Perhaps the most iconic feature of melting Arctic sea ice is the distinctive ponds that form on its surface. The geometrical patterns describing how melt water is distributed over the surface largely determine the solar reflectance and transmittance of the sea ice cover, which are key parameters in climate modeling and upper ocean ecology. In order to help develop a predictive theoretical approach to studying melting sea ice, and the resulting patterns of light and dark regions on its surface in particular, we look to the statistical mechanics of phase transitions and introduce a two-dimensional random field Ising model which accounts for only the most basic physics in the system.
Journal Article - Open Access
New Journal of Physics , 21, 01 Jan 0001, 01 Jan 0001, This is an open access journal article.