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Information on:

 The current status of Arctic sea ice

University of Cambridge (UCAM-DAMTP)

The Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) carries out research of world class excellence in many areas of theoretical physics which include oceanography, atmosphere-ocean dynamics, theoretical and experimental fluid dynamics, computational dynamics, wave theory, quantum computing, high-energy physics, elementary particles, quantum field theory, astrophysics and cosmology. Such research has developed over more than 300 years through the great traditions of scientists such as Newton, Larmor, Rayleigh, Eddington and Dirac, and, in fluid dynamics, Stokes, G I Taylor, Lighthill, Gill and Batchelor. The Polar Ocean Physics Group is led by Peter Wadhams, the UK’s most experienced sea ice scientist, with 40 years of research in sea ice and ocean processes in the Arctic and the Antarctic. The current main topics of research in the group are sea ice properties, dynamics and distributions (thickness and concentration), and the role of sea ice and polar oceans in climate change. DAMTP possesses a state of the art fluid dynamics laboratory and a set of cold rooms.


Tasks attributed: (1) Leader of WP1, based on long experience of measuring sea ice thickness and topography in the Arctic Basin. (2) Organiser of field experiment to use AUV in joint studies with airborne systems to validate altimeter algorithms and supply input on high-resolution under-ice ridge structure to WP2,3,4. (3) Organiser of data gathering on submarine transect of Arctic Ocean to collect multibeam sonar data. (4) Via work of Lawson Brigham, to offer support to shipping analyses in WP2 (5) WP5 via work of Paul Berkman


Principal Investigator :

Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics (research leader), has published on dynamics and thermodynamics of sea ice, sea ice thickness, waves in ice, icebergs, ocean convection and kindred topics. He has led 42 research expeditions to the polar seas and has worked extensively from Arctic submarines, most recently HMS Tireless (2007) using multibeam sonar to measure ice topography. He was a pioneer in the use of AUVs under sea ice, with successful missions using Maridan, Autosub II and Gavia (2002-2008) vehicles. He was coordinator of the EU FP5 GreenICE and CONVECTION projects and is currently in the EU FP6 DAMOCLES and on the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency. He was winner of the 1990 Italgas Prize for Environmental Sciences.