M.Sc. Math Defence: An energy balance model of climate change incorporating the roles of cabon dioxide and water vapour as greenhouse gases

Date and Time


Summerlee Science Complex 1504




The Arctic ice-caps have been melting at an alarming rate, possibly due to anthropogenic forcing. An energy balance model has been constructed to explore the forcing factors of Earth's climate, particularly the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and water vapour. The effects of greenhouse gases on the Arctic climate are explored incorporating two non-linear mechanisms: ice-albedo feedback and water vapour feedback. The roles of ocean and atmospheric heat transport are also explored. The model explores the possibility of multiple climate states in the Arctic as well as tipping points involving the forcing factors. This model is also applied to the Tropics and Antarctic. In addition, the energy balance model provides a plausible explanation to the Pliocene Paradox when the Arctic was ice-free but with similar forcing factors as today.



Advisory Committee

  • A. Willms (Advisor)
  • W. Langford (co-advisor)

Examining Committee

  • D. Kribs, Chair
  • A. Willms
  • W. Langford
  • H. Kunze

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