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Publication Date
25 July 2016

Experimental Design for Three Interrelated Marine Ice-Sheet and Ocean Model Intercomparison Projects

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Experimental setup showing a transect of an ice shelf and ocean cavity

The Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP) aims to support community efforts to study sea-level rise using coupled ice sheet-ocean models.   Here, we designed three sets of idealized experiments to aid in coupled model development and model evaluation.


By comparing results from a variety of models, we expect both to gain a better understanding of the models and to improve model parameterizations and numerical methods.  Indeed, the first ocean modeling results were submitted in October 2016 and preliminary analysis has already motivated efforts toward new melt parameterizations. The DOE BISICLES, POP2x and POPSICLES models played a critical role in the development of all experiments.  DOE models are participating in all community model intercomparison projects involving the experiments.


Our paper describes computational experiments constituting three interrelated MIPs, one for standalone ice sheet models, one for ocean models and one for coupled ice sheet-ocean models.  All three MIPs use a shared domain with idealized bedrock topography and forcing, allowing the coupled simulations to be compared directly to the individual component simulations. The experiments, which have qualitative similarities to Pine IslandGlacier in West Antarctica, are designed to explore the effects of changes in ocean conditions, specifically the temperature near the seafloor, on melting below ice shelves and on ice dynamics.  In future work, differences between model results will form the basis for evaluation of the participating models.

Point of Contact
Xylar Asay-Davis
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
Funding Program Area(s)