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Journal Article

The future of sea ice modelling: where do we go from here?


Notz,  Dirk
Max Planck Research Group The Sea Ice in the Earth System, The Ocean in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Blockley, E., Vancoppenolle, M., Hunke, E., Bitz, C., Feltham, D., Lemieux, J.-F., et al. (2020). The future of sea ice modelling: where do we go from here? Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 101, E1304-E1311. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-20-0073.1.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-88F4-D
Continuum sea ice models have been applied close to the presumed limits of their validity for many years, yet they remain compatible with current observations. The resolution requirements for sea ice models varies considerably depending on the application (e.g., large ensembles, paleoclimate simulations, short-range forecasting), and therefore continuum models will likely remain useful for many years to come. Meanwhile, it is highly desirable to explore the potential of DEMs. These models are expected to be more physically faithful at the highest resolutions envisioned for sea ice in ESMs, provided they incorporate all the required processes. DEMs may also prove more efficient for some new computer architectures. Such perspectives highlight the need for the sea ice modeling community to have a clear and consistent vision of the future evolution of HPC systems. Sea ice models are used for many different purposes and therefore benefit from modularity, which allows the activation or exclusion of parameterizations and code features. Thus, users can adjust model complexity to fit their specific application. Considering limited human resources among core sea ice modeling groups, engagement of the wider community has proven a very efficient way to advance large-scale sea ice models. However, there is still scope for further integration of the wider community in model development activities. An important feature of the Laugarvatn sea ice modeling workshop was the open minded atmosphere in which very different views were exchanged. The workshop successfully brought together model developers and users of sea ice models for Earth system modeling, operational forecasting and (re)analyses. International sea ice modeling workshops such as this foster collaboration and community engagement in the field of sea ice modeling. A recommendation from this workshop is that the exercise should be repeated every 2-3 years to maintain community engagement, exchange cutting-edge ideas, and reinforce collaborative momentum. © 2020 American Meteorological Society.