From Antarctica to the Arctic: A Story of Snow, Sea Ice, and the Frigid Cold

Date: April 30, 2015
Time: 7-8 PM
Location: Lighthouse Keepers’ Residence (Bankcroft Hall), Cohasset Harbor

This is a free presentation seminar and discussion event hosted by the Center for Student Coastal Research (CSCR), a non profit organization located in Cohasset on Boston’s South Shore. The CSCR educates students in environmental sciences, encourages environmental awareness, and promotes activism.

General attendance and participation is complimentary, tax deductible donations are welcome.

The next guest speaker of the CSCR seminar and discussion series is Ross Lieb-Lappen, Ph.D. candidate at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. Ross will present and discuss "From Antarctica to the Arctic – A Story of Snow, Sea Ice, and the Frigid Cold".

Seminar Abstract:

Since sea ice is generally less than 6 feet thick, it is incredibly sensitive to environmental changes, and thus is often used as an indicator for climate change. Although sea ice appears quite uniform, it is in fact a very variable and dynamic system, with a complex microstructure that influences many transport processes and interactions with the ocean and atmosphere. Over the last 30 years, September Arctic sea ice coverage has decreased at a rate of 9% per decade, with that number increasing to 15% per decade over the last decade. This results in a steadily increasing amount of first year (seasonal) sea ice in the Arctic that is saltier and has more brine channels, providing networks for heat, gas, and salt transport through the ice. We study sea ice using x-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) that produces a full 3-D reconstruction from which we can analyze the brine channel network. Knowledge of this network then helps us to provide a better understanding of salt transport and later interactions with the atmosphere.

Ross Lieb-Lappen, Ph.D.

Ross Lieb-Lappen, Ph.D.

Ross’ Biography:

Ross is a Ph.D. candidate at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College where he studies the microstructure of snow and ice, in particular sea ice. He received his B.A. from Middlebury College in environmental studies and chemistry, and then a M.S. from the University of Vermont in mathematics. Ross graduated from Cohasset High in 2003 and is also one of the early alumni of CSCR. His interest in the environment can be traced back to the time he spent with CSCR studying the water quality of Cohasset Harbor. Today he prefers to spend his time in colder regions where his research has taken him from the Ross Sea in Antarctica to Barrow, Alaska.