LIVVkit 2: An extensible land ice verification and validation toolkit for comparing observations and models?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 08:00
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Accurate representation of ice sheets and glaciers are essential for robust predictions of arctic climate within Earth System models. Verification and Validation (V&V) is a set of techniques used to quantify the correctness and accuracy of a model, which builds developer/modeler confidence, and can be used to enhance the credibility of the model. Fundamentally, V&V is a continuous process because each model change requires a new round of V&V testing. The Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM) development community is actively developing LIVVkit, the Land Ice Verification and Validation toolkit, which is designed to easily integrate into an ice-sheet model's development workflow (on both personal and high-performance computers) to provide continuous V&V testing.

LIVVkit is a robust and extensible python package for V&V, which has components for both software V&V (construction and use) and model V&V (mathematics and physics). The model Verification component is used, for example, to verify model results against community intercomparisons such as ISMIP-HOM. The model validation component is used, for example, to generate a series of diagnostic plots showing the differences between model results against observations for variables such as thickness, surface elevation, basal topography, surface velocity, surface mass balance, etc. Because many different ice-sheet models are under active development, new validation datasets are becoming available, and new methods of analysing these models are actively being researched, LIVVkit includes a framework to easily extend the model V&V analyses by ice-sheet modelers. This allows modelers and developers to develop evaluations of parameters, implement changes, and quickly see how those changes effect the ice-sheet model and earth system model (when coupled). Furthermore, LIVVkit outputs a portable hierarchical website allowing evaluations to be easily shared, published, and analysed throughout the arctic and Earth system communities.

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