Researchers

Kenneth M. Golden

Kenneth M. Golden
The University of Utah
Professor of Mathematics, Adjunct Prof. of Bioengineering
Web site

Adam Gully

Adam Gully
Undergraduate /
Graduate Student
The University of Utah

 

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Special thanks to the organizations above for the video footage

Antarctic Reach

Most of us will never visit the Antarctic or Arctic ice caps, but their existence is crucial for mankind’s survival. Although a handful of University students have visited the Arctic (a 12-hour trip), Adam Gully, an undergraduate and master’s student from the U, landed the experience of a lifetime: a two-month expedition to Antarctica with University math professor Ken Golden  to acquire critical information relating to global climate change.

Gully’s participation in this voyage was part of the math department’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), a program that provides extraordinary research opportunities and helps students get published long before graduation.

While in Antarctica, Golden and Gully acquired the very first fluid permeability measurements from the Antarctic sea ice pack. The fluid permeability of sea ice (how easy it is for brine or seawater to flow through the ice) has remained poorly understood, but it is an essential component for modern climate models. Because sea ice reflects enormous amounts of solar energy and its counterpart, the ocean, absorbs this energy, shrinking ice fields mean warmer oceans and a more unpredictable global climate.

After removing cores of ice, measuring temperature, salinity, and other variables, the University team calculated how quickly the seawater filled the vacancies left by the cores. Accompanying the experiment, the researchers employed electrical techniques to measure ice thickness and observed the movement of tinted tracers in the ice to better understand the ice structure.

Watch the video below for scenes from Dr. Golden’s Antarctic Expedition . For more information on this research, click here.

Video produced by Dr. Kenneth M. Golden and Media Solutions at the University of Utah

Sept. 4 - Oct. 17, 2007 | Video length: 4 min

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