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Mathematician on Ice

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Author:Ivars Peterson - Science News Online
Description: Adventurous voyages to Antarctica test mathematical models of sea ice. The 1999 8-week voyage of the ice-breaking research vessel Aurora Australis from Tasmania wasn't Kenneth M. Golden's first venture into the Antarctic ice pack. An applied mathematician at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, he had also studied sea ice on three previous Antarctic outings. ...sea ice "is most important in the context of climate variability and change, both as an indicator and an agent of climate change," says geophysicist Hajo Eicken of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. The need to understand better the physical properties of sea ice, track its movements, and remotely monitor its thickness, temperature, and roughness has prompted a number of recent studies of its structure. In May, 2000 at a Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics meeting in Philadelphia on mathematical aspects of materials science, Golden described how new mathematical models have provided insights into the way brine seeps through ice, carrying heat and nutrients.

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Earth Sciences

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