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Department of Computer Science and Technology

Friday, 1 March, 2024 - 13:00 to 14:00
Jerome Neufeld, University of Camridge
FW11, William Gates Building. Zoom link:

Understanding a predicting the observed changes in key climatic systems, or predicting and de-risking climate solutions pose challenges, particularly in assessing poorly constrained properties of the system whose behaviour at small scales often determines the response. In this talk I’ll give two physical examples, and an approach of reduced modelling which focuses on the key uncertainties. The two large global ice sheets are loosing significant mass, but Greenland predominantly looses mass by surface melting, while Antarctica looses mass by melting of ice shelves and in the zone where ice becomes grounded. In both cases, the response is dictated by the temporal and spatial evolution of a complex subglacial hydrological system, whose properties are difficult to observe remotely. We’ll use reduced models of the subglacial system to understand the key role of subglacial systems and pose the question of how best to constrain this subglacial hydrological system. Geological storage of CO2 is one method of reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions, and involves the injection of large volumes of CO2 into the subsurface. In order to remain trapped in the subsurface, buoyant CO2 is typically injected beneath a relatively impermeable cap rock. Observations of CO2 stored in various storage sites demonstrates that the subsequent flow of CO2 is dominated by variability in caprice topography and variations in permeability which are not readily observed remotely. We’ll again use reduced models of CO2 spreading to understand the sensitivity to geological heterogeneity, and pose the question of how best to estimate the uncertainties associated with the storage of large volumes of CO2 in the subsurface. Bio: Jerome Neufeld is Professor of Earth and Planetary Fluid Dynamics jointly appointed at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows, the Department of Earth Sciences and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. The research in his group focuses on using mathematical models, laboratory experiments and field observations to understand the fluid dynamical behaviour of the Earth and other planetary bodies. Current research interests include the consequences of subglacial hydrology on supraglacial lake drainage and the tidal modulation of ice streams, the solidification of magma oceans and the early generation of magnetic fields on planetary bodies, the erosive dynamics of idealised river systems, the emplacement and solidification of magmatic flows, viscous tectonic mountain building, and the fluid dynamics of geological carbon storage.

Seminar series: 
Energy and Environment Group