Jan Jaap Meijer is a PhD student in the field of Physical Oceanography at the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies / University of Tasmania.
Currently, he is working on how standing meanders brake the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC). Standing meanders occur when the current interacts with strong topography changes and steepen with increasing wind stress. The steeper meanders generate more eddies, that flatten the isopycnals, slow down the ACC and lead to stronger poleward heat fluxes. This has implications for warming of the southern waters, melting of sea ice and basal melt of ice shelves around Antarctica.
His background and interest are multidisciplinary and allowed him to work in different projects, including the RISC-KIT (Resilience-Increasing Strategies for Coasts - Toolkit) project, in which a set of coastal risk tools – both physical and probabilistic models – were applied to a case study in Kristianstad, Sweden. During his studies he joined sea-going courses and voyages, analysed complex data sets from seals and finished with a master thesis modelling how coral cays form on platform reefs. He has a practical approach to problem solving driven by societal and environmental innovation for sustainability.
Jan Jaap holds a MSc in Meteorology, Physical Oceanography and Climate from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands and a BEng in Aeronautical Engineering from the Inholland University in Delft, the Netherlands.
THESIS: An observational study of the role of standing meanders in slowing the ACC and transporting heat to Antarctica
Most theories of the Southern Ocean and, more specifically, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) are based on zonally symmetric models. These lack information about the complexity of the ACC's frontal structure and the presence of several significant topographic obstructions to the flow that create meanders and are crucial to the ACC's momentum balance.
Understanding the mechanisms that form the momentum balance in meanders are necessary to explain and predict, current and future climate states of the ACC and cross frontal exchanges. This can have implications for warming of the southern waters, melting of sea ice and basal melt of ice shelves around Antarctica.