Articles | Volume 7, issue 5
Model description paper
10 Sep 2014
Model description paper |  | 10 Sep 2014

Ice sheet dynamics within an earth system model: downscaling, coupling and first results

D. Barbi, G. Lohmann, K. Grosfeld, and M. Thoma

Abstract. We present first results from a coupled model setup, consisting of the state-of-the-art ice sheet model RIMBAY (Revised Ice Model Based on frAnk pattYn), and the community earth system model COSMOS. We show that special care has to be provided in order to ensure physical distributions of the forcings as well as numeric stability of the involved models. We demonstrate that a suitable statistical downscaling is crucial for ice sheet stability, especially for southern Greenland where surface temperatures are close to the melting point. The downscaling of net snow accumulation is based on an empirical relationship between surface slope and rainfall. The simulated ice sheet does not show dramatic loss of ice volume for pre-industrial conditions and is comparable with present-day ice orography. A sensitivity study with high CO2 level is used to demonstrate the effects of dynamic ice sheets onto climate compared to the standard setup with prescribed ice sheets.