Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx): 2. Evaluating Linear Kinematic Features in High-Resolution Sea Ice Simulations

Type Article
Date 2022-04
Language English
Author(s) Hutter NilsORCID1, Bouchat AmélieORCID2, Dupont FrédéricORCID3, Dukhovskoy DmitryORCID4, Koldunov NikolayORCID1, Lee YounjooORCID5, Lemieux Jean‐françoisORCID6, Lique CamilleORCID7, Losch MartinORCID1, Maslowski WieslawORCID5, Myers Paul G.ORCID8, Ólason EinarORCID9, Rampal Pierre10, Rasmussen TillORCID11, Talandier ClaudeORCID12, Tremblay BrunoORCID2, Wang QiangORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Alfred‐Wegener‐Institut Helmholtz Zentrum für Polar‐ und Meeresforschung Bremerhaven, Germany
2 : Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences McGill University,Montréal QC, Canada
3 : Service Météorologique Canadien Environnement et Changement Climatique Canada Dorval Qc ,Canada
4 : Center for Ocean‐Atmospheric Prediction Studies Florida State University Tallahassee FL ,USA
5 : Department of Oceanography Naval Postgraduate School Monterey California, USA
6 : Recherche en Prévision Numérique Environnementale Environnement et Changement Climatique Canada Dorval Qc ,Canada
7 : University of Brest CNRS IRD Ifremer Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS) IUEM Brest ,France
8 : Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta, Canada
9 : Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research Bergen ,Norway
10 : Institut de Géophysique de l’Environnement CNRS Grenoble, France
11 : Danish Meteorological Institute Copenhagen ,Denmark
12 : 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 (28p.)
DOI 10.1029/2021JC017666
WOS© Times Cited 7
Keyword(s) Sea Ice Deformation, rheology, model intercomparison project, linear kinematic features, sea ice modeling, sea ice observations

Simulating sea-ice drift and deformation in the Arctic Ocean is still a challenge because of the multi-scale interaction of sea-ice floes that compose the Arctic sea ice cover. The Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx) is a model intercomparison project of the Forum of Arctic Modeling and Observational Synthesis (FAMOS). In SIREx, skill metrics are designed to evaluate different recently suggested approaches for modeling linear kinematic features (LKFs) to provide guidance for modeling small-scale deformation. These LKFs are narrow bands of localized deformation that can be observed in satellite images and also form in high resolution sea ice simulations. In this contribution, spatial and temporal properties of LKFs are assessed in 36 simulations of state-of-the-art sea ice models and compared to deformation features derived from RADARSAT Geophysical Processor System (RGPS). All simulations produce LKFs, but only very few models realistically simulate at least some statistics of LKF properties such as densities, lengths, or growth rates. All SIREx models overestimate the angle of fracture between conjugate pairs of LKFs and LKF lifetimes pointing to inaccurate model physics. The temporal and spatial resolution of a simulation and the spatial resolution of atmospheric boundary condition affect simulated LKFs as much as the model’s sea ice rheology and numerics. Only in very high resolution simulations ( ≤ 2 km) the concentration and thickness anomalies along LKFs are large enough to affect air-ice-ocean interaction processes.

Plain Language Summary

Winds and ocean currents continuously move and deform the sea-ice cover of the Arctic ocean. The deformation eventually breaks an initially closed ice cover into many individual floes, piles up floes, and creates open water. The distribution of ice floes and open water between them is important for climate research, because ice reflects more light and energy back to the atmosphere than open water, so that less ice and more open water leads to warmer oceans. Current climate models cannot simulate sea ice as individual floes. Instead, a variety of methods is used to represent the movement and deformation of the sea-ice cover. The Sea Ice Rheology Experiment (SIREx) compares these different methods and assesses the deformation of sea ice in 36 numerical simulations. We identify and track deformation features in the ice cover, which are distinct narrow areas where the ice is breaking or piling up. Comparing specific spatial and temporal properties of these features, for example, the different amounts of fractured ice in specific regions, or the duration of individual deformation events, to satellite observations provides information about the realism of the simulations. From this comparison, we can learn how to improve sea-ice models for more realistic simulations of sea-ice deformation.

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Hutter Nils, Bouchat Amélie, Dupont Frédéric, Dukhovskoy Dmitry, Koldunov Nikolay, 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): 2. Evaluating Linear Kinematic Features in High-Resolution Sea Ice Simulations. Journal Of Geophysical Research-oceans, 127(4), e2021JC017666 (28p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :