skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: A New Discrete Element Sea-Ice Model for Earth System Modeling

Abstract

Sea ice forms a frozen crust of sea water oating in high-latitude oceans. It is a critical component of the Earth system because its formation helps to drive the global thermohaline circulation, and its seasonal waxing and waning in the high north and Southern Ocean signi cantly affects planetary albedo. Usually 4{6% of Earth's marine surface is covered by sea ice at any one time, which limits the exchange of heat, momentum, and mass between the atmosphere and ocean in the polar realms. Snow accumulates on sea ice and inhibits its vertical growth, increases its albedo, and contributes to pooled water in melt ponds that darken the Arctic ice surface in the spring. Ice extent and volume are subject to strong seasonal, inter-annual and hemispheric variations, and climatic trends, which Earth System Models (ESMs) are challenged to simulate accurately (Stroeve et al., 2012; Stocker et al., 2013). This is because there are strong coupled feedbacks across the atmosphere-ice-ocean boundary layers, including the ice-albedo feedback, whereby a reduced ice cover leads to increased upper ocean heating, further enhancing sea-ice melt and reducing incident solar radiation re ected back into the atmosphere (Perovich et al., 2008). A reduction in perennial Arctic sea-icemore » during the satellite era has been implicated in mid-latitude weather changes, including over North America (Overland et al., 2015). Meanwhile, most ESMs have been unable to simulate observed inter-annual variability and trends in Antarctic sea-ice extent during the same period (Gagne et al., 2014).« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC). Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1346837
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-22083
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences

Citation Formats

Turner, Adrian Keith. A New Discrete Element Sea-Ice Model for Earth System Modeling. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1346837.
Turner, Adrian Keith. A New Discrete Element Sea-Ice Model for Earth System Modeling. United States. doi:10.2172/1346837.
Turner, Adrian Keith. Fri . "A New Discrete Element Sea-Ice Model for Earth System Modeling". United States. doi:10.2172/1346837. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1346837.
@article{osti_1346837,
title = {A New Discrete Element Sea-Ice Model for Earth System Modeling},
author = {Turner, Adrian Keith},
abstractNote = {Sea ice forms a frozen crust of sea water oating in high-latitude oceans. It is a critical component of the Earth system because its formation helps to drive the global thermohaline circulation, and its seasonal waxing and waning in the high north and Southern Ocean signi cantly affects planetary albedo. Usually 4{6% of Earth's marine surface is covered by sea ice at any one time, which limits the exchange of heat, momentum, and mass between the atmosphere and ocean in the polar realms. Snow accumulates on sea ice and inhibits its vertical growth, increases its albedo, and contributes to pooled water in melt ponds that darken the Arctic ice surface in the spring. Ice extent and volume are subject to strong seasonal, inter-annual and hemispheric variations, and climatic trends, which Earth System Models (ESMs) are challenged to simulate accurately (Stroeve et al., 2012; Stocker et al., 2013). This is because there are strong coupled feedbacks across the atmosphere-ice-ocean boundary layers, including the ice-albedo feedback, whereby a reduced ice cover leads to increased upper ocean heating, further enhancing sea-ice melt and reducing incident solar radiation re ected back into the atmosphere (Perovich et al., 2008). A reduction in perennial Arctic sea-ice during the satellite era has been implicated in mid-latitude weather changes, including over North America (Overland et al., 2015). Meanwhile, most ESMs have been unable to simulate observed inter-annual variability and trends in Antarctic sea-ice extent during the same period (Gagne et al., 2014).},
doi = {10.2172/1346837},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 10 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Fri Mar 10 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • Global climate models (GCMs) have not effectively considered how responses of arctic marine ecosystems to a warming climate will influence the global climate system. A key response of arctic marine ecosystems that may substantially influence energy exchange in the Arctic is a change in dimethylsulfide (DMS) emissions, because DMS emissions influence cloud albedo. This response is closely tied to sea ice through its impacts on marine ecosystem carbon and sulfur cycling, and the ice-albedo feedback implicated in accelerated arctic warming. To reduce the uncertainty in predictions from coupled climate simulations, important model components of the climate system, such as feedbacksmore » between arctic marine biogeochemistry and climate, need to be reasonably and realistically modeled. This research first involved model development to improve the representation of marine sulfur biogeochemistry simulations to understand/diagnose the control of sea-ice-related processes on the variability of DMS dynamics. This study will help build GCM predictions that quantify the relative current and possible future influences of arctic marine ecosystems on the global climate system. Our overall research objective was to improve arctic marine biogeochemistry in the Community Climate System Model (CCSM, now CESM). Working closely with the Climate Ocean Sea Ice Model (COSIM) team at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), we added 1 sea-ice algae and arctic DMS production and related biogeochemistry to the global Parallel Ocean Program model (POP) coupled to the LANL sea ice model (CICE). Both CICE and POP are core components of CESM. Our specific research objectives were: 1) Develop a state-of-the-art ice-ocean DMS model for application in climate models, using observations to constrain the most crucial parameters; 2) Improve the global marine sulfur model used in CESM by including DMS biogeochemistry in the Arctic; and 3) Assess how sea ice influences DMS dynamics in the arctic marine environment and predict how it will do so in the future.« less
  • We present a discrete element method (DEM) model to simulate the mechanical behavior of sea ice in response to ocean waves. The wave/ice interaction can potentially lead to the fracture and fragmentation of sea ice depending on the wave amplitude and period. The fracture behavior of sea ice is explicitly modeled by a DEM method, where sea ice is modeled by densely packed spherical particles with finite size. These particles are bonded together at their contact points through mechanical bonds that can sustain both tensile & compressive forces and moments. Fracturing can be naturally represented by the sequential breaking ofmore » mechanical bonds. For a given amplitude and period of incident ocean wave, the model provides information for the spatial distribution and time evolution of stress and micro-fractures and the fragment size distribution. We demonstrate that the fraction of broken bonds,, increases with increasing wave amplitude. In contrast, the ice fragment size decreases with increasing amplitude.« less
  • Cited by 5