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Title: Greenland Surface Mass Balance as Simulated by the Community Earth System Model. Part I: Model Evaluation and 1850–2005 Results

Abstract

The modeling of the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) requires high-resolution models in order to capture the observed large gradients in the steep marginal areas. Until now, global climate models have not been considered suitable to model ice sheet SMB owing to model biases and insufficient resolution. This study analyzes the GIS SMB simulated for the period 1850–2005 by the Community Earth System Model (CESM), which includes a new ice sheet component with multiple elevation classes for SMB calculations. The model is evaluated against observational data and output from the regional model Regional Atmospheric Climate Model version 2 (RACMO2). Because of a lack of major climate biases, a sophisticated calculation of snow processes (including surface albedo evolution) and an adequate downscaling technique, CESM is able to realistically simulate GIS surface climate and SMB. CESM SMB agrees reasonably well with in situ data from 475 locations ($r$ = 0.80) and output from RACMO2 ($r$ = 0.79). The simulated mean SMB for 1960–2005 is 359 ± 120 Gt yr-1 in the range of estimates from regional climate models. The simulated seasonal mass variability is comparable with mass observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), withmore » synchronous annual maximum (May) and minimum (August–September) and similar amplitudes of the seasonal cycle. CESM is able to simulate the bands of precipitation maxima along the southeast and northwest margins, but absolute precipitation rates are underestimated along the southeastern margin and overestimated in the high interior. The model correctly simulates the major ablation areas. Total refreezing represents 35% of the available liquid water (the sum of rain and melt).« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [1];  [4];  [1]
  1. Utrecht Univ., Utrecht (Netherlands). Inst. for Marine and Atmospheric Research; Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Geography
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
  4. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Physics; Bristol Univ. (United Kingdom). Bristol Glaciology Centre, School of Geographical Sciences
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF); UT-Battelle LLC/ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1565233
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 20; Journal ID: ISSN 0894-8755
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

Citation Formats

Vizcaíno, Miren, Lipscomb, William H., Sacks, William J., van Angelen, Jan H., Wouters, Bert, and van den Broeke, Michiel R. Greenland Surface Mass Balance as Simulated by the Community Earth System Model. Part I: Model Evaluation and 1850–2005 Results. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-12-00615.1.
Vizcaíno, Miren, Lipscomb, William H., Sacks, William J., van Angelen, Jan H., Wouters, Bert, & van den Broeke, Michiel R. Greenland Surface Mass Balance as Simulated by the Community Earth System Model. Part I: Model Evaluation and 1850–2005 Results. United States. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-12-00615.1.
Vizcaíno, Miren, Lipscomb, William H., Sacks, William J., van Angelen, Jan H., Wouters, Bert, and van den Broeke, Michiel R. Fri . "Greenland Surface Mass Balance as Simulated by the Community Earth System Model. Part I: Model Evaluation and 1850–2005 Results". United States. doi:10.1175/jcli-d-12-00615.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1565233.
@article{osti_1565233,
title = {Greenland Surface Mass Balance as Simulated by the Community Earth System Model. Part I: Model Evaluation and 1850–2005 Results},
author = {Vizcaíno, Miren and Lipscomb, William H. and Sacks, William J. and van Angelen, Jan H. and Wouters, Bert and van den Broeke, Michiel R.},
abstractNote = {The modeling of the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) requires high-resolution models in order to capture the observed large gradients in the steep marginal areas. Until now, global climate models have not been considered suitable to model ice sheet SMB owing to model biases and insufficient resolution. This study analyzes the GIS SMB simulated for the period 1850–2005 by the Community Earth System Model (CESM), which includes a new ice sheet component with multiple elevation classes for SMB calculations. The model is evaluated against observational data and output from the regional model Regional Atmospheric Climate Model version 2 (RACMO2). Because of a lack of major climate biases, a sophisticated calculation of snow processes (including surface albedo evolution) and an adequate downscaling technique, CESM is able to realistically simulate GIS surface climate and SMB. CESM SMB agrees reasonably well with in situ data from 475 locations ($r$ = 0.80) and output from RACMO2 ($r$ = 0.79). The simulated mean SMB for 1960–2005 is 359 ± 120 Gt yr-1 in the range of estimates from regional climate models. The simulated seasonal mass variability is comparable with mass observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), with synchronous annual maximum (May) and minimum (August–September) and similar amplitudes of the seasonal cycle. CESM is able to simulate the bands of precipitation maxima along the southeast and northwest margins, but absolute precipitation rates are underestimated along the southeastern margin and overestimated in the high interior. The model correctly simulates the major ablation areas. Total refreezing represents 35% of the available liquid water (the sum of rain and melt).},
doi = {10.1175/jcli-d-12-00615.1},
journal = {Journal of Climate},
number = 20,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {10}
}

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Figures / Tables:

FIG. 1 FIG. 1: (left) Ice sheet fraction, (center) fraction of grid cell covered by glaciers and ice caps, and (right) total glacier fraction in the land component of CESM (CLM). The red line delimits 50%of ice sheet coverage. Elevation contours are plotted in black at 0, 1000, 2000, and 3000m.

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