My work at the University differs from that of
other climate-dynamics colleagues in the department by being oriented
collection and processing." My approach to climate related science
uses this field data as the means to establish proper, rational models
of the physical processes governing climate. My field efforts in Antarctica
(I've worked on the Ross Ice Shelf and in the Ross Sea for 10 field seasons)
yield a range of physical models concerning the dynamics of large ice
masses. For example, my work of about 10 years ago focussed on the processes
of ice-stream flow, and the nature of the subglacial boundary layer that
facilitates ice-stream basal lubrication. My models of ice streams were
subsequently built upon by students at the U. of C. and colleagues elsewhere
to determine the role of ice-stream surging in abrupt climate change
of the North Atlantic (e.g., Heinrich events, when great armadas of icebergs
plied the North Atlantic dropping ice-rafted debris and shutting down
North Atlantic Deep Water production).
My current research passion involves
the break-up of ice shelves and the subsequent transport of icebergs
into the surrounding ocean. In 2002, the Larsen B Ice Shelf broke up
by a melting-triggered ice-shelf fragmentation process. My students
and I plan to perform field work on the remaining Larsen B and Larsen
C ice shelves to verify the hypothesis suggesting how ice shelves are
linked to climate.
Giant Icebergs of the Ross Sea: Field work continues through winter,
Sensors and Sensor Networks: I am working to develop a wireless sensor
network to monitor the seismicity and basal melting rates of icebergs
as they drift through the Southern Ocean. This work, if funded, will
be performed with colleages at Stanford University, Northwestern University,
Kansas Universeity and the University of Wisconsin.
Inverse methods in Glaciology: I occasionally advise colleagues interested
performing "adjoint trajectory" models of the Antarctic Ice Sheet for
the estimation of otherwiseunobservable parameters. The colleagues who do this
work are located at NASA's JPL, GSFC and also University of Washington.