Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling
21 September 2016

The CMIP6 Sea Ice Model Intercomparison Project (SIMIP)

Understanding sea ice through climate-model simulations


Provides a standard protocol for climate model output to streamline and simplify the analysis of simulated sea-ice evolution in CMIP6 and other climate modeling experiments.


Common diagnostic infrastructure allows researchers to address both challenging sea-ice related research questions that are of interest for a wide range of scientists and stakeholders, and to address questions that are of immediate interest for sea-ice scientists.


This international team of leading sea ice scientists designed a scientifically relevant and extensible protocol for sea ice and climate model output, aimed specifically at improving analysis capabilities for CMIP6 experiments, but which will continue to be useful for analysis of model ensembles and experiments in the future.  A guiding principle is the ability to close budgets for heat, water and momentum conservation in order to understand model-model and model-observation differences and ultimately the sea-ice system and the role it plays in climate.  Precise definitions for numerous output variables are provided, covering the sea ice state, mass tendencies, heat and freshwater fluxes, ice dynamics and other integrated quantities.  Furthermore, the output is prioritized into classes based on how useful it will be to climate scientists, sea-ice specialists, and the stakeholder community at large.

Elizabeth Hunke
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)