). The dynamics of ocean waves in this dissipative NLS framework will be discussed. Time permitting, I will show modifications that include higher order effects and the coexisting contribution of sea ice dissipation and wind forcing.

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