Warm water intrusions and ice melt at the Antarctic margin

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The risk of rapid ocean warming at the Antarctic margin is profound, with marine terminating ice-sheets locking up many meters of potential global sea-level rise. Rapid change has already been detected, yet this region remains poorly understood, with only limited observations due to both a harsh environment and a lack of standard data streams. This study will use high-resolution global and regional ocean/sea-ice models to examine mechanisms for rapid warming of Antarctic continental shelf waters via both large-scale drivers and fine-scale processes, including mesoscale eddies, tide-topography interactions, and bottom boundary flows. Implications for ocean biogeochemistry will also be explored.

The ideal student for this project will be one with an outstanding track record in quantitative sciences, particularly mathematics and physics, or with strong vocational training in fluid dynamics and engineering. Advanced analytical skills would be ideal, and it would be advantageous for the student to have developed excellent programming skills (for example using python, Matlab, C++ and Fortran). The ideal student might even have already run ocean circulation models and analysed 3D ocean data in either advanced modelling systems or observations. But above all else, the ideal student would have a strong grounding in mathematics and/or physics / fluid dynamics. This project is an exciting opportunity for a maths/physics major to apply their quantitative skills to studying one of the most pressing scientific challenges of our time: to quantify exactly where, when and how ocean warming will melt Antarctica's marine-terminating ice sheets.
Supervisory team

Climate Change Research Centre

Climate Change Research Centre

University of Tasmania
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies