Ice sheet model

Ice sheet model

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Ice sheet models use quantitative methods to simulate the evolution, dynamics and thermodynamics of ice sheets
Ice sheet
An ice sheet is a mass of glacier ice that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than 50,000 km² , thus also known as continental glacier...

, such as the Greenland ice sheet
Greenland ice sheet
The Greenland ice sheet is a vast body of ice covering , roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. It is the second largest ice body in the world, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The ice sheet is almost long in a north-south direction, and its greatest width is at a latitude of 77°N, near its...

, the Antarctic ice sheet
Antarctic ice sheet
The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the two polar ice caps of the Earth. It covers about 98% of the Antarctic continent and is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. It covers an area of almost 14 million square km and contains 30 million cubic km of ice...

 or the large ice sheets on the northern hemisphere during the last glacial period. They are used for a variety of purposes, from studies of the glaciation of Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 over glacial-interglacial cycles in the past to projections of ice-sheet decay under future global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...


Ice sheet models on the web

  • - Ice Sheet System Model, a multi-purpose massively-parallelized finite element framework dedicated to ice sheet systems modeling (Thermomechanical coupling, data assimilation, sensitivity analysis,...)
  • - Glimmer-CISM, a three-dimensional thermomechanical ice sheet model, designed to be interfaced to a range of global climate models.
  • - PISM (Parallel Ice Sheet Model), which includes ice shelves and ice streams.
  • - SICOPOLIS (SImulation COde for POLythermal Ice Sheets), a three-dimensional ice sheet model which accounts for polythermal conditions (coexistence of ice at and below the melting point in different parts of an ice sheet).
  • - CISM (Community Ice Sheet Model), under development as a land ice component of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM).
  • Elmer, a multi-physics Finite Element code with special modules for full-stress ice dynamics analysis

External links

  • ISMIP - Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project