Mathematics and Climate Rearch Network
Minnesota Node
University of Minnesota
School of Mathematics

NASA Earth

The Mathematics of Climate Seminar

Permafrost melt and its effects on planetary energy balance

Kaitlin Hill

School of Mathematics

11:15 Tuesday, May 14, 2019

570 Vincent Hall

In the Northern hemisphere, permafrost sequesters large reservoirs of carbon. Upon melting, these carbon reserves may contribute strongly to increases in global mean temperature through the positive carbon feedback associated with permafrost melt, carbon release, and temperature increases. In this talk, we will analyze the effect of permafrost melt on global energy balance from a conceptual point of view. By considering changes in soil temperature as heat conduction, we may explicitly couple an expression for soil temperature at each latitude with Budyko's model for surface temperature. We will discuss possible motifs for analyzing the effect of permafrost on global energy balance and the insight each motif can provide into the dynamics of the system.

Time and Location

The meetings are held in 570 Vincent Hall at 11:15 on Tuesdays, followed by an extended discussion over lunch at the Bona Restaurant.

WebEx Session

We will broadcast the seminar to remote participants via WebEx. If you would like to receive a weekly invitation to the sessions, please send an email to Maria Sanchez <>.


Richard McGehee, School of Mathematics, <>
Clarence Lehman, College of Biological Sciences, <>


This seminar examines some of the simpler mathematical models of climate in the recent literature. Participants are encouraged to read a paper and report on it to the other participants, but passive participation is also welcomed. Course credit can be arranged either through the School of Mathematics or the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior by arrangement with the organizers.


This seminar is associated with the NSF sponsored Mathematics and Climate Research Network.

Last update: May 13, 2019
©2019 Richard McGehee