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Workshop "Defining a cutting-edge future for sea ice modelling”

Sep 24, 2019 09:00 AM to Sep 26, 2019 05:00 PM (UTC / UTC0)
Laugarvatn, Iceland
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The IS-ENES3 workshop “Defining a cutting-edge future for sea ice modelling”, organized by Met Office, CNRS, and DOE, in conjunction with the NEMO Sea Ice Working Group and the CICE Consortium, will take place from the 24th to 26th of September 2019 in Laugarvatn, Iceland.

This workshop proposes to discuss the future evolution and development of sea ice models.


The majority of present-day sea ice models are based upon the continuum model approach that was conceived in the 1970s, and has been successfully used to simulate sea ice within most IPCC-class climate models and short-range forecasting systems since then.

With the progressive increase in model resolution, the most advanced applications of sea ice models now run at up to 100 times finer resolution than the target applications these models were originally designed for. High-resolution applications not only question the underlying physical assumptions but also increasingly push the scaling limits of modern massively-parallel supercomputing architectures. In addition, modern forecast applications are increasingly seeking to resolve more detailed features of the sea ice scape — such as the location of the sea ice edge, individual floes, leads or ridges, fast ice — poorly resolved by current models, which may prove overly simple for such an endeavour.

In light of these present, and future, demands of climate and forecasting systems, we believe that the existing approach to sea ice modelling requires a fresh look.


Credits: Martin Vancopenolle 


The workshop will thus bring together representation from across the international sea ice modelling community to explore how our models can match the various needs of the research, climate modelling and operational communities. The questions addressed will be the following:

Theme 1: Scientific and technical validity/limitations of current models

  1. How relevant are the current continuum model formulations for simulating sea ice in the context of contemporary applications, given the trend towards higher horizontal resolution, the increasingly diverse applications for which sea ice models are employed today, and the warming-related changes in sea ice behaviour?
  2. What plausible and useful alternatives could — or should — be adopted instead of the widely used continuum model approach?
  3. What opportunities and constraints do the next generation of supercomputers provide for sea ice modelling?


Theme 2: Physical processes and complexity: bridging the gap between weather and climate requirements

  1. What level of sea ice model complexity is required for climate modelling?
  2. Are there any important interactions between sea ice and the rest of the Earth system that are missing from the current models? How should sea ice be coupled with the other components of the climate system?
  3. What are the essential physical processes that need to be included for high-resolution sea ice forecasting and reanalysis systems?
  4. Are we able to satisfy the potentially conflicting requirements for climate and operational forecasting in a coherent sea ice modelling system?


Workshop invitation will be restricted to the sea ice modelling community, as numbers are limited by room availability. However, it may be possible to join the workshop by sending a message describing your experience and the reason why you would like to attend to the organisers: ed.blockley[a] and martin.vancoppenolle[a]

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IS-ENES3 has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 824084