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RAPID: Ocean Forcing for Ice Sheet Models for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report


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Computer science & e-learning

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This research will facilitate better connections between models of ice sheets and the ocean-atmosphere system and improve sea level rise projections for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s upcoming sixth Assessment Report (AR6). During the latest meeting of the international consortium of scientists participating in the Ice Sheet Modeling Intercomparison Project (ISMIP6), attendees agreed upon new information that will be needed to understand how ocean conditions may interact with the ice sheet models of Greenland and Antarctica. Because this information is required within the next several months to meet deadlines for the next Assessment Report, this Rapid Response (RAPID) project is both timely and urgent to help society plan for and respond to sea level rise. It will support two junior scientists, a postdoctoral researcher and a research associate, and they will benefit from interaction with and exposure to the international ice sheet modeling community. This project will support a community effort to derive ocean forcings for ice sheet models for climate projections. It is time sensitive because of the need to run ice sheet model simulations and publish results by the end of 2019 for the IPCC sixth Assessment Report. At the same time, developments in ice sheet-wide model dynamics that incorporate ocean forcing have only recently become available. This study will lead to a synthesis of the state of knowledge of ocean forcing on Greenland's glaciers and Antarctica's ice shelves and optimal parameterizations that can be implemented given model constraints. In addition to immediate application in the sixth Assessment Report, it is expected that this work will lay the foundation for a similar approach in the future when full coupling of ocean-atmosphere and ice sheet models are possible.