Results of the Sea Ice Model Intercomparison Project: Evaluation of sea ice rheology schemes for use in climate simulations.

Kreyscher, Martin, Harder, Markus, Lemke, Peter and Flato, Gregory M. (2000) Results of the Sea Ice Model Intercomparison Project: Evaluation of sea ice rheology schemes for use in climate simulations. Open Access Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 105 (C5). pp. 11299-11320. DOI 10.1029/1999JC000016.

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A hierarchy of sea ice rheologies is evaluated on the basis of a comprehensive set of observational data. The investigations are part of the Sea Ice Model Intercomparison Project (SIMIP). Four different sea ice rheology schemes are compared: a viscous‐plastic rheology, a cavitating‐fluid model, a compressible Newtonian fluid, and a simple free drift approach with velocity correction. The same grid, land boundaries, and forcing fields are applied to all models. As verification data, there are (1) ice thickness data from upward looking sonars (ULS), (2) ice concentration data from the passive microwave radiometers SMMR and SSM/I, (3) daily buoy drift data obtained by the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP), and (4) satellite‐derived ice drift fields based on the 85 GHz channel of SSM/I. All models are optimized individually with respect to mean drift speed and daily drift speed statistics. The impact of ice strength on the ice cover is best revealed by the spatial pattern of ice thickness, ice drift on different timescales, daily drift speed statistics, and the drift velocities in Fram Strait. Overall, the viscous‐plastic rheology yields the most realistic simulation. In contrast, the results of the very simple free‐drift model with velocity correction clearly show large errors in simulated ice drift as well as in ice thicknesses and ice export through Fram Strait compared to observation. The compressible Newtonian fluid cannot prevent excessive ice thickness buildup in the central Arctic and overestimates the internal forces in Fram Strait. Because of the lack of shear strength, the cavitating‐fluid model shows marked differences to the statistics of observed ice drift and the observed spatial pattern of ice thickness. Comparison of required computer resources demonstrates that the additional cost for the viscous‐plastic sea ice rheology is minor compared with the atmospheric and oceanic model components in global climate simulations.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/1999JC000016
ISSN: 2169-9275
Projects: SIMIP
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:24
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 09:08

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