CICE Consortium: Advancing Sea Ice Modeling
Polar sea ice is a critical element in moderating the global climate – its high reflectivity reduces heating by solar radiation, keeping our planet cooler – and it is fundamental for polar ecosystems, sheltering and feeding algae, the foundation for the polar food web. Predicting changes in sea ice’s location is also essential for safe maritime operations and commerce. With research indicating sea ice is becoming more erratic, the need for accurate predictions is all the more urgent. CICE is a computational model that represents changes to sea ice and its interactions with the polar environment and ecosystems, which is used extensively by climate and Earth system research groups and also by operational centers for applications such as numerical weather prediction, subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasts, and guidance for military operations. CICE and its support infrastructure (documentation, clean coding standards, open source, thorough test suites, automated workflow) are the global standard for sea ice modeling across scales for multiple applications. The CICE development platform enables free dissemination, invites community contributions, requires rigorous code verification, and provides guidance for future improvements. This framework promotes global collaboration, uniting research developers with operational users toward a common goal: to further scientific research and development of sea ice modeling as well as to strengthen forecasting to meet operational needs. Innovations such as landfast ice, floe size distribution, internal hydrology and ecosystem, and snow redistribution / metamorphosis allow for more extensive, precise predictions of sea ice and the impact it has on local and global environments. This presentation will highlight recent advances in sea ice modeling through the CICE Consortium’s framework for collaborative model development.