The response of a simulated sea-ice distribution to different numerical approximations of atmospheric state variables is investigated with respect to the improvement of sea-ice model physics within coupled climate system models (CSM). Model representation of the Antarctic sea-ice environment within CSM's has been limited by poor model physics and a lack of continental-scale, sea-ice thickness observations for model evaluation. The availability of continental-scale thickness observations was addressed using sea-ice thickness estimates derived from weekly, National Ice Center (NIC) operation sea-ice charts for the Southern Ocean from 1995 to 1998. Previous studies reported a good agreement between Antarctic seaice thickness estimates derived from NIC observations and in situ sea-ice thickness observations within the Ross Sea. Prediction errors determined for sea-ice thickness estimates derived from the NIC dataset indicate a mean absolute error (MAE) less than ±10 cm, an index of agreement (d1) of 0.94, and resolution errors < 20 cm for commonly used model resolutions. The response of the sea-ice distribution produced by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Sea Ice Model, Version 5 (CSIM5) to atmospheric energy fluxes is evaluated using NIC observations. The simulated sea-ice environment responded strongly to the value of atmospheric specific humidity due to the parameterized numerical approximation of the latent heat flux used by the CSIM5. The CSIM5 produced a thinner ice pack with a lesser extent in response high atmospheric moisture, as indicated by extensive areas of large (> 50 cm), negative model prediction errors. The model produced a thicker, more extensive ice pack in response to low atmospheric moisture as indicated by even larger (> 200 cm), positive model prediction errors.
|Advisor:||Hanson, Brian, DeLiberty, Tracy L.|
|Commitee:||Ackley, Stephen F., Geiger, Cathleen A., Willmott, Cort J.|
|School:||University of Delaware|
|Department:||Department of Geography|
|School Location:||United States -- Delaware|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Physical oceanography, Atmospheric sciences|
|Keywords:||Antarctica, Climate system models, Sea ice, Sea ice thickness|
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