The granular sea ice model in spherical coordinates and its application to a global climate model

Jan Sedlacek, Jean François Lemieux, Lawrence A. Mysak, L. Bruno Tremblay, David M. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The granular sea ice model (GRAN) from Tremblay and Mysak is converted from Cartesian to spherical coordinates. In this conversion, the metric terms in the divergence of the deviatoric stress and in the strain rates are included. As an application, the GRAN is coupled to the global Earth System Climate Model from the University of Victoria. The sea ice model is validated against standard datasets. The sea ice volume and area exported through Fram Strait agree well with values obtained from in situ and satellite-derived estimates. The sea ice velocity in the interior Arctic agrees well with buoy drift data. The thermodynamic behavior of the sea ice model over a seasonal cycle at one location in the Beaufort Sea is validated against the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) datasets. The thermodynamic growth rate in the model is almost twice as large as the observed growth rate, and the melt rate is 25% lower than observed. The larger growth rate is due to thinner ice at the beginning of the SHEBA period and the absence of internal heat storage in the ice layer in the model. The simulated lower summer melt is due to the smaller-than-observed surface melt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5946-5961
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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