Dr. Ian Eisenman
Postdoctoral Scholar in Environmental Science and Engineering, Caltech,
and NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington
When: Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: BEG Conference Room, 10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 130, Austin, Texas 78758
Host: Charles Jackson, UTIG
In light of the rapid recent retreat of Arctic sea ice, the possibility that the ice-albedo feedback may drive an irreversible tipping point has garnered considerable attention. In this talk, I'll present the results of an investigation into the possibility of such a tipping point by examining the central physical processes associated with the loss of Arctic sea ice. Starting with basic physical principles, I use a series of standard mathematical approximations to arrive at an idealized representation of the coupled Arctic climate system, and then I perform a bifurcation analysis to look for threshold behavior involving sudden jumps. At the end of the talk, I'll summarize other current and recent research which focuses on (i) large-scale Arctic sea ice and (ii) abrupt climate change in the North Atlantic during the past 100,000 years.