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ISMASS Workshop on the Marine Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf‐Ocean Model Intercomparison Projects

A workshop was held in Cambridge, UK on Sunday, 16 August 2015 from 2pm - 5pm, at the Churchill College before the International Glaciological Society's International Symposium on Contemporary Ice-Sheet Dynamics.

The ISMASS workshop on the three marine ice-sheet and ocean model MIPs took place on Sunday, August 16, 2015 from 2-5 pm at Churchill College in Cambridge, UK.  About 40 participants from around the world attended the workshop, which was co-sponsored/supported by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project.  Travel grants from IASC allowed 4 early career scientists—Tore Hatterman (Akvaplan‐niva, AWI), Eleanor Darlington (Loughborough University), Jan De Rydt (BAS) and Oliver Marsh (University of Canterbury)—to take part in the workshop.

The workshop logistics were organized by the ISMASS steering committee, with particular involvement from Catherine Ritz and Francisco Navarro, with assistance arranging the facilities from Hilmar Gudmundsson (BAS).  The workshop’s content was organized by Xylar Asay-Davis (PIK) and Steph Cornford (U. Bristol).  

The workshop was focused on presenting the design of three MIPs: the third Marine Ice Sheet MIP (MISMIP+), the second Ice Shelf-Ocean MIP (ISOMIP+) and the first Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean MIP (MISOMIP1).  The workshop unfolded in four sessions:
1.Experimental Design acquainted potential participants with the experimental design for each MIP
2.Logistics for Participation made potential contributors aware of the logistics for participating in each MIP
3.Remaining Design Questions asked for community feedback related to three open questions related to the experimental design:
a.Which basal friction law should be used in MISMIP+?
b.How should dynamic calving be handled (if at all) in each MIP?
c.To what extent should MISOMIP1 ask participants to submit results in a common configuration?
4.Future Directions presented possible next steps for each MIP

Each session was lead jointly by Xylar and Steph.  The Experimental Design session described each MIP in detail.  During the session on Logistics for Participation, a comprehensive list of potential participants in each MIP was compiled.  Workshop participants were also made aware of the plans to publish the MIP design in Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and of the timeline for participation in each MIP.  It was suggested that participation could begin during the period when the experimental-design manuscript is under discussion in GMD.

The session on Remaining Design Questions included a lengthy discussion in which each participant in the workshop was given a chance to give their feedback.  Regarding the first question, it was decided by a vote of the participants that MISMIP+ would allow both a Weertman power-law basal sliding and the Coulomb-limited law of Tsai et al. (2015).  In addressing the second question, a consensus emerged that dynamic calving made sense for ISOMIP+ and as an optional experiment in MISOMIP1 but not in MISMIP+.  For the final question, the consensus was that a common configuration did make sense for ocean components in MISOMIP1 (just as in ISOMIP+) but not for the ice-sheet components.  The session on Future Directions presented a number of possibilities for follow-up work. One possibility was a set of MIPs focused on the Amundsen Sea and Thwaites region, which is a region of interest for the Marine Ice Sheet-Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP), which is the CliC targeted activity overseeing the current three MIPs.

Workshop Summary
Workshop Slides:

Workshop Agenda
Meeting Information

ISMASS (Ice sheet mass balance and sea level) is a joint expert group of SCAR, IASC and CliC.