Sea Ice in the Earth System (Max Planck Research Group)

 

Our research group works towards a better understanding of sea-ice evolution within the changing climate of our Earth.

Doing so, we focus on three main topics.

1. Internal structure of sea ice

We examine the temporal and spatial evolution of the internal structure of sea ice. This structure consists of a complicated mixture of solid fresh-water ice, liquid salty brine and gas inclusions. The relative fractions of these phases determines virtually all large-scale properties of sea ice. Nevertheless, it is still not possible to predict and to model the evolution of the different phases based on first principles. We therefore develop and use new measurement techniques to gain more insight into the development of the interior structure of sea ice. To do so, we carry out both lab experiments within the group's own cold room and field experiments. Results from these measurements allow us then to develop novel numerical models that predict the evolution of the internal structure of sea ice.

2. Large-scale numerical sea ice modelling

We use large-scale coupled climate models to better understand the evolution of sea ice in a changing climate. In particular, we focus on the predictability of sea ice on seasonal and longer time scales. In addition, we are actively involved in the development of a novel sea-ice component for our institute's future Earth System Model ICON. Main focus in this work is the development of an improved thermodynamics and a better understanding of sea-ice dynamics on triangular grids.

3. Air-ice-sea interaction

During field and lab experiments, and with the help of numerical models, we examine the interaction of sea ice with the ocean and the atmosphere. At the moment, we focus in particular on a better understanding of the heat exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere, and on the interaction of frost flowers with sea ice.

More Details

...on our modelling activities can be found here.

...on our lab and field experiments can be found here.

...on our group members can be found here.

Sea Ice in the Earth System (Max Planck Research Group)

Our research group works towards a better understanding of sea-ice evolution within the changing climate of our Earth. Currently,  we focus on three main research topics:

 

1. Understanding the large-scale evolution of sea ice

We combine results from large-scale numerical models with observational records to better understand the large scale evolution of sea ice.

Current topics

  • Drivers of internal variability of sea ice
  • Drivers of sea ice loss in CMIP5 model simulations
  • Model evaluation via satellite simulator/forward modeling
  • Projections of future Arctic sea ice based on observed sensitivity
  • Non-linear threshold behaviour of Arctic sea-ice loss

Three recent publications

  • Notz, D., Jahn, A., Holland, M., Hunke, E., Massonnet, F., Stroeve, J., Tremblay, B., and Vancoppenolle, M.: Sea Ice Model Intercomparison Project (SIMIP): Understanding sea ice through climate-model simulations, Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., doi:10.5194/gmd-2016-67, in review, 2016. Discussion paper
  • Bathiany, S., Notz, D., Mauritsen, T., Rädel, G. & Brovkin, V. (2016). On the mechanism of Arctic winter sea ice collapse. Journal of Climate, 29, 2703-2719, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0466.1
  • Notz, D. (2015). How well must climate models agree with observations?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences, 373, doi:10.1098/rsta.2014.0164

2.Sea-ice predictability

We examine the seasonal to decadal scale predictability of sea ice

Current topics

  • Impact of observational uncertainty on sea ice predictability
  • Simulating observations within Earth-System Models to understand observational uncertainty
  • Initialisation of seasonal and decadal prediction systems for sea-ice forecasts

Three selected publications:

  • Bunzel, F., Notz, D., Baehr, J., Müller, W. & Fröhlich, K. (2016). Seasonal climate forecasts significantly affected by observational uncertainty of Arctic sea ice concentration. Geophysical Research Letters, 43, 852-859, doi:10.1002/2015GL066928
  • Baehr, J., Fröhlich , K., Botzet, M., Domeisen, D., Kornblueh, L., Notz, D., Piontek, R., Pohlmann, H., Tietsche, S. & Müller, W. (2015). The prediction of surface temperature in the new seasonal prediction system based on the MPI-ESM coupled climate model. Climate Dynamics, 44, 2723-2735, doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2399-7
  • Mueller, W., Baehr, J., Haak, H., Jungclaus, J., Kröger, J., Matei, D., Notz, D., Pohlmann, H., von Storch, J. & Marotzke, J. (2012). Forecast skill of multi-year seasonal means in the decadal prediction system of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. Geophysical Research Letters, 39 , doi:10.1029/2012GL053326

Projects

Contact

Dirk Notz, Felix Bunzel

3. Internal structure of sea ice

We examine the temporal and spatial evolution of the internal structure of sea ice. This structure consists of a complicated mixture of solid fresh-water ice, liquid salty brine and gas inclusions. The relative fraction of these phases determines virtually all large-scale properties of sea ice. Nevertheless, it is still not possible to predict and to model the evolution of the different phases based on first principles. We therefore develop and use new measurement techniques to gain deeper insight into the interior structure of sea ice. Based on our group's experimental work in the field and in the laboratory, we develop novel numerical models that predict the evolution of the internal structure of sea ice

Current topics

  • Impact of flushing and flooding on the salinity evolution of sea ice
  • Measuring vertical profiles of spectral light absorbance within sea ice at high spatial and temporal resolution
  • Developing an instrument suite for the high-resolution in situ observation of temperature, solid fraction, bulk salinity and light within sea ice

Three selected publications:

  • Keitzl, T., Mellado, J.-P. & Notz, D. (2016). Impact of thermally driven turbulence on the bottom melting of ice. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 46, 1171-1187 , doi:10.1175/JPO-D-15-0126.1
  • Wiese, M., Griewank, P. & Notz, D. (2015). On the thermodynamics of melting sea ice versus melting freshwater ice. Annals of Glaciology, 56, 191-199 , doi:10.3189/2015AoG69A874 [Fulltext]
  • Griewank, P. & Notz, D. (2015). A 1D model study of Arctic sea-ice salinity. The Cryosphere, 9, 305-329 , doi:10.5194/tc-9-305-2015 [Fulltext]

Contact

Dirk Notz, Opens window for sending emailLeif Riemenschneider, Niels Fuchs, Bonnie Raffel