Group Leader: Dr Inga Smith
Sea ice is a crucial climate system component, influencing Earthís radiation budget, controlling ocean-atmosphere heat and mass exchange, and driving deep ocean convection. In the Arctic, sea ice extent and thickness have been dramatically declining. In Antarctica, sea ice extent has been increasing in some areas, and decreasing in others, and there is a lack of thickness data. The overall aim of our research is to understand how Antarctic sea ice will change over the next century.
The focus of our research is ice-ocean interactions, particularly looking at the influence of ice shelf basal melting on sea ice properties. This research comprises investigations on a range of scales and through a range of methods, from Earth System Model investigations of pan-Antarctic responses to freshwater changes through to Antarctic fieldwork investigation of local processes near ice shelves. This research includes international and national collaborations, and is funded through the Deep South National Science Challenge, the Marsden Fund, and with support from the University of Otago.