Submitted as: model experiment description paper 02 Jun 2020

Submitted as: model experiment description paper | 02 Jun 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal GMD and is expected to appear here in due course.

Multi-Scale Sea Ice Kinematics Modeling with a Grid Hierarchy in Community Earth System Model (version 1.2.1)

Shiming Xu1,2, Jialiang Ma1, Lu Zhou1, Yan Zhang1, Jiping Liu3, and Bin Wang1,3 Shiming Xu et al.
  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science (DESS), Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • 2University Corporation for Polar Research (UCPR), Beijing, China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. High-resolution sea ice modeling is becoming widely available for both operational forecasts and climate studies. Sea ice kinematics is the most prominent feature of high-resolution simulations, and with rheology models such as Viscous-Plastic, current models are able to reproduce multi-fractality and linear kinematic features in satellite observations. In this study, we carry out multi-scale sea ice modeling with Community Earth System Model (CESM) by using a grid hierarchy (22 km, 7.3 km, and 2.5 km grid stepping in the Arctic). By using atmospherically forced experiments, we simulate consistent sea ice climatology across the 3 resolutions. Furthermore, the model reproduces reasonable sea ice kinematics, including multi-fractal deformation and scaling properties that are temporally changing and dependent on circulation patterns and forcings (e.g., Arctic Oscillation). With the grid hierarchy, we are able to evaluate the model's effective spatial resolution regarding the statistics of kinematics, which is estimated to be about 6 to 7 times that of the grid's native resolution. Besides, we show that in our model, the convergence of the Elastic-Viscous-Plastic (EVP) rheology scheme plays an important role in reproducing reasonable kinematics statistics, and more strikingly, simulates systematically thinner sea ice than the standard, non-convergent experiments in landfast ice regions of Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Given the wide adoption of EVP and subcycling settings in current models, it highlights the importance of EVP convergence especially for climate studies and projections. The new grids and the model integration in CESM are openly provided for public use.

Shiming Xu et al.

Shiming Xu et al.

Data sets

TS grids and coupling in CESM S. Xu and J. Ma

Shiming Xu et al.


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Short summary
A multi-resolution tripolar grid hierarchy is constructed and integrated in CESM (version 1.2.1). The resolution range includes 0.45-deg, 0.15-deg, and 0.05-deg. Based on atmospherically forced sea ice experiments, we show that the model simulates reasonable sea ice kinematics and scaling properties. Besides, landfast ice thickness can be systematically shifted due to non-convergent solutions to EVP rheology. This work serve as a framework of multi-scale modeling of ocean and sea ice with CESM.