logo image for top of page

a core project of
2018WCRPspon col July2018 01 1

CliC News

Here's what has been happening lately in CliC. Let us know if you have things to share.

Subscribe to CliC News:


2018 ISMASS Paper in Nature Climate Change: 'The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets under 1.5°C global warming'

A review of ice sheets in a 1.5°C warmer world (a new recent climate mitigation target highlighted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) suggests that current predictions of future changes in ice-sheet mass balance are questionable due to incomplete understanding of atmospheric circulation changes around Greenland and ocean circulation around Antarctica. However, the study concludes it is important to limit global warming by 2100 to 1.5°C to maximise the chance of avoiding so-called tipping points that would dramatically accelerate mass loss.

Today, sea level rises at a pace of around 4mm per year and is accelerating. The major contributions to this rise are due to ocean expansion, melting glaciers and – becoming increasingly important – melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Those ice sheets are commonly considered as the ‘sleeping giants’ on Earth, as together they can potentially lead to sea-level rise by more than 70 metres over thousands of years.

Despite improved observations and computer model simulations since the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) published in 2013, the review highlights some lingering key gaps in knowledge regarding climate forcing of the ice sheets and their resulting responses. On longer time scales, both ice sheets may reach tipping points above around a 1.5-2.0°C limit, leading to irreversible mass loss. For Greenland this is due to increased melting of the ice sheet, while for Antarctica this is due to marine instabilities of certain sectors of the ice sheet, in particular the West Antarctica ice sheet. This would lead to multi-metre sea level rise on centennial to millennial time scales, which has existential consequences for small island states and coastal cities across the world.

Lead author Prof. Frank Pattyn said “Limiting global atmospheric warming to 1.5°C will avoid short and long-term surprises coming from both ice sheets and significantly reduce adaptation cost when global sea-level rise is limited and not catastrophic”.

The paper “The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets under 1.5°C global warming” is published in Nature Climate Change.  This work has been carried out in the framework of ISMASS (Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level expert group supported by SCAR/CliC/IASC)

Frank Pattyn
Laboratoire de Glaciologie, Université libre de Bruxelles
Tel : +32 485 364495
Email :

Open Call for Nominations of CliC Scientific Steering Group Members 2020-2023

It is time again to find some new members to join the CliC Scientific Steering Group (SSG) from January 2020 to December 2023. Please circulate this opportunity to people in your wider networks who may be good candidates or consider self-nomination if you are interested in joining the team.
Link to nomination form:

The SSG currently comprises 9 researchers from around the world with a wide range of expertise in global cryosphere observation and modelling. The SSG guides CliC’s priorities and activities, working together with the SSG co-chairs and the CliC project office. SSG members should thus have a good overview of the CliC science plan: https://bit.ly/2oOPCy0 relevant regional and international research agendas, and how CliCs priorities align with those of the new WCRP strategy.

The deadline for nominations is 15 October 2018. Scientific expertise, career stage as well as gender and geographical balance are taken into account. Initial membership is for four years and, as a rule, two extensions of two years each may be recommended. The SSG typically meets once a year.

Call to host the WCRP International Project Office for the Climate and Cryosphere

cliclogo1The World Climate Research Programme is soliciting offers to host an International Project Office (IPO) to coordinate its cryospheric activities from 1st January 2019 onward.

Prospective host institutions and sponsoring organizations are invited to download the full call for hosting the CliC IPO. Letters of intent to host the CliC IPO should be sent to Dr Mike Sparrow () by 1st September 2018. The one-page form for expressions of interest is included in the above-referenced document. General enquiries are welcome under the same email address.

Background information:

The Climate and Cryosphere Core Project (CliC) of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) serves as the focal point for climate science related to the cryosphere, its variability and change, and interaction with the broader climate system.

All WCRP IPOs, including CliC, will play a paramount role in refining and implementing WCRP’s upcoming 2019-2029 strategy, including their own strategic contributions to the programme.

CliC activities have resulted in a wealth of cutting-edge research, valuable data products, and innovative use of models to project changes in the Polar Regions and other frozen areas globally.

Past host institutions of the CliC office have consistently benefited from elevated international exposure as well as increased leverage in national and international funding and partnership opportunities. The CliC International Project Office can act as a focus for cryosphere research in its host institution and country and through its network, infrastructure and expertise, can facilitate international research collaboration.

CliC Newsletter - Ice and Climate No. 29

Thumbnail newsletter april2018The April 2018 Edition of the World Climate Research Programme's Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project Newsletter - Ice and Climate No. 29 is now available.

It includes three science features: one on potential ice-free summers in the Arctic depending on small climate warming range; another looks at the ice sheet model initialisation experiments initMIP-Greenland; and the third highlights the Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM) v1.0. This issue also contains summaries from various CliC events held at the AGU Fall Meeting 2017 and since the beginning of the year, including the 14th Session of the CliC Scientific Steering Group; the 2017 CliC Annual Report; and a list of our upcoming workshops and meetings.

In this newsletter, we also welcome our new CliC Co-Chair Fiamma Straneo from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego.

Lastly, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our out‐going CliC co‐chair Gerhard Krinner for guiding our work the last 5 years. Gerhard will stay involved in CliC as the lead of our ESM-SnowMIP Targeted Activity.

Enjoy reading through an interesting collection of science features, workshop reports, and CliC news!

Read the newsletter here.

Polar Organisations provide travel support for ECRs to attend POLAR2018

polar18 apecs travelawardsIn February 2018, the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) in cooperation with the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the Tinker Foundation, the US National Science Foundation, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the UK Science & Innovation Network Nordics, the Antarctic Science Ltd. and the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) announced the availability of travel awards for POLAR2018 (15 - 26 June 2018, Davos, Switzerland), including Arctic Science Summit Week 2018 & IASC Business Meetings, XXXV SCAR Biennial Meetings, SCAR/IASC Open Science Conference, and 2018 Arctic Observing Summit.

We received a total of 346 applications for this process and due to the high quality of the applications it was very difficult to make a decision. All applications were reviewed by two reviewers each via a blind review process. Final recipients were then determined from the resulting ranked list keeping in mind as wide as possible country spread.

Through this generous financial support from all contributing organizations, we were able to fund 91 applicants from 27 countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States). All recipients have been notified and have accepted their awards. Congratulations to all recipients!

Thank you again to all the funders for making this incredible support possible. Also a big thank you to the reviewers who took their time to help us evaluate all these applications.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you in Davos!

This news item original appeared on the APECS website.

Meeting Announcement: International Workshop on Cryospheric Changes and their Regional & Global Impacts

-CliC is a co-sponsor of this workshop

Thumbnail ChinaWorkshop2018The International Workshop on Cryospheric Changes and their Regional & Global Impacts will be held July 31 - August 1, 2018, in Dunhuang, China.

The workshop is organized and sponsored by:
State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science (SKLCS), Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and
Resources (NIEER), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
The Government of Dunhuang City, Gansu Province
International Arctic Research Centre (IARC), University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)
World Climate Research Programme Climate and Cryosphere (CliC)
International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS)
Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research (ITP), CAS
Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences (CAMS)
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology (SKLESPRE), Beijing Normal
University (BNU)
National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)
Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MOST)

The workshop aims at:
- reviewing and advancing our understanding of the changes in the cryosphere as well as their environmental, social and economic implications,
- fostering knowledge exchange in modelling and assessing such changes,
- assessing and improving our approaches in risk mitigation and adaption to the changing cryosphere, and
- shedding light on the role of the cryosphere in the context of sustainability for the benefit of our future earth.

The first announcement of the workshop is available at: http://bit.ly/2FpU3t1

2017 WCRP CliC Annual Report online

Thumbnail2017ARThe 2017 WCRP-CliC Annual Report is available. The report gives an overview of our activities in 2017 and includes contributions from all of the CliC Projects/Groups Leads.

Table of Content

Overview from the Co‐Chairs
Scientific Steering Group (SSG) Members
The International Project Office
Report Format
WCRP Grand Challenge ‐ Melting Ice and Global Consequences
 - Ice Sheet Modelling Intercomparison Project 6 (ISMIP6)
 - Marine Ice Sheet Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP)
 - Earth System Model ‐ Snow Model Intercomparison Project (ESM‐SnowMIP)
 - Glacier Model Intercomparison Project (GlacierMIP)
 - Sea Ice and Climate Modeling Forum / Diagnostic Sea Ice Model Intercomparison Project (SIMIP)
 - Permafrost Carbon Network
Sea Ice
 - Arctic Sea Ice Working Group (ASIWG)
 - BEPSII ‐ Biogeochemical Exchange Processes at Sea Ice Interfaces
 - Permafrost Modeling Forum
Ice Sheets
 - SCAR/IASC/CliC Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS)
Regional Activities
 - CLIVAR/CliC/SCAR Southern Ocean Regional Panel
 - CLIVAR/CliC Northern Oceans Region Panel
 - Polar Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (Polar CORDEX)
Inter‐disciplinary Activities
 - WCRP Polar Climate Predictability Initiative (PCPI)
2017 CliC Meetings and Workshops

Minutes available: 14th Session of the CliC Scientific Steering Group

thumbnailssg14minutesThe Minutes from the 14th Session of the CliC Scientific Steering Group held online on February 6, 2018, are now available. The Session was chaired by CliC Co-Chair James Renwick. The Group welcomed the newly appointed CliC Co-Chair, Fiamma Straneo. The SSG approved the budget submitted by the CliC International Project Office, reviewed the progress made by the various CliC activities, and discussed SSG memberships.

The Minutes are available here.

Prof. Fiamma Straneo appointed CliC Co-Chair

FiammaStraneo smallProf. Fiamma Straneo was appointed CliC Co-chair on January 1, 2018, for a 3-year period. She is replacing Dr. Gerhard Krinner and will co-chair the CliC Scientific Steering Group together with Dr. James Renwick, appointed in  2017.

Fiamma Straneo is a Professor in Polar Climate and Oceans at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California San Diego. Prior to joining Scripps, she was a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She studies the high latitude North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and their interaction with the atmosphere, sea-ice and the Greenland Ice Sheet. Much of her research has focused on obtaining and interpreting data from the challenging regions at the glaciers’ margins using a variety of platforms such as icebreakers, fishing vessels, helicopters, snowmobiles and autonomous vehicles. Straneo has led over a dozen field expeditions to the Arctic and Greenland.

Straneo is a fellow of the Leopold Leadership Program, co-chair and founder of the Greenland Ice Sheet/Ocean Science Network (GRISO), a member of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation Science Team and of the ASOF (Arctic-Subarctic Ocean Fluxes). She received the Sverdrup Award by the Ocean Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union in 2016. Straneo obtained her Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from the University of Washington, USA, following a Laurea cum Laude in Physics from the University of Milan, Italy.

Welcome Fiamma!