William Lipscomb is the recipient of the 2012 CESM Distinguished Achievement Award. Bill's contributions to the CESM project began over ten years ago when he joined the Climate, Ocean and Sea Ice Modeling (COSIM) team at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a Postdoctoral Researcher. In his initial years at Los Alamos, Bill made notable improvements to the Los Alamos sea ice model, which is the sea ice component of CESM. In more recent years, Bill has established and led the effort to incorporate a land ice component into CESM. Through Bill's inventive and hard work in this area, the CESM project is now making exciting contributions to our understanding of ice sheet loss and sea level rise.
During the early 2000s, CESM adopted the Los Alamos Community Ice CodE (CICE) as its sea ice model component. Bill has made numerous and significant improvements to CICE. These include developments on the sea ice thermodynamics, transport, ridging, and ice thickness distribution. These have improved both the reliability and efficiency of CICE, allowing it to remain a state-of-the-science model. Through these model development efforts, Bill's activities have directly benefitted a large community of scientists who are using CESM to understand numerous aspects of polar climate variability and change.
In more recent years, the CESM project has benefitted greatly from Bill's leadership, advocacy and team building that brought a new dynamic ice sheet modeling capability into the CESM. In 2008, Bill advocated for the creation of a working group that was devoted to developing and maintaining a land ice component for CESM. This was needed, he said, in order for the CESM project to make realistic and scientifically justified projections of future sea level rise. The CESM Scientific Steering Committee subsequently approved this request and, as a result, the Land Ice Working Group was established in 2009. Bill's leadership and hard work as co-chair of this group has been admirable. He has effectively brought glaciologists into the CESM community and, under Bill's guidance, the LIWG has become a very active and dynamic group that is addressing exciting model advancements and scientific applications. As such, Bill has been instrumental in the incorporation of a land ice component into CESM, allowing the project to be at the forefront of land ice modeling efforts for climate applications. We look forward to the future exciting science that this new modeling capability enables and to Bill's continued leadership of this effort.