PIMS Public Lecture: Kenneth M. Golden "Mathematics and the melting polar ice caps"

  • Date: 03/30/2012

Kenneth M. Golden, University of Utah


University of British Columbia


Mathematics and the melting polar ice caps



Sea ice is a leading indicator of climate change. It also hosts extensive microbial communities which support life in the polar oceans. The precipitous decline of the summer Arctic sea ice pack is probably the most visible, large scale change on Earth's surface in recent years. Most global climate models, however, have significantly underestimated these losses. We will discuss how mathematical models of composite materials and statistical physics are being used to study key sea ice processes such as melt pond evolution, snow-ice formation, and nutrient replenishment for algal communities. These processes must be better understood to improve projections of the fate of sea ice, and the response of polar ecosystems. Video from recent Antarctic expeditions where we measured sea ice properties will be shown.


Other Information: 

Location: GEOG 100


Reception is at 2:30pm at PIMS WMAX 110



DR. KENNETH M. GOLDEN is a Professor of Mathematics and Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at
the University of Utah. His scientific interests lie in sea ice, climate change, composite materials,
phase transitions, and inverse problems. He has published 54 papers in mathematics, physics,
geophysics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and biomechanics journals, and given
over 300 invited lectures on six continents, including three presentations in the US Congress.
Dr. Golden has journeyed six times to Antarctica and seven times to the Arctic to study sea ice.