Information on speakers
dr. Peter Kuipers Munneke
dr. Caroline Katsman
prof.dr. Henk Brinkhuis
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research (IMAU), UU
Melting ice, rising seas
Peter Kuipers Munneke is researcher at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research (IMAU), part of Utrecht University. He investigates the role of the large ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland in the climate system, and focuses on the way these ice sheets adapt to a warming atmosphere. For his PhD research, he studied the optical properties of snow and ice. In a warming climate, the ice-sheet surface becomes darker and absorbs more energy for melt. This constitutes a major positive feedback mechanism under atmospheric warming. After his PhD, Peter has continued to work on ice-sheet surface processes, using climate models, remote sensing, and in-situ observations. For his research, he organized field experiments to Greenland and Antarctica. Apart from his work at IMAU, he also presents weather forecasts on national radio and television.
Melting glaciers and ice sheets have contributed more than half of the 20 centimetres of observed sea-level rise since 1850. In the last decades, the mass loss from the big Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets has increased sharply. They contain enough ice to raise global mean sea level by more than 60 metres. Delicate techniques are therefore required to monitor even small changes in their mass. In this talk, I will explain how we measure ice-sheet mass changes, why and where the ice sheets are losing mass, and how we can decompose the presently observed sea-level rise into its various components. I will also present the future outlook of ice-sheet decline and sea-level rise as discussed in the latest IPCC report.
KNMI, Climate Research & Seismology, Global Climate Division
Climate and oceans
Caroline Katsman (1971) studied Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at Utrecht University. She graduated with honors in 1996. From 1996 to 2001, she did her PhD research at KNMI and Utrecht University on natural variations in the wind-driven ocean circulation. After receiving her thesis, she shifted the focus to the role of eddies in the ocean as a postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA). Since March 2003 she works at KNMI as a climate researcher. Her specific field of expertise is the role of the ocean in the current and future climate, with an emphasis on ocean warming and future sea level change. Besides her scientific work, she advises the government based on the scenarios for regional sea level change she develops with her co-workers. In 2008, she developed extreme high-end scenarios for local sea level rise at the request of the new Delta Committee (‘commissie Veerman’).
In this lecture it is explained what role the ocean plays in the current and future climate. The basic features of the ocean circulation are first discussed and the underlying theories explained before addressing the ocean heat transport. The role of the ocean for climate (change) is illustrated using two examples: the possible instability of the density-driven ocean circulation and sea level rise.
NIOZ - Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Climate change & greenhouse gases, past & present
Prof. dr. Henk Brinkhuis took office as general director Royal NIOZ on October 1, 2011. Henk earned a master's degree in marine geology and biostratigraphy/ paleoceanography from Utrecht University, with a subject in organic geochemistry at Delft Technical University. He received his doctorate in Eocene-Oligocene marine geology, micropaleontology and paleoceanography from Utrecht University, where he will continue his chair in Marine Palynology and Paleoceanography.
Henk has a strong taste for Phanerozoic extreme climate change and paleoecology. He (co-)authored over 125 peer-reviewed scientific publications and (co-)supervised over 25 PhD students. As a Dutch national representative, Henk is strongly involved in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) and was a shipboard scientist on the IODP Arctic Coring Expedition in 2004, and co-chief scientist on the IODP Wilkes Land Antarctica drilling expedition. He helped form many integrated national and international scientific education programs in paleo-climatology and -ecology and served on numerous scientific advisory panels and committees.
In the global climate debate much attention is given to short term carbon cycle dynamics; the long term carbon cycle is however perhaps of even greater importance since the residence time of carbon is about 125,000 years. For predicting long term climate sensitivity to [CO2]atm concentrations essentially two research avenues are available, (1) climate models calculating forward in time, and (2) the analysis of the geoclimatological archive, going back in time. While reading and understanding the archive is a complex undertaking, it offers ‘reality’ vs only a virtual portrait (‘best guess’) of an end-result of potentially interacting processes, part of which are still poorly understood. Voyages back in time allow us to visit 400 ppmv, 800ppmv and even >1500ppmv CO2 worlds, for example the ‘Greenhouse Earth’ episode between 60-50 million years ago. In this talk I will provide some examples of studies of the Greenhouse Earth particularly targeting the climate-sensitive high latitude regions. These are based on results from recent polar seafloor IODP drilling and portray potential ‘end member’ states of a high CO2 planet Earth, and consequences for future climate scenarios.