[ESS Candidate Seminar] Aschwanden on "Understanding ice sheets from observations and models"

Start Date/Time: Thursday, April 11, 2013, 3:30 PM
Ending Date/Time: Thursday, April 11, 2013, 4:50 PM
Location: JHN 075

Andy Aschwanden, Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks, is the first of three candidates for the ESS Research Assistant Prof position.

Tea and cookies at 3:00.

Nearly 70% of the world's fresh water resources are currently locked up in the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarcticta. Satellite observations reveal that our polar ice sheets are losing ice at an unprecedented, accelerating rate. Since 1992 the polar ice sheets have contributed, on average, 0.6 mm per year to sea level, which is roughly the yearly water usage of the United States. Rising sea levels are expected to cause adverse economic and social effects. Consequently, reliable predictions of sea level rise are cruciall to the long-term planning of mitigation and adaptation efforts.

In this talk I will discuss the unique role of ice sheets in the climate system and why ice sheets are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Observations, especially from space, are instrumental in documenting rapid changes in Greenland and Antarctica. However, to better understand these changes, and the potential of further accelerated mass loss, numerical ice sheet models are valuable tools. After a short introduction to ice sheet modeling I will highlight some previous modeling efforts and introduce the open-source Parallel Ice Sheet Model.

Speaker Bio: Following his PhD at Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH in Zurich, Andy Aschwanden is now a postdoc at University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he is a prime force behind PISM, the open-source Parallel Ice Sheet Model. In addition to continuing to develop the model, Andy insists on testing the model against data. Recently he has worked on prediction of sea-level rise due to ice melt for the upcoming IPCC AR5.