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Event Time
3:30 p.m.
Atlantic Building Room 2400 & Zoom

AOSC Seminar by Dr. Madeleine Youngs, 3/28/2024

AOSC Seminar

Madeleine Youngs




The Southern Ocean Circulation and Climate: The Localizing Effect of Topography



The Southern Ocean plays a major role in the global carbon dioxide balance; it draws down a disproportionally-large portion of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions. To understand this carbon budget, we investigate the vertical transport in the Southern Ocean because it fluxes tracers (like carbon) between the depth and the surface.  Recent work shows that this vertical transport preferentially occurs downstream of bottom topography, but this localized transport is not well described by the existing two-dimensional theory.  We address this gap by using an idealized Southern Ocean-like channel numerical model, with particle tracking in a circulation mathematically-equivalent to the full three-dimensional flow.  This allows us to develop a new mechanistic understanding of the three dimensional-nature of the overturning.   In addition, we run this model with simple biogeochemistry to investigate how the localized transport affects the carbon budgets.  We find that air-sea carbon flux is enhanced over the topography, but is poorly sampled using Lagrangian floats (like those currently used to sample the Southern Ocean).  The localization of the transport of carbon shows the necessity of careful modeling and sampling of these undersea ridges for a complete picture of carbon budgets and their variability, in order to fully understand the global carbon budget.



I study large-scale geophysical fluid dynamics of the ocean and climate with a focus on both fundamental and applied problems and an overarching goal to address the question: How do atmospheric and oceanic dynamics influence global climate change? My PhD thesis focused on the dynamics of the Southern Ocean under a changing climate. As a postdoc, I have expanded my interest to dynamical systems techniques for geophysical systems and applied these to the atmosphere, specifically considering how oceanic and atmospheric storm tracks, regions of enhanced large-scale turbulence, respond to and feed back on Earth's climate. In the future, I will combine the relevant physics questions with new methods and tools to improve our understanding of climate. My current project investigates ice-shelf melt feedbacks on Southern Ocean circulation in a warming climate.



James Carton


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AOSC Seminar

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Seminar: 3:30-4:30pm, Room: ATL 2400(only when in-person)
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