Sea Ice Volume and Age: Sensitivities in the CICE Sea Ice Model

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 07:00
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As the complexity of sea ice models escalates with the inclusion of ever more detailed processes, the need for more and better sea ice measurements from the field and laboratory compounds. Sea ice models contain many more parameters than can be constrained with currently available data, confounding validation efforts and lending doubt to modeled process fidelity. Fortunately, the addition of new data types combined with a detailed comparison of fundamental processes can shed light on physical and model sensitivities to more complex processes and their controlling parameters. Sea ice age is such a data set, discriminating among the effects of parameterizations that are not easily distinguished in terms of ice area or volume alone. This study investigates the effect of new CICE 5.0 dynamics parameterizations and resolution on Arctic sea ice volume and age simulations, highlighting feedback processes. Thermodynamic processes can have opposing effects on ice age and volume; for instance, growth of new ice increases the volume while decreasing the age of the pack. Therefore, age data provides additional information useful for differentiating among process parameterization effects and sensitivities to other model parameters.

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