Predictions of how the Earth’s climate might evolve rely on numerical simulations of the atmosphere coupled to numerical simulations of the ocean. Because these simulations model the entire globe and must be run for decades, if not centuries, they are necessarily run at relatively coarse resolution in order to get results in a reasonable length of time. Consequently, while the models are able to capture the large-scale flows, referred to as the “general circulation”, they cannot resolve small scale processes as occur in naturally evolving layers. Broadly speaking, layers in the atmosphere and ocean are manifest in one of two dynamically distinct forms: primarily vertically stacked layers separated by rapid density variations and primarily horizontal layers separated by strong shear flows. Examples of interfaces separating density layers include atmospheric inversions where the temperature abruptly increases with height a few hundred meters above the ground, and the pycnocline which separates warmer and fresher surface ocean water from colder and more saline water at depth. Horizontal shear flows are manifest as storm fronts in the atmosphere and, in the ocean for example, act to separate the fast moving Gulf Stream from the wider Atlantic Ocean. An extraterrestrial example is the meridionally alternating eastward and westward winds on Jupiter.
The existence of density interfaces and fronts act as a barrier to transport, which can be harmful or beneficial. Atmospheric inversions can trap pollution close to the ground, inhibitng its dispersion until morningtime convection erodes the interface. The stratospheric polar vortex above Antarctica inhibits dispersion of CFCs during the southern spring resulting in the formation of the ozone hole. By contrast, the polar vortex over the Arctic is more rapidly broken up by atmospheric waves created by flow over the underlying mountain ranges. So the ozone hole is not so pronounced in the northern hemisphere. In the ocean, our present climate relies upon the transport of heat and carbon dioxide absorbed at the surface being carried to depth by wintertime convection. A grave concern is that increased glacier melt, particularly in the Labrador Sea, will introduce so much fresh water on the surface as to create a pycnocline with such a strong density contrast that convection cannot penetrate through it, so trapping heat and greenhouse gases near the surface.
Our workshop on Climate Applications of Layering will bring together specialists in theory, numerical modelling, laboratory experiments and observations to address questions including how do layers and interfaces form in various settings, what factors control the strength of the interface between layers, what factors result in the erosion of the interface, and how strong must an interface be to resist being eroded?
Deadline for applications: 20 Jan 2024
ADI programme participants DO NOT need to apply, programme participants with visit dates during ADIW03 will automatically be added to the attendee list.
Please note members of Cambridge University are welcome to turn up and sign in as a non-registered attendee on the day(s) during the workshop and attend the lecture(s). Please note that we cannot provide you with any support including name badge, meals or accommodation.
In addition to visiting the INI, there are multiple ways in which you can participate remotely.
The Registration Package includes admission to all seminars, lunches and refreshments on the days that lectures take place (Monday - Friday), wine reception and formal dinner, but does not include other meals or accommodation.
Virtual registration is free, and includes virtual admission to all seminars and does not include physical attendance, meals or accommodation.
Formal Dinner Only
Participants on the Registration Package, including organisers and speakers, are automatically included in this event. For all remaining participants who would like to attend, such as programme participants, the above charge will apply.
Unfortunately we do not have any accommodation to offer so all successful applicants will need to source their own accommodation.
Limited funding support for accommodation may be available. To request this, please select the "accommodation package" in your application.
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Lunch will be served at Churchill College. Attendees will be provided with lunch vouchers for 2 courses and 1 drink. Timings will be confirmed with the timetable.
Participants are free to make their own arrangements for dinner.
The Formal Dinner will be held at Selwyn College on Wednesday 22nd May at 19:30.
Selwyn College was founded in 1882, and boasts beautiful landscaped gardens. The event is a tradition for INI participants and gives you a chance to socialise with your colleagues on a more personal level. It is not one to miss!
Participants on the Registration Package, including organisers and speakers, are automatically included in this event.
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