Software for Ice Sheet Model Validation Using Recently Available and Extensible Datasets

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 13:40
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With the aim of facilitating large-scale development and analysis of ice sheet and coupled Earth system simulations and determining the degree to which they sufficiently represent aspects of the observed Earth system, we have developed the Land Ice Verification and Validation toolkit (LIVVkit). Beyond verification, LIVVkit provides the capability to postprocess and assess ice sheet models within and independent of coupled ESM models, and it is extensible to scientists who want to include newly available observational and reanalysis datasets and/or enable more features. We demonstrate the current capability in LIVVKit to provide validation metrics as applied to an idealized standalone Greenland ice sheet simulation and a fully coupled Earth system model with an active ice sheet component. As one example of the capability, we use LIVVkit to analyze the degree to which the coupled model captures the surface mass balance (SMB) and identify particular sources of bias by comparing to in-situ and remotely sensed data. For the target simulation, LIVVkit indicates a positive SMB bias that is focused largely around Greenland's southwest region that is associated with insufficient ablation. Focusing on the atmosphere over Greenland, we also show metrics that provide the degree to which the coupled model captures a suite of radiation variables and the yearly cycle of cloud cover. We aim to motivate additional metrics and the inclusion of new datasets that could be included within LIVVkit to make it increasingly useful to the model development community.

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