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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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BEPSII Meeting and Poster, at the GRC on Polar Marine Science, March 2019, Barga, Italy

--Contributed by Letizia Tedesco

GRC BEPSII GroupPhotoDuring the GRC on Polar Marine Science that was held at Il Ciocco Resort (Barga, Italy) on 18-23 of March, BEPSII SC members Letizia Tedesco and Klaus Meiners organized an open and informal BEPSII get-together for new and old members. About 15-20 people met over lunch on Wednesday on a sunny Tuscan terrace and continued discussing during a nice walk down the medieval village of Barga, where some of them also stopped in a cafe before returning back uphill to the conference site. The lunch and walk together gave the possibility to several people to meet for the first time, to get to know better what BEPSII is and does and to initialize new discussions and collaborations.

GRC BEPSII photo posterDuring the GRC also BEPSII representative Letizia Tedesco presented on Wednesday afternoon the BEPSII Intercomparison of 1D sea-ice biogeochemical models, one of the many BEPSII tasks. Besides supporting Letizia's participation to the GRC, CliC supports the intercomparison experiment by having funded an initial international workshop that was held at (SYKE) Helsinki in November 2017, and by co-founding the final international workshop that will be held in 15-17 of May at LOCEAN (Paris).

ESM-SnowMIP Meeting at EGU2019, April 11, 2019, Vienna, Austria

--Contributed by Richard Essery

A meeting to discuss ESM-SnowMIP was held on April 11 during EGU 2019, with 20 people in attendance. Richard Essery, Gerhard Krinner and Hyungjun Kim presented progress and plans.

Simulations for 10 reference sites have been submitted by 27 models and 2 ensembles driven with in situ data, and 22 models driven by bias-corrected global data.

An overview paper has been published (https://www.geosci-model-dev.net/11/5027/2018/). A paper documenting the reference site driving and evaluation data is in review (https://www.earth-syst-sci-data-discuss.net/essd-2019-12/), and the data are freely available from https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.897575. Work is now in progress to interpret the results for non-forested sites led by Cécile Ménard, for forested sites led by Paul Bartlett, and for large-scale forcing at reference sites led by Richard Essery.

Global coupled simulations for CMIP6 and global uncoupled simulations for LS3MIP are now underway in major modelling centres. Because of the high demands of these simulations, the requests for additional constrained ESM-SnowMIP simulations will be delayed until they are complete. It has been decided that the SnowMIP-rmLC prescribed snow experiment should be performed in coupled land-atmosphere configurations to avoid extreme hydrological impacts on circulation in coupled land-atmosphere-ocean models.

Additional site simulations can be performed at much lower cost by a wider range of models. A decision will be made whether to prioritise constrained simulations (prescribed constant snow albedo, prescribed neutral exchange coefficient, no soil insulation) or additional reference sites (to include more challenging ice sheet, tundra and prairie locations) in the next round of experiments.

The GSWP3 global driving data being used in LS3MIP can be obtained from http://www.dias.nii.ac.jp/gswp3/input.html with user name gswp3 and password pilotdata2014. These data have not yet been publically released; please contact Hyungjun Kim () to discuss any use.

2018 WCRP CliC Annual Report online

ThumbnailAR2018The 2018 WCRP-CliC Annual Report is available. The report gives an overview of our activities in 2018 and includes contributions from all of the CliC Projects/Groups Leads. CliC would like to thank all of the contributors to the Annual Report.


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
-Contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
-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
-Antarctic Sea Ice Processes and Climate (ASPeCt)
-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)
2018 CliC Meetings and Workshops

Invitation to contribute to a Special Collection on “The Earth’s energy imbalance and its implications”

Maria Hakuba, Matt Palmer, and Seiji Kato would like to invite contributions to a Special Collection titled “The Earth’s energy imbalance and its implications”, that will appear in the Journal of Climate and all other journals of the American Meteorological Society. Articles for the special collection should consider observations and/or modelling of all aspects of Earth’s energy imbalance and the resultant heating of various components of the Earth system (ocean, land, atmosphere and cryosphere). Please find below an overview of the special collection and practical information on the submission and publication process.

Overview: Climate change poses a major threat to our livelihoods, economy, and ecological treasures. On a range of timescales, climate processes are controlled by energy exchanges within and among the different components of the Earth system. Monitoring these energy flows, and the global net accumulation of energy as a result of radiative forcing, is essential to advance our understanding of climate variability and change, and for developing reliable future predictions.

Anthropogenic radiative forcing of the climate system has given rise to a radiative flux imbalance at the top-of-atmosphere (TOA), referred to as Earth’s energy imbalance (EEI).  Observing EEI is fundamental in determining the rate of climate change at a global scale. To date, the most reliable approach to estimate the absolute magnitude of EEI is through assessing changes in heat storage across all relevant Earth system components. Due to the dominant role of the oceans in Earth’s heat budget, EEI can be reliably estimated from changes in ocean heat content on annual and longer timescales, while satellite observations of TOA net radiative flux variability can provide information at shorter timescales. However, a complete understanding of Earth’s energy flows, particularly on sub-annual timescales, requires improved estimates of change in all system components storing heat: the ocean including the deep ocean; the land surface; the atmosphere; and the cryosphere. Regional energy exchange through the atmosphere-surface boundary, horizontal energy transport by the atmosphere and ocean, and diabatic heating by radiation and precipitation are also essential elements of Earth’s energy flows.

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) has identified the improved quantification and understanding of global mean EEI and its spatial and temporal variability to be major challenges in climate research across disciplines. To address these challenges, we invite contributions that improve estimates of EEI and energy uptake across all relevant disciplines and Earth system components, exploiting in-situ measurements, reanalysis, climate modeling, and remote sensing techniques. A particular interest is the discussion of uncertainty associated with measurement and retrieval errors, and assumptions in algorithms. Papers discussing results of inter-comparison studies that identify and quantify biases are encouraged. We also solicit studies on the spatial and temporal variability of global and regional energy budgets at the TOA, the surface and within the atmosphere and studies that improve our understanding of processes that perturb energy budgets and energy flows on various spatial and time scales. Furthermore, we invite authors to consider implications on key impact metrics of climate variability and change, such as  sea level, the hydrological cycle, and regional climate extremes.

This special collection arose out of discussions at the WCRP workshop held in Toulouse during November 2018 and the workshop website may provide further useful context for authors: www.clivar.org/events/2018-wcrp-workshop-earth%E2%80%99s-energy-imbalance-and-its-implications-eei

Authors are reminded that the IPCC AR6 has a deadline of 31st December 2019 for papers to be eligible for citation in the Working Group I report, but the collection itself will continue to accept submissions during 2020.

Practical information for potential authors:

Special collection papers are submitted, reviewed, and published following the same requirements and standards as other papers submitted to AMS publications. The peer review process for each paper will be handled by a regular journal editor, assigned by the journal's chief editor.  Each special collection paper moves through peer review individually, and final decisions are given when the paper is ready (ie, decision times don't depend on other papers in the collection). Once accepted for publication, the same applies: each paper moves through editing, proofs, and final publication individually, and none are delayed due to other papers in the collection. Each special collection paper is assigned to regular monthly issue, and will appear online as part of a regular monthly issue. At the same time, a graphic logo on the  title page identifies the paper as part of a particular special collection, and all papers in a special collection are linked to the collection's web page.

Authors wishing to find out more about the AMS submission process and requirements can go here. This page here lists the links for submitting to specific AMS journals and BAMS. To include your paper in the collection "The Earth's energy imbalance and its implications", begin the submission process in any AMS journal - you will be given the opportunity to select the collection once you have uploaded your manuscript and figure files.

If you already have a submission in review or recently published that you think would be a good fit for the collection, please contact the collection organizers.

Thank you for your consideration and do not hesitate to contact the organizers with questions.

CliC Newsletter - Ice and Climate No. 31

newsletter feb2019 thumbThe February 2019 Edition of the World Climate Research Programme's Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) Project Newsletter - Ice and Climate No. 31 is now available.

It includes three science features: one on the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets under 1.5°C global warming; another looks at the ESM-SnowMIP paper on assessing snow models and quantifying snow-related climate feedbacks; and the third highlights the KEPLER Project. This issue also contains summaries from various CliC events held at the AGU Fall Meeting and during the Fall and Winter period; and a list of our upcoming workshops and meetings.

In this newsletter, we welcome two new CliC Scientific Steering Group Members. The CliC International Project Office also has some news. As of January 2019, it is no longer hosted at the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø and until it moves to its new host in the coming months, CliC is run by Gwénaëlle Hamon, the Executive Officer, hired as a consultant by WMO.

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 :

Welcome to the new CliC SSG Members!

With the new year comes new CliC Scientific Steering Group Members. In 2019, we welcome Helene Seroussi and Martin Vancoppenolle who will serve on the CliC SSG from January 2019 until December 2022. Read more about Helene and Martin below. We also take this opportunity to thank again the two outgoing members, Alexandra Jahn and Sebastian Mernild who had been on the SSG since 2014. Find more information about our SSG here.

And with that, CliC wishes you a Happy New Year 2019!

HeleneSeroussi.jpgHelene Seroussi is a Research Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Her research interests are focused on better understanding and explaining ongoing changes in the cryosphere, as well as reducing uncertainties in the ice sheet contribution to sea level rise using numerical modeling. She is interested in understanding the interactions of ice and climate by combining process studies, state-of-the-art numerical modeling with remote sensing and in situ data. She graduated from École Centrale Paris (France) in 2008 and received her PhD in 2011 in ice sheet systems numerical modeling and data assimilation from the same university. She is one of the co-founders and main developers of the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), a member of the scientific committee of ISMIP6 and co-chair of the MISOMIP project.

martin vancoppenolleMartin Vancoppenolle is a CNRS Research Scientist at the Laboratoire d'Océanographie et du Climat, the ocean lab of the French centre for climate sciences (named IPSL) located in Paris. Martin obtained his Phd in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium) and did a Postdoc at the University of Washington in Seattle.

What are the ongoing and upcoming changes in the sea ice scape of the cold oceans ? Which impacts on the rest of the Earth System ? To answer such questions, Martin studies sea ice physical, biological and chemical processes with the help of numerical models and observations. His research themes cover the role of sea ice processes in the Earth System, the representation of sea ice in Earth System Models, sea ice halo-thermodynamics, and biogeochemical cycles in ice-covered seas.

Martin is co-leading sea ice modelling activities for NEMO, the Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean and the development of the SI3 model (Sea Ice modelling Integrated Initiative). He is also involved with BEPSII (Biogeochemical Exchange Processes at the Sea Ice Interfaces). Finally Martin teaches several classes on the Polar Oceans, sea ice and climate modelling.

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.

Scientific expertise, career stage as well as gender and geographical balance are taken into account. We particularly encourage applications from underrepresented countries. 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.