Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx): 1. Scaling and statistical properties of sea‐ice deformation fields

Type Article
Date 2022-04
Language English
Author(s) Bouchat AmélieORCID1, Hutter NilsORCID2, Chanut Jérôme3, Dupont FrédéricORCID4, Dukhovskoy DmitryORCID5, Garric GillesORCID3, Lee YounjooORCID6, Lemieux Jean‐françoisORCID7, Lique CamilleORCID8, Losch MartinORCID2, Maslowski WieslawORCID6, Myers Paul G.ORCID9, Ólason EinarORCID10, Rampal Pierre11, Rasmussen TillORCID12, Talandier ClaudeORCID13, Tremblay BrunoORCID1, Wang QiangORCID2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences McGill University,Montréal QC, Canada
2 : Alfred‐Wegener‐Institut Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar‐ und Meeresforschung Bremerhaven, Germany
3 : Mercator Ocean International Ramonville‐Saint‐Agne ,France
4 : Service Météorologique Canadien Environnement et Changement Climatique Canada Dorval Qc, Canada
5 : Center for Ocean‐Atmospheric Prediction Studies Florida State University Tallahassee FL ,USA
6 : Department of Oceanography Naval Postgraduate School Monterey California, USA
7 : Recherche en Prévision Numérique Environnementale Environnement et Changement Climatique Canada Dorval Qc ,Canada
8 : University of Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS) IUEM Brest ,France
9 : Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta ,Canada
10 : Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research Bergen, Norway
11 : Institut de Géophysique de l’Environnement CNRS Grenoble, France
12 : Danish Meteorological Institute Copenhagen, Denmark
13 : University of Brest, CNRS, IRD, Ifremer Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS) IUEM Brest ,France
Source Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans (2169-9275) (American Geophysical Union (AGU)), 2022-04 , Vol. 127 , N. 4 , P. e2021JC017666 (33p.)
DOI 10.1029/2021JC017667
WOS© Times Cited 9
Keyword(s) sea-ice deformation, rheology, model intercomparison project, sea-ice modeling, sea-ice observations, scaling analysis

As the sea-ice modeling community is shifting to advanced numerical frameworks, developing new sea-ice rheologies, and increasing model spatial resolution, ubiquitous deformation features in the Arctic sea ice are now being resolved by sea-ice models. Initiated at the Forum for Arctic Modelling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS), the Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx) aims at evaluating state-of-the-art sea-ice models using existing and new metrics to understand how the simulated deformation fields are affected by different representations of sea-ice physics (rheology) and by model configuration. Part I of the SIREx analysis is concerned with evaluation of the statistical distribution and scaling properties of sea-ice deformation fields from 35 different simulations against those from the RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System (RGPS). For the first time, the Viscous-Plastic (and the Elastic-Viscous-Plastic variant), Elastic-Anisotropic-Plastic, and Maxwell-Elasto-Brittle rheologies are compared in a single study. We find that both plastic and brittle sea-ice rheologies have the potential to reproduce the observed RGPS deformation statistics, including multi-fractality. Model configuration (e.g. numerical convergence, atmospheric representation, spatial resolution) and physical parameterizations (e.g. ice strength parameters and ice thickness distribution) both have effects as important as the choice of sea-ice rheology on the deformation statistics. It is therefore not straightforward to attribute model performance to a specific rheological framework using current deformation metrics. In light of these results, we further evaluate the statistical properties of simulated Linear Kinematic Features (LKFs) in a SIREx Part II companion paper.

Plain Language Summary

The ice in the Arctic Ocean is not continuous: it is broken into individual pieces of ice (floes). As the winds and ocean currents continually move these ice floes, they get piled up together or pushed away from each other, forming regions of increased ice thickness (ridges) or regions of open water (leads). These leads and ridges (ice deformations) are important features of the Arctic pack ice because they control the amount of energy that can be exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean. Current climate models cannot simulate individual ice floes and their deformations. Instead, various methods are used to represent the movement and deformation of the Arctic sea-ice cover. The goal of the Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx) is to compare these different methods and evaluate the ability of a large number of sea-ice models to reproduce observed sea-ice deformations from satellite imagery. SIREx is divided in two parts. In Part I (this study), we evaluate how the intensity of ice deformations varies in space and time. In Part II (companion paper), we track and evaluate the occurrence of specific deformation features. With this work, we show how to improve sea-ice models for realistic simulations of sea-ice deformations.

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Bouchat Amélie, Hutter Nils, Chanut Jérôme, Dupont Frédéric, Dukhovskoy Dmitry, Garric Gilles, Lee Younjoo, Lemieux Jean‐françois, Lique Camille, Losch Martin, Maslowski Wieslaw, Myers Paul G., Ólason Einar, Rampal Pierre, Rasmussen Till, Talandier Claude, Tremblay Bruno, Wang Qiang (2022). Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx): 1. Scaling and statistical properties of sea‐ice deformation fields. Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans, 127(4), e2021JC017666 (33p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :