Atmosphere Ocean Science Colloquium

Double-diffusive mixing and its large-scale effects in the polar oceans

Speaker: Yana Bebieva, Georgia Tech

Location: Online

Date: Monday, February 7, 2022, 11 a.m.


Arctic and Southern Ocean heat transport play a central role in the sea-ice cover and global climate. Motivated by the need to understand this heat transport better, the talk will address a type of small-scale ocean mixing, double-diffusive convection. Double-diffusive convection is widespread throughout the Arctic Ocean and observed in the major gyres of the Southern Ocean. Ocean measurements from the extensive Ice-Tethered Profiler dataset, Argo, and custom-built profilers are analyzed in conjunction with theoretical analyses to answer several essential questions about the physical nature of double-diffusive structures and associated mixing and fluxes. Findings establish the links between the evolution of small-scale features and large-scale circulation patterns and provide a deeper understanding of how double-diffusive processes affect heat transport pathways in the polar oceans and, thereby, influence polar climate.