Articles | Volume 9, issue 11
Model description paper
21 Nov 2016
Model description paper |  | 21 Nov 2016

OBLIMAP 2.0: a fast climate model–ice sheet model coupler including online embeddable mapping routines

Thomas J. Reerink, Willem Jan van de Berg, and Roderik S. W. van de Wal

Abstract. This paper accompanies the second OBLIMAP open-source release. The package is developed to map climate fields between a general circulation model (GCM) and an ice sheet model (ISM) in both directions by using optimal aligned oblique projections, which minimize distortions. The curvature of the surfaces of the GCM and ISM grid differ, both grids may be irregularly spaced and the ratio of the grids is allowed to differ largely. OBLIMAP's stand-alone version is able to map data sets that differ in various aspects on the same ISM grid. Each grid may either coincide with the surface of a sphere, an ellipsoid or a flat plane, while the grid types might differ. Re-projection of, for example, ISM data sets is also facilitated. This is demonstrated by relevant applications concerning the major ice caps. As the stand-alone version also applies to the reverse mapping direction, it can be used as an offline coupler. Furthermore, OBLIMAP 2.0 is an embeddable GCM–ISM coupler, suited for high-frequency online coupled experiments. A new fast scan method is presented for structured grids as an alternative for the former time-consuming grid search strategy, realising a performance gain of several orders of magnitude and enabling the mapping of high-resolution data sets with a much larger number of grid nodes. Further, a highly flexible masked mapping option is added. The limitation of the fast scan method with respect to unstructured and adaptive grids is discussed together with a possible future parallel Message Passing Interface (MPI) implementation.

Short summary
Ice sheets are part of the climate system and interact with the atmosphere and the ocean. OBLIMAP is a powerful tool to map climate fields between GCMs and ISMs (ice sheet models), which run on grids that differ in curvature, resolution and extent. OBLIMAP uses optimal aligned oblique projections, which minimize area distortions. OBLIMAP 2.0 allows for high-frequency embedded coupling and masked mapping. A fast search strategy realizes a huge performance gain and enables high-resolution mapping.