Science provides a way of understanding the world in a quantitative, measurable way, and mathematics is an intricate, elegant language for describing phenomena of the natural world.

As a modeler, I use mathematical equations written into computer code to simulate complex behavior of the earth system.  In my current research as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), I am working on modeling the Greenland ice sheet during the Last Interglacial (about 127,000 years ago), when the Earth’s climate was several degrees warmer than it currently is, due to our orbital configuration at the time.  By studying past climates (paleoclimate), we get a better understanding of how different parts of the Earth system behave and how they interact – which allows us to understand and better predict what changes we can expect to come in the future.  Paleoclimate research ultimately informs scientific predictions of global sea level rise, ocean and atmospheric patterns, and much more.

A combination of field observations and numerical modeling is essential for improving our understanding the rapid changes that are occurring now in the polar ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. 

Did you know that the ice in Greenland is equivalent to ~ 24 feet of sea level rise?  And the ice in Antarctica is much larger, ~ 197 feet.  A big question is how much these ice sheets will melt in the near future as the Earth’s climate changes.

My PhD research focused on processes that influence behavior of the Greenland ice sheet, particularly under a changing climate, including thermo-mechanical ice sheet modeling, subglacial hydrology modeling, a detailed look at heat transfer coefficients in glacier drainage, and a new field method to measure permeability of firn.

Check out this video about my experiments in Greenland.

And check out the SHAKTI model!