Submitted as: development and technical paper
15 Mar 2024
Submitted as: development and technical paper |  | 15 Mar 2024
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Lagrangian tracking of sea ice in Community Ice CodE (CICE; version 5)

Chenhui Ning, Shiming Xu, Yan Zhang, Xuantong Wang, Zhihao Fan, and Jiping Liu

Abstract. Sea ice models are essential tools for simulating the thermodynamic and dynamic processes of the sea ice and the coupling with the polar atmosphere and ocean. Popular models such as the Community Ice CodE (CICE) are usually based on non-moving, locally orthogonal Eulerian grids. However, the various in-situ observations such as ice tethered buoys and drift stations, are subjected to sea ice drift and hence by nature Lagrangian. Furthermore, the statistical analysis of sea ice kinematics requires the Lagrangian perspective. As a result, the offline sea ice tracking with model output is usually carried out for many scientific and validational practices. Certain limitations exist, such as the need of high frequency model outputs, as well unaccountable tracking errors. In order to facilitate Lagrangian diagnostics in current sea ice models, we design and implement an online Lagrangian tracking module in CICE under the coupled model system of CESM (Community Earth System Model). In this work, we introduce its design and implementation in detail, as well as the numerical experiments for the validation and the analysis of sea ice deformations. In particular, the sea ice model is forced with historical atmospheric reanalysis data and the Lagrangian tracking results are compared with the observed buoys' tracks for the years from 1979 to 2001. Moreover, high-resolution simulations are carried out with the Lagrangian tracking to study the multi-scale sea ice deformations modeled by CICE. Through scaling analysis, we show that CICE simulates multi-fractal sea ice deformations in both the spatial and the temporal domain, as well as the spatial-temporal coupling characteristics. The analysis with model output on the Eulerian grid shows systematic difference with the Lagrangian tracking-based results, highlighting the importance of the Lagrangian perspective for scaling analysis. Related topics, including the subdaily sea ice kinematics and the potential application of the Lagrangian tracking module, are also discussed.

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Chenhui Ning, Shiming Xu, Yan Zhang, Xuantong Wang, Zhihao Fan, and Jiping Liu

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2024-29', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Apr 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Shiming Xu, 24 Jun 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on gmd-2024-29', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 Jun 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Shiming Xu, 24 Jun 2024
Chenhui Ning, Shiming Xu, Yan Zhang, Xuantong Wang, Zhihao Fan, and Jiping Liu
Chenhui Ning, Shiming Xu, Yan Zhang, Xuantong Wang, Zhihao Fan, and Jiping Liu


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Short summary
Sea ice models are mainly based on non-moving structured grids, which is different from the buoy measurements that follow the ice drift. To facilitate Lagrangian analysis, we introduce online tracking of sea ice in the CICE model. We validate the sea ice tracking with buoys, and further evaluate the sea ice deformations in high-resoltuion simulations, which show multi-fractal characteristics. The source code is openly available and can be used in various scientific and operational applications.