Sea ice covers approximately 9% of the global oceans at least part of the year, and plays an important role governing heat and freshwater fluxes between the ocean and atmosphere. The heat flux through the sea ice from the relatively warm -2oC ocean to the cooler -30oC atmosphere is a vital process in the formation of cold dense shelf waters that eventually become the deep and bottom waters filling the abyss and maintaining the global ocean overturning circulation. The thermal conductivity of sea ice moderates the heat flux between the ocean and atmosphere, however, accurate measurements of sea ice thermal conductivity and its sensitivity to changing ocean conditions are limited. This project aims to measure the thermal conductivity of sea ice in a novel laboratory apparatus that provides direct and precise control of the model ocean and atmosphere temperatures, wind speeds, and ocean hydrography.

Supervisors: Kial Stewart ( and Callum Shakespeare (