Polar Climate

PCWG Priorities

Near-term (2+ year horizon) priorities

April 1, 2013

Based on discussion at the PCWG on February 12, 2013

Jennifer Kay (NCAR)
Elizabeth Hunke (LANL)
Dave Bailey (NCAR)

  1. Start planning for CESM2.0 CICE component. Document the climate influence of improved model physics and enhanced model capabilities. Pick a standard configuration but maintain options.
  2. Benchmark, evaluate, and improve polar climate processes within CESM simulations. Coordinate/synergize with DOE and regional modeling efforts. This priority includes issues associated with higher resolution in space (<1 degree) and time, and physical parameterizations in need of further evaluation and improvement, such as:
    1. unresolved atmospheric dynamics (e.g., turbulent mountain stress, gravity waves) and orography
    2. snow properties and evolution
    3. sea ice topographic effects (e.g., drag, snow redistribution)
    4. icebergs
    5. oceanic mixing and transfer of heat, water, momentum
  3. Encourage the use of novel techniques (e.g., data assimilation, satellite simulators) and new observations to evaluate and improve the representation of polar processes in CESM
  4. Inform important and topical polar climate science research directions such as: quantifying predictability in the polar climate system and its underlying mechanisms, understanding the processes and feedbacks controlling the modeled polar climate and ecosystem response to increased greenhouse gases and aerosol burdens, investigating the role biogeochemical processes play in polar ecosystems and climate, analyzing the atmospheric response to sea ice loss, etc.