Linked with the SCAR Open Science Conference
August 2014
Auckland, New Zealand

ISMASS proposes a short satellite meeting on “Modelling strategy for ice sheet mass balance projections”

This meeting will take place on Tuesday 26 August 2014, 6-8 pm. Auckland Room 3.

This meeting will include a report by Ryan Walker on the outputs of the “Ice sheet MIP for CMIP6” workshop that will be held in July 2014.

Projections of ice sheets mass balance over the next centuries strongly depend on the atmospheric and oceanic forcings. During the previous IPCC assessment (AR5), several groups produced projections but the methods to force the ice sheets models differed substantially. One difficulty comes from the fact that, in the framework of IPCC, atmospheric and oceanic fields from coupled AOGCMs are necessary but are available only by the end of an IPCC Assessment, too late to be used by ice sheet modelers for their own simulations in the corresponding report. For the last IPCC (AR5) report, this reduced for instance the number of ice sheet simulations done with an RCP8.5 scenario. Methods used to initialize ice sheet models, to downscale AOGCM fields, to take into account surface mass balance-elevation feedbacks and to use ocean characteristics to initiate dynamic response of the ice sheets (calving and grounding line retreat) are other examples that have been treated very differently by the various groups. We should now take advantage of the variety of methods applied during IPCC AR5 to compare them and evaluate their impact on the results. The objective is to improve the methods and agree on common framework when producing ice-sheet mass balance model projections for the next 100 years. This should help to derive realistic ranges of uncertainties in ice sheet projections.

If you participate to the SCAR open conference and are interested in the ice sheets contribution to sea level rise you are welcome to attend this session. If you want to give a short (informal) presentation please contact Catherine Ritz ( before August 15th