Antarctic ice shelf-ocean interactions in high-resolution, global simulations using the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM)

Monday, December 10, 2018 - 13:40
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The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) can now be run in configurations that include ocean circulation within cavities below ice shelves so that these processes may be modeled explicitly, compared against observations, and then used in a predictive sense. This will lead to a better understanding of the potential for long-term changes in ocean circulation, ice shelf destabilization and sea level rise. Here, we demonstrate that global simulations using high spatial resolution lead to improved representation of ocean properties proximal to and beneath ice shelves, leading to simulated sub-ice shelf melt rates that are also closer to observed values.

The image of instantaneous column-integrated ocean speed for the high-resolution simulation shows significant eddy activity throughout the Southern Ocean. Right panels reveal currents near and below the Filchner-Ronne and Ross ice shelves, where the shelf edge is denoted by arrows.
The image of instantaneous column-integrated ocean speed for the high-resolution simulation shows significant eddy activity throughout the Southern Ocean. Right panels reveal currents near and below the Filchner-Ronne and Ross ice shelves, where the shelf edge is denoted by arrows.

 

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