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White House.gov Press Office Feed

Friday, October 12, 2012

HYDROLOGY AND CHANGES IN THE ARTIC LANDSCAPE













A team of scientists is working to understand how local changes in hydrology might bring about major changes to the Arctic landscape, including the possibility of a large-scale carbon release from thawing permafrost. Bryan Travis, an expert in fluid dynamics, is author of the Mars global hydrology numerical computer model, or MAGHNUM, used for calculating heat and fluid transport phenomena. (MAGHNUM was previously used to model hydrological phenomena under freezing conditions on other planets, including Mars.) Travis advanced the MAGHNUM software with a variety of improvements and additional components into a new program, called ARCHY, a comprehensive Arctic hydrology model. A LANL team's goal is to make ARCHY capable of accurately modeling Arctic topography, thawing, and erosion. Because it includes advective heat transport, ARCHY will help to predict how quickly and how extensively the Arctic permafrost will thaw.  Photo From:  Los Alamos National Laboratory.