logo image for top of page

a core project of
2018WCRPspon col July2018 01 1

GlacierMIP Activities/Experiments

Phase 3 (2020- )
GlacierMIP plans a series of coordinated and standardized experiments and projections including (but not limited to):

a. equilibrium experiments at different climate states
b. reconstructions of glacier change (roughly last 100 years)
c. detection & attribution experiments (using reconstructions from b)
d. sensitivity analyses of model physics
e. separation of parameter and climate (forcing) uncertainty
f. CMIP6 projections

GlacierMIP will focus on items a-c in 2021. A standardized experimental design will be developed in winter 2020/2021. To participate in GlacierMIP and to be included in any resulting publications, the experiment design has to be followed and the specific deadlines met when submitting results. An open call for participation will be issued in spring 2021. To keep GlacierMIP focused, all GlacierMIP participants must have developed, or have access to, a glacier evolution model capable of computing glaciers on large scales, preferably global (at least one complete RGI region must be covered). Please contact the chairs if you are interested in participating.


Phase 2 (2019-2020)
All participating modeling groups made global-scale glacier volume projections until 2100 based on standardized experiments using the following data and variables

Glacier models are forced by the following GCMs (provided necessary data for specific glacier model are available):

 2  GFDL-CM3
 3  CanESM2
 4  NorESM1-M
 5  GISS-ER2-
 6  CCSM4
 7  CNRM-CM5
 8  IPSL-CM5a-LR
 9  GFDL - ESM-2M
10 CSIRO-Mk3-6-0

2) GCM runs forced by emission scenarios RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. If more model runs are possible, use RCP4.5 and then RCP6.0 from these models

3) r1i1p1 realizations of the climate models above

4) Glacier inventory RGI6.0. For the Greenland periphery all glaciers with connectivity level 0 and 1 should be computed (level 2 glaciers should be excluded).

5) Standardized initial ice thickness provided by Matthias Huss based on RGI6.0

6) Assuming density of ice = 900 kg/m3 for conversion of glacier volume to mass

7) Output is reported for all RGI primary regions (global projections are targeted including all 19 RGI regions but minimum requirement for participation is the computation of 1 complete RGI region)

8) Assuming ocean area of 362.5 x10^6 km2 (following Cogley et al. 2011) to convert volume change to

Results from phase 2 were published in Marzeion et al. 2020 (Earth´s Future). Projections were based on 11 glacier models using up to 10 GCMs and 4 RCPs, leading to a total of 288 glacier ensemble members. Results also inform the upcoming IPCC AR6 report. (Martzeion et al., 2020)

Phase 1 (2015-2019)
A comparison of the glacier volume change projections 2015-2100 from six previously published modeling studies was performed including >250 individual model runs based on 26 GCMs and four emission scenarios. Results were presented at several international conferences. Results were published in Hock et al. 2019a (Journal of Glaciology) and also directly used in the IPCC Special Report on The Cryosphere and the Oceans in a Warming Climate (Hock et al. 2019b)


Marzeion, B., R. Hock, B. Anderson, A. Bliss, N. Champollion, K. Fujita, M. Huss, W. Immerzeel, P. Kraaijenbrink, J-H. Malles, F. Maussion, Valentina Radic, D. R. Rounce, A. Sakai, S. Shannon, R. van de Wal, H. Zekollari, 2020. Partitioning the Uncertainty of Ensemble Projections of Global Glacier Mass Change. Earth's Future 12, e2019EF001470, doi: 10.1029/2019EF001470.

Hock, R., Bliss, A., Marzeion, B., Giesen, R.H., Hirabayashi, Y., Huss, M., Radić, V. and Slangen, A.B., 2019a. GlacierMIP–A model intercomparison of global-scale glacier mass-balance models and projections. Journal of Glaciology, 65(251), pp.453-467. 453-467. doi:10.1017/jog.2019.22.

Hock, R., G. Rasul, C. Adler, B. Cáceres, S. Gruber, Y. Hirabayashi, M. Jackson, S. Kang, A. Kääb, S. Kutuzov, A. Milner, U. Molau, S. Morin, B. Orlove and H. Steltzer, 2019b. High Mountain Areas. In: Special Report on The Cryosphere and the Oceans in a Warming Climate. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In press. (https://www.ipcc.ch/srocc/home/)