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CliC News

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

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Paper Published: "On the Rocks: The Challenges of Predicting Sea Level Rise"

nyu abu dahbi logocliclogo1As the loss of West Antarctica's ice sheet threatens to raise sea level and flood the world's coasts, scientists must improve projections by understanding the physics where glaciers meet the ocean.

To move toward coupled, interactive glacier-ocean models, CliC launched a targeted activity focused on modeling of West Antarctica at a meeting held 27–29 October 2014 at New York University in Abu Dhabi. The 30 participants represented a crosscut of glaciological and ocean modelers spanning the international community. The meeting resulted in the establishment of the Marine Ice Sheet–Ocean Model Intercomparison Project (MISOMIP). This project aims to develop a suite of coupled glacier-ocean model benchmark tests in idealized model configurations, followed by regional simulations of specific outlet glaciers, such as the Thwaites. Further technical details for those interested in participating in the activity are found on the CliC website.

In this context, the MISOMIP leads have been working on an article now featured in EOS, and called "On the Rocks: The Challenges of Predicting Sea Level Rise." The paper is available here and is also featured on the front page of the EOS website.

Author Information:
David Holland and Denise Holland, Center for Global Sea-Level Change, New York University, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Citation: Holland, D., and D. Holland (2015), On the rocks: The challenges of predicting sea level rise, Eos, 96, doi:10.1029/2015EO036667. Published on 19 October 2015.

Workshop Summary: Air-Sea Fluxes in the Southern Ocean, September 21-23, Frascati, Italy, 2015

-Contributed by Sarah Gille

NOAAesasoosWCRP“Air-Sea Fluxes for the Southern Ocean: Strategies and Requirements for Detecting Physical and Biogeochemical Exchanges” was the focus of a workshop held in Frascati, Italy, from 21-23 September 2015. The workshop attracted a total of 48 participants. Together the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), the European Space Agency (ESA), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and US CLIVAR provided sponsorship for the workshop, which was hosted by the European Space Research Institute (ESRIN).

Air-sea flux measurements pose significant challenges in the Southern Ocean because of the remote location, high sea state, and icing conditions of the region.  Recent technological developments have given new hope to the prospects for obtaining high-quality flux observations in high-latitude conditions. The workshop considered a broad range of these new technologies, including wave gliders, unmanned aerial vehicles, aircraft observations, new moorings (the Southern Ocean Flux Station, the Ocean Observatories Initiative moorings in the southeast Pacific and the Argentine Basin), and shipboard flux covariance measurements with the eventual possibility correcting for airflow distortion around the ship. In situ observations are critical but need to be interpreted in a broader context that can come from satellite observations and from reanalysis or state estimation.

Three specific recommendations emerged from the workshop. First was the importance of including air-sea heat and momentum fluxes in the list of Essential Climate Variables, with specific requirements for accuracy and precision of measurements. Second participants recommended development of a pilot study focused on a targeted measurement campaign in a compact region near a mooring, along with related satellite data assessment and assimilation efforts. The objective to target a small region will allow evaluation of eddy-scale spatial variability in fluxes, since these scales play a significant role in determining the representativeness and underlying physics behind individual flux observations. Finally, participants supported the development of a SOOS Capability Working Group to oversee activities related to the first and second recommendations.  

[Workshop Webpage]

Torgny Emil Vinje, Norwegian Sea-Ice Researcher, dies at 86

-Contributed by Tordis Villinger

TorgnyVinjePhoto Credit: Ann-Kristin Balto/Norwegian Polar InstituteTorgny Emil Vinje, known to most in the ACSYS/CliC community for his research on sea ice, passed away at Ullevål hospital, Oslo, Norway, on 23 September, 2015.

Torgny obtained his Cand Real (MSc) degree in Meteorology at the University of Oslo in 1956, and was hired by the Norwegian Polar Institute the very same year. Torgny participated in- and led -numerous expeditions and research programmes during his 40 years at the Institute. He served on a long list of national and international science and reasearch committees.

During the 1980s, Torgny began a project to produce a historical archive of Arctic Regions ice charts. This eventually became an ACSYS project in the early 1990s when the Project Office was set up at the Norwegian Polar Institute. The data, published in 2003 as The ACSYS Historical Ice Chart Archive (1553-2002), reveals a retreat of the sea-ice extend in the Nordic Seas starting long before the observed warm period in the 1990s. The data set was distributed to all major centers for snow and ice and generated much interest both in the science community and in international news.

Torgny had a quiet sense of humor, he mostly stayed in the background, but did not shy away from speaking up when necessary. He was a great colleague and patient mentor to many and appreciative young researchers who remember him fondly. His large contribution to Polar research will not  be forgotten.

Torgny Emil Vinje's funeral takes place at 12:00 on Friday, 9 October at Ormøy church, Ormøy, Oslo.

The Norwegian Polar Institute's obituary is available here.

Summary & Presentations Available: ISMASS Workshop on the Marine Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf‐Ocean Model Intercomparison Projects, August 2015

-ISMASS is a SCAR/IASC/CliC activity

ismassbannerThe Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS) Workshop on the Marine Ice Sheet and Ice Shelf‐Ocean Model Intercomparison Projects (MISMIP+, ISOMIP+, MISOMIP1) was held on Sunday, August 16, 2015 from 2-5 pm at Churchill College in Cambridge, UK, during the International Glaciological Society Symposium on Contemporary Ice-Sheet Dynamics: ocean interaction, meltwater and non-linear effects. About 40 participants from around the world attended the workshop, which was co-sponsored/supported by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project. The workshop was focused on presenting the design of three MIPs: the third Marine Ice Sheet MIP (MISMIP+), the second Ice Shelf Ocean MIP (ISOMIP+) and the first Marine Ice Sheet Ocean MIP (MISOMIP1).

The Summary of the ISMASS MISOMIP Workshop is now available here and the the slides presented at the meeting can de downloaded at:

[ISMASS MISOMIP Workshop Webpage]
[ISMASS Website]

Report Available: 2015 PCPI Theme Leaders Meeting

-PCPI is a WCRP initiative - CliC provided in-kind support for this meeting

thumbnailpcpileads2015The 2015 PCPI Theme Leaders Meeting Report is available here.

The theme Leaders and Chairs of the Polar Climate Predictability Initiative (PCPI) met 9-11 September 2015, at the University of Reading in the UK. They discussed PCPI activities that have taken place since their previously meeting in April 2014. They heard about numerous journal articles (both published and in preparation) that arose from PCPI activities, two successful workshops, and several sessions at major Conferences (AGU, EGU, IUGG). They also brainstormed about future activities and ways that PCPI can contribute to joint activities with other international groups, such as the Polar Prediction Project (PPP) and CliC. Four attendees involved in organizing the joint WWRP/WCRP/Bolin Centre School on Polar Prediction sought input about the agenda and design of lab activities. The PCPI Leaders and Chairs discussed the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), and in particular they realized that they could help encourage measurement campaigns already planned (especially those in the Antarctic) to contribute to YOPP. They explored ways that PCPI could expand their network of scientists, especially by involving early career scientists in their leadership team and in activities. They would like to create PCPI fellows, modeled after the CliC fellows.

[PCPI Website]
[2015 PCPI Theme Leaders Meeting Webpage]
[2015 PCPI Theme Leaders Meeting Report]

CliC's Ice and Climate Newsletter No 25 Available

thumbnailnews25Our fourth newsletter of 2015 includes three great science features: one focuses on a historical expedition in the Arctic and the two others on major publications including one emanating from a CliC-funded workshop, a number of summaries from various CliC events held over the Summer, a few updates from our Community, an announcement for a new Sea-Ice Biogeochemistry Forum, and other things made possible with support from the Climate and Cryosphere Project. As always, we also include a list of our upcoming workshops and meetings, news from the cryosphere community and from our sponsor WCRP and sister projects.  In this issue, we also say goodbye to the former CliC International Project Office (IPO) Director, Dr. Jenny Baeseman, who was leading the IPO since 2012 and who left the office to pursue new ventures. Her position being currently vacant, we also announce that we are looking for a new CliC Director.

Science Features:

  • N-ICE2015: Norwegian young sea ICE expedition
  • Brief Communication in The Cryosphere: Future avenues for permafrost science from the perspective of early career researchers
  • Glaciers melt faster than ever

Highlights:

  • CliC Director Position Available
  • Dr. Jenny Baeseman leaves the CliC Office
  • Position Available: Editor for FrostBytes - short videos about cool research
  • Proposal for a New SOLAS-CliC Sea-Ice Biogeochemistry Forum
  • Summaries/Reports Available:
    • Year of Polar Prediction Planning Summit
    • ISMIP6 Workshop at the International Glaciological Society Symposium 2015
    • CliC Leadership Online Meeting - An Update on the WCRP Grand Challenges
    • GlacierMIP Kick-off Workshop at IUGG 2015 in Prague
    • Southern Ocean community comment on the Year of Polar Prediction Implementation Plan
    • ESA-CliC Earth Observation and Arctic Science Priorities

View the CliC's Ice and Climate Newsletter No 25 here.

Summary: PCPI Leads Meeting in Reading

-Contributed by Cecilia Bitz and Marylin Raphael

pcpibanner 2015The theme Leaders and Chairs of the Polar Climate Predictability Initiative (PCPI) met 9-11 September 2015, at the University of Reading in the UK. They discussed PCPI activities that have taken place since their previously meeting in April 2014. They heard about numerous journal articles (both published and in preparation) that arose from PCPI activities, two successful workshops, and several sessions at major Conferences (AGU, EGU, IUGG). They also brainstormed about future activities and ways that PCPI can contribute to joint activities with other international groups, such as the Polar Prediction Project (PPP) and CliC. Four attendees involved in organizing the joint WWRP/WCRP/Bolin Centre School on Polar Prediction sought input about the agenda and design of lab activities. The PCPI Leaders and Chairs discussed the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP), and in particular they realized that they could help encourage measurement campaigns already planned (especially those in the Antarctic) to contribute to YOPP. They explored ways that PCPI could expand their network of scientists, especially by involving early career scientists in their leadership team and in activities. They would like to create PCPI fellows, modeled after the CliC fellows.

Proposal for a New SOLAS-CliC Sea-Ice Biogeochemistry Forum

-Contributed by Martin Vancoppenolle, Jacqueline Stefels, Lisa Miller and Bruno Delille

solas clicBEPSII stands for "Biogeochemical Exchange Processes at the Sea Ice Interfaces". Behind this great acronym hides a group of researchers in sea ice biogeochemistry that started in 2010 and was formalized into a Scientific Committee on Oceanic research (SCOR) working group in 2012. BEPSII serves as a unique forum to put this community of both modellers and field scientists together, whereas nothing was existing before. BEPSII also actually does things and has three tasks group, formalizing our actions: 1) improve observation methods, 2) build large-scale databases and 3) upscale processes with models.
 
As usual, good things come to an end, and the SCOR funding source is expected to dry out in 2016. The activities of the group are not completed, though. Besides, the forum is seen by many as pretty useful. Therefore, means to maintain BEPSII are being sought and under the sun of Tuscany in March 2015, the idea of a joint Surface Ocean Law Atmosphere Study (SOLAS)-CliC forum has emerged as a potentially good basis for future activities. SOLAS for biogeochemistry. And CliC for sea ice.

The format and the terms of reference of this future thing are still to be discussed and conceived by the community, which was the goal of a discussion session at the SOLAS conference in Kiel, on September 8, 2015. The attendance, slightly more than 30 people, welcomed the effort. Networking possibilities with other organizations were suggested. The extension from pure sea ice biogeochemistry to the pelagic sea ice zone and to upper trophic levels of ecosystems was also suggested as a worthwile evolution. In this respect, we will explore whether the Integrated Marion Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) is interested to become a third party.

Next steps for this fall are to formalize this into forum proposals, and we all look forward not only to benefit from CliC’s networking possibilities and expertise, but also to provide CliC with a new field of expertise.

[BEPSII Facebook Page]

Minutes Available: CliC Leadership Online Meeting - An Update on the WCRP Grand Challenges

ThumbnailSept22CallThe Minutes summarizing the discussion during the CliC Leadership online meeting are now available. On September 22, 2015, the CliC Leadership had a very productive meeting about the WCRP Grand Challenges (GCs). During the call, WCRP Senior Scientific Officer Mike Sparrow gave an overview of all the WCRP Grand Challenges. The, CliC Co-Chair Greg Flato focused on the 'Melting Ice & Global Consequences' GC, that CliC is leading, and the various activities that it includes.

Read the Minutes here.
Find out more about the WCRP Grand Challenges.
Find out more about the CliC Leadership Online meetings here.