Kaitlin Naughten - Modelling Antarctic ice shelf, ocean, and sea ice interactions under present-day and future climate scenarios

Event type: 
1 March 2018
4.00 - 5.00pm

Climate Change Research Centre, Seminar Room, Mathews Building 4th floor, UNSW, Sydney


Kaitlin Naughten
Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, Australia
Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, Australia

Sea level rise is perhaps one of the most troubling implications of climate change, and a key determinant of the magnitude and rate of future sea level rise will be interactions between Antarctic ice shelves and the Southern Ocean. During my PhD, I worked with two different ocean models which explicitly resolve ice shelf cavities: MetROMS and FESOM. The project had three major parts: (1) the development of a circumpolar Antarctic configuration of MetROMS; (2) intercomparison of MetROMS and FESOM over the Antarctic continental shelf, considering interactions between ice shelves, the ocean, and sea ice; (3) future projections of 21st-century ice shelf melt rates using FESOM. During this talk I will present the results of these three sub-projects, as well as tell the more human story of my PhD, and offer advice for how other students can stay happy and healthy during their degrees.


Brief Biography: Kaitlin began her PhD in August 2014, with supervisors Katrin Meissner, Matthew England, and Ben Galton-Fenzi (ACE CRC, Hobart). Her research focuses on modelling sub-ice shelf circulation in the Southern Ocean and how it may respond to climate change. She is particularly interested in warm offshore Circumpolar Deep Water and how it is transported onto the Antarctic continental shelf. To investigate these processes she is using two ocean / sea ice / ice shelf models: ROMS (Regional Ocean Modelling System) and FESOM (Finite Element Sea-ice Ocean Model). Kaitlin has previously studied the software architecture of climate models (with Steve Easterbrook at the University of Toronto), projections of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation in a warming world (Andrew Weaver, University of Victoria), and the role of Atlantic circulation changes in the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (Katrin Meissner, UNSW). She graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2014 with a B.Sc. Honours in Mathematics; for her honours thesis, she derived a simplified model of ocean circulation.