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Publication Date
21 January 2022

The DOE E3SM v1.2 Cryosphere Configuration: Description and Simulated Antarctic Ice‐Shelf Basal Melting



<p>The processes responsible for freshwater flux from the Antarctic Ice Sheet (AIS) -- ice-shelf basal melting and iceberg calving -- are generally poorly represented in current Earth System Models (ESMs). Here we document the cryosphere configuration of the U.S. Department of Energy&#39;s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) v1.2. This includes simulating Antarctic ice-shelf basal melting, which has been implemented through simulating the ocean circulation within static Antarctic ice-shelf cavities, allowing for the ability to calculate ice-shelf basal melt rates from the associated heat and freshwater fluxes. In addition, we added the capability to prescribe forcing from iceberg melt, allowing for realistic representation of the other dominant mass loss process from the AIS. In standard resolution simulations (using a non-eddying ocean) under pre-industrial climate forcing, we find high sensitivity of modeled ocean/ice shelf interactions to the ocean state, which can result in a transition to a high basal melt regime under the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf (FRIS), presenting a significant challenge to representing the ocean/ice shelf system in a coupled ESM. We show that inclusion of a spatially dependent parameterization of eddy-induced transport reduces biases in water mass properties on the Antarctic continental shelf. With these improvements, E3SM produces realistic ice-shelf basal melt rates across the continent that are generally within the range inferred from observations. The accurate representation of ice-shelf basal melting within a coupled ESM is an important step towards reducing uncertainties in projections of the Antarctic response to climate change and Antarctica&#39;s contribution to global sea-level rise.</p>

Comeau , Darin, Xylar S. Asay-Davis, Carolyn Begeman, Matthew J. Hoffman, Wuyin Lin, Mark R. Petersen, Stephen F. Price, et al. 2022. “The Doe E3Sm V1.2 Cryosphere Configuration: Description And Simulated Antarctic Ice‐Shelf Basal Melting”. Journal Of Advances In Modeling Earth Systems. doi:10.1029/2021ms002468.
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