Optimization of a sea ice model using basinwide observations of Arctic sea ice thickness, extent, and velocity

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Miller, Paul A. ; Laxon, Seymour W. ; Feltham, Daniel L. ; Cresswell, Douglas J. (2006)
  • Publisher: American Meteorological Society
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1175/JCLI3648.1
  • Subject:
    arxiv: Physics::Geophysics | Physics::Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics | Astrophysics::Earth and Planetary Astrophysics

A stand-alone sea ice model is tuned and validated using satellite-derived, basinwide observations of sea ice thickness, extent, and velocity from the years 1993 to 2001. This is the first time that basin-scale measurements of sea ice thickness have been used for this purpose. The model is based on the CICE sea ice model code developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, with some minor modifications, and forcing consists of 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) and Polar Exchange at the Sea Surface (POLES) data. Three parameters are varied in the tuning process: Ca, the air–ice drag coefficient; P*, the ice strength parameter; and α, the broadband albedo of cold bare ice, with the aim being to determine the subset of this three-dimensional parameter space that gives the best simultaneous agreement with observations with this forcing set. It is found that observations of sea ice extent and velocity alone are not sufficient to unambiguously tune the model, and that sea ice thickness measurements are necessary to locate a unique subset of parameter space in which simultaneous agreement is achieved with all three observational datasets.
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