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LECTURE SPONSORED BY IAS
Modeling Hypoxia and Acidification off the West Coast of North America
Prof James C. McWilliams, Louis B. Slichter Professor of Earth Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles
Date : 23 Feb 2017 (Thursday)
Time : 9:15 - 10:15 am
Venue : IAS Lecture Theater, Lo Ka Chung Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus, HKUST

Abstract

The talk will frame the problem of increasing oceanic hypoxia and acidification as a result of carbon, nitrogen, and heat pollution and natural climate variability. The focus is on a project for the West Coast of North America that is to establish a physical-biogeochemical system model, to validate it against two decades of observations, to assess the controlling processes for oxygen concentration and aragonite saturation state, to model the impact of local pollutants in relation to global changes, and to make a forecast of mid-century conditions.

About the speaker

Prof James C. McWilliams received his BS (with honors) in 1968 from Caltech, MS in 1969 and PhD in 1971 from Harvard University, all are in Applied Mathematics. After holding a Research Fellowship in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics at Harvard (1971-74), he worked in the Oceanography Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), where he became a Senior Scientist in 1980. In 1994, he joined the University of California at Los Angeles and is currently the Louis B. Slichter Professor of Earth Sciences in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and the Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics.

Prof McWilliams’ primary areas of scientific research are the fluid dynamics of Earth's oceans and atmosphere, both their theory and computational modeling. Particular subjects include the maintenance of the general circulations; climate dynamics; geostrophically and cyclostrophically balanced (or slow manifold) dynamics in rotating, stratified fluids; vortex dynamics; planetary boundary layers; planetary-scale thermohaline convection; coherent structures in turbulent flows in geophysical and astrophysical regimes; numerical algorithms; statistical estimation theory; and coastal ocean modeling.

Prof McWilliams helped develop a three-dimensional simulation model of the US West Coast that incorporates physical oceanographic, biogeochemical, and sediment transport aspects of the coastal circulation. This model is used to interpret coastal phenomena, diagnose historical variability in relation to observational data, and assess future possibilities. In 2002, he was elected a fellow of the US National Academy of Sciences.

For attendees’ attention

 

  The lecture is free and open to all. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

 

 

HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study
Enquiries: ias@ust.hk / 2358 5912
http://ias.ust.hk

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