Course Description

ESE 137, Polar Oceanography: Sea Ice (Spring 2017)

Tu,Fr, 10.30 to 11.50, L+R 135

Course syllabus

This is a reading course that will cover the topic of sea ice, and in particular how the polar oceans have been influencing recent changes in sea ice extent and thickness. The class is divided into two parts, one in which we will do some background reading from the text-book Sea Ice, 3rd edition, David Thomas (editor). The second part of the course will involve reading research articles on topics that extend our reading from the first part of the class. The goal of this course is to explore sea ice research together, to provide a basic foundation of knowledge (and terminology) for reading the sea ice literature and to identify key outstanding problems in the field, especially where it pertains to Earth's climate.

Text Book

Sea Ice, 3rd edition, David Thomas, ed., Wiley, 2017

Chapter 1: Overview of sea ice growth and properties
Chapter 5: The sea-ice ocean boundary layer
Chapter 6: The atmosphere over sea ice
Chapter 7: Sea ice and Arctic Ocean oceanography
Chapter 8: Oceanography and sea ice in the Southern Ocean
Chapter 10: Gaining (and losing) Antarctic sea ice: variability, trends and mechanisms
Chapter 11: Losing Arctic sea ice: observations of the recent decline and the long-term context
Chapter 12: Sea ice in Earth system models

Sea ice and oceanography fundamentals

Lecture 1: Solidification and thermodynamics (Apr. 4)
Reading: Thomas, Chapter 1
Additional reading: Worster GFD notes (Ch. 1)

Lecture 2: Sea ice properties and mushy layers (Apr. 7)
Reading: Thomas, Chapter 1
Additional reading: Worster GFD notes (Ch. 4)
Additional reading: Wettlaufer et al. (1997)

*** No class the week of April 10 (get started on your reading!) ***

Lecture 3: The sea ice boundary layer (Apr. 18, Xiaozhou)
Reading: Thomas, Chapter 5
Slides, XR

Lecture 4: The atmosphere over the ocean (Apr. 21, Katrina)
Reading: Thomas, Chapter 6
Slides, KH
Sally Zhang presentation

Lecture 5: Oceanography and sea ice in the Southern Ocean (Apr. 25, Harrison)
Reading: Thomas, Chapter 8
Supplemental reading: Abernathey et al. (2016)
Slides, HP

Lecture 6: Gaining and losing Antarctic sea ice: variability, trends and mechanisms (Apr. 28, Andy)
Reading: Thomas, Chapter 10
Supplemental reading: NAS workshop report
Slides, AT

Lecture 7: Sea ice and Arctic oceanography (May 2, Bobby)
Reading: Thomas, Chapter 7
Supplemental reading: Polyakov et al. (2017)
Slides, RS

Lecture 8: Losing Arctic sea ice (May 5, Yury)
Reading: Thomas, Chapter 11
Supplemental reading: Stroeve et al. (2012)
Slides

Lecture 9: Sea ice in Earth system models (May 9, Alison)
Reading: Thomas, Chapter 12
Supplemental reading: Notz (2015)
Slides

Curent research in sea ice-ocean interactions

Lecture 10: Sea ice model mechanics (May 16, Andy and Georgy)
Reading: Hibler III (1979)
Supplemental reading: Thorndike et al. (1975)
Slides

Lecture 11: Dynamics of the marginal ice zone (May 23, Harrison)
Reading: Horvat et al. (2016)
Supplemental reading: Manucharyan draft
Slides
Paper summary

Lecture 12: Sea ice and wave motions (May 24, Bobby)
Reading: Dumont et al. (2011)
Supplemental reading: Squire et al. (1995)
Slides
Paper summary

Lecture 13: Sea ice and climate bi-stability (May 30, Youry)
Reading: Voigt and Abbot (2012)
Supplemental reading: Pollard and Kasting (2005) and Comeau et al. (2016)
Slides
Paper summary

Lecture 14: Biology in sea ice (May 31, Alison)
Reading: Melnikov (2005)
Supplemental reading: Arrigo (2014) and Nishi and Tabeta (2008)
Slides
Paper summary

Lecture 15: Teleconnections: Low-latitude atmospheric dynamics and Arctic sea ice extent (June 2, Katrina)
Reading: Barnes and Screen (2015)
Supplemental reading: Barnes and Polvani (2015) and Pederson et al. (2016)
Slides
Paper summary

California Institute of Technology  |  Environmental Science & Engineering  |  Web Development: Iryna Chatila