ATMS 514/ESS 535
  Ice and Climate

Formerly Ice and Climate Modeling

Spring 2011
T and Th 1:30-2:50  ATG 406

Instructor: Cecilia Bitz
Office ATG 502, Phone: 3-1339, email:
Office hours by appointment

This course will cover the principles of cryosphere and climate interactions and polar climate dynamics.  Topics include glaciers, ice sheets, snow, and sea ice in the modern climate, and their role in climate change, sea level rise, the Pleistocene ice ages, and snowball Earth. Relatively simple modeling exercises will be employed to learn about climate dynamics and ice sheet and sea ice sensitivity to climate change.

The course format will be a blend of lecturing, journal article discussion, and student special topic reports. Approximately five homework assignments will be given, some using simple models (provided by the instructor).  Students will be lead discussions of journal articles in pairs. Each student will also choose an additional topic and lead a class presentation on that topic. The presentation may be based on a critique of a paper or group of papers, analysis of data, and/or a simple modeling project. The project should be summarized in an approximately 5-page written report. There will be no exams. The grade breakdown is approximately:
   Homework assignments 40%
   Journal article discussion (leading and participating) 20%
   Project (written and presentation) 40%

Prerequisite: ATMS 501, 511 or ESS 532 would be helpful, but are not required. No previous modeling experience is needed.

Reading will be from a variety of journal articles and books that I will place on hold at the library.

Password protected class readings

Schedule  for 2011


Tu: Introduction 
Th: Heat transports and ice, discussion of Enderton and Marshall, 2009.

Required: first seven pages of Enderton and Marshall 2009 by 3/31; first two pages of Notz 2009 for 4/5; and Hoffman et al 1998 for 4/7
Recommended: Hoffman et al 2002 for 4/7

Tu: Ice-albedo Feedback , ebm lecture notes
Th:  Snowball Earth and discussion of Hoffman et al 1998
Th 3:30 Paul Hoffman is speaking in JHN 102 about "Strange waters on a Snowball Earth"
HW1 due 4/19
notes on using the EBM
EBM model for downloading on your computer
Required: Raymo_Huybers_2008 for 4/12
Recommended: Haywood and Valdez (2004)  a climatte modeling perspective on the pliocene
Fedora et al. 2006 The Pliocene Paradox (Mechanisms of a permanent El Nino)


Tu: 1-D EBMs and Ice in the late pliocene to early pleistocene, discussion of Raymo and Huybers
Th: Lack of Ice in the Pliocene, discussion of Fedora et al & Haywood and Valdex
Th: 3:30 Ray Pierrehumbert is, speaking in JHN 102 about "Exoplanets: Snowballs, Eyeballs, and H-balls"

Required: Joughin et al 2008 for 4/19
Kay et al for 4/21
Serreze et al for 4/21
Recommended: note other papers discussed on 4/21 were Stroeve et al 2007
Kwok and Untersteiner 2011 (just look at the figures)

Tu: Ian Joughin Guest Lecture on ice sheet and ice stream speed up
Th: modern sea ice decline and detection, visit with Jen Kay
HW2 due 5/5 Required: Bamber_etal2009.pdf for 4/26
Tu: Ice sheet-climate feedbacks
Th: Cecilia absent, no class

Required: Huybers & Tziperman, 2008 for 5/3
Bitz and Marshall 2011 (parts about ice sheets for now)
Recommended: Marshall 2006 on glaciers and climate

Tu: Alpine glaciers and mass balance basics
Th: Ice sheet modeling no notes provided yet
HW3 due 5/12
Final Project

Required: Deser et al 2009 for 5/10, Bitz and Marshall 2011 (parts about sea ice)

Tu: Discussion of Deser et al 2009 and the Arctic Paradox
Th: Sea ice
Proposals Paragraphs due 5/17 by email

Required: Martinson et al 1981 for 5/17 through section 4 and no more!
Thorndike et al 1992 for 5/19 p9401-9403 and fig 4, pickup again from section 4 to end.

Tu: Guest lecturer Brian Rose on a convective model for the Weddell Sea Polynya
Th: Guest lecturer Kyle Armour on sea ice feedbacks and the Thorndike Toy Model
Fr 3:30 Stephen Warren in JHN 075 "Ocean surfaces on Snowball Earth"

Required: Schuur et al 2009 for 5/24


Tu: Permafrost, snow on land
Th: Clathrates, Black Carbon, Tibetan Plateau glaciers

Required: Kehrwald_etal2008.pdf for 5/26
Barnett_etal2005.pdf for 5/26

Tu: Atmosphere response to ice  sheets and atmospheric circulations/thermodynamics important for ice
Th: Student Presentations

Try to read:  Turner_etal_2009.pdf on ozone forced sea ice response in SH for 5/31

Tu: Sudent Presentations

Turn in papers

Useful books

"Paleoclimatology" by Crowley and North
"Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery" by Imbrie and Imbrie.
"Physics of Climate" Peixoto and Oort
Pierrehumbert, R. in preparation. Climate on Earth and other planets at a rather basic and yet thought provoking level.

Suggested additional Topics
Glacierizations: Initiation of an ice sheet
Ice daming and flooding
Rapid climate change
Contribution of CO2 to ice-age climate
Oxygen isotopes in ice and ocean
Climatic effects of snow
Bedrock depression and rebound
Role of topography in onset of ice ages; mid-Pleistocene transition
Clouds in the ice age
Albedo feedbacks
Instability of West Antarctic ice sheet

Examples of previous students' projects
   Sea ice - Tony Beesely, Mark Wensman, Bill Lipscomb
   Oxygen isotopes - Kurt Cuffy, Christine Massey
   Cause of CO2 variations - Eric Steig
   Ice age ocean circulation - Robert Pincus, Von Walden
   Changes in Antarctic mass balance - Bonnie Light
   Ice sheet surface energy balance - Dave Morse
   Younger Dryas - Ken Young
   Bedrock depression and rebound - Tony Gades, Steve Fox
   Topographic changes - Jacobian, Ash Mahesh
   Topography ice age initiation - Doug Clark
   Mars polar cap - Rob Boime
   Cloud feedbacks in climate - Tracy Furutani
   Albedo Feedback - Jennifer Francis
   Initiation of an ice sheet in GCM by Milankovitch - Harry Stern
   Modeling of mass balance - Andrew Bourdreaux
   Climatic effects of snow - Donna Calhoun
   CO2 clouds - Gary Hansen
   Snowball earth - Llyd Wells
   The climate of Mars - Alison Anders
   The Younger Dryas - Jennifer Kay
   The AO and the Odden - Ignatius Rigor
   Ice and clouds - Trude Storelvmo
   Icebergs effects on the Ocean - Cecilia Peralta-Ferriz
   DO events - Hanzi Singh
   Autoregressive models of sea ice - Kyle Armour
   How snow works - Amanda
   Frazil ice - Clark Kirkman