Research Alert

University of Utah mathematician Ken Golden and atmospheric scientist Court Strong study the patterns formed by ponds of melting water atop Arctic ice. The ponds are dark, while the ice is bright, meaning that the bigger the ponds, the darker the surface and the more solar energy it absorbs.

To model the melt ponds’ growth, Golden, Strong and  colleagues tweaked a nearly 100-year-old physics model to simulate the ponds' formation and growth. “The model captures the essential mechanism of pattern formation of Arctic melt ponds,” the researchers write, and replicates important characteristics of the variation in pond size and geometry. 


Journal Link: New Journal of Physics

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New Journal of Physics