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Climate Variability & Change

The Greenland Ice Sheet is changing sooner, more rapidly and more significantly than anticipated by large-scale, coarse resolution, shallow-ice approximation ice flow models used by the IPCC. Most of the changes are driven by glacier acceleration rather than changes in surface mass balance; it is therefore critical to improve the modeling of the dynamics of outlet glaciers. Here, we propose to use a new three-dimensional, thermo-mechanical, higher-order, high-resolution ice sheet flow model implemented on CIELO, a massively parallelized finite element coding scheme from JPL. The resolution is 3 km in horizontal and 100 m in vertical. We will couple the model with island-scale radar interferometry observations of ice motion using inverse control methods to constrain basal sliding and provide an unprecedented degree of realism to the model. We will evaluate the performance of the model in steady state and in transient mode over the drainage basin of Jakobshavn Isbrae, in West Greenland. Validation of the results will rely on a cross examination with GRACE, ICESAT, InSAR and ATM time series data. We will utilize the gained knowledge to run the model for the entire ice sheet in combination with a surface mass balance model and an ocean model to replicate the ice sheet evolution in the past decades, and evaluate the model for making predictions. Our proposed effort will initiate a combination of new numerical tools, NASA missions, data assimilation techniques and coupled models to improve the degree of realism of ice sheet models and pave the way to a better predictive capability of the Greenland Ice Sheet evolution. This will contribute to NASA research objective of better understanding the role of oceans, atmosphere and ice in the climate system and its evolution.

Project PI: Eric Rignot/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

University of California, Irvine Croul Hall Irvine, CA 92697

Phone: 949 824 3739

Fax: 818 393 5184

Email: eric.rignot@jpl.nasa.gov

http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=5467

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 15, 2010

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