Arctic Ice Cover Simulation Experiment

Professor Peter Wadhams is one of the 7 partners in this EU funded project.

Scientific Objectives

  • To assess and compare the natural variability (e.g., Arctic Oscillation and North Atlantic Oscillation) and trends, during the 20th century, for selected climate sensitive variables such as ice extent, ice area, first and multiyear ice fraction, thickness and open water, surface air temperature, terrestrial snow cover and river run-off from observations and available global climate models, nested for the high latitude regions, in order to assess the performance and prediction capabilities of these climate models for the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.
  • To analyse both model control runs and different greenhouse/aerosol scenario simulations for the 21st century in order to assess the risk for abrupt changes in the ice cover for the Arctic Ocean/Nordic Seas and the Baltic, and the surface temperature, the terrstrial snow cover and the river run-off for the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.
  • To assess, by model simulations, the impact a melting ice cover in the Arctic Ocean will have on the (a) carbon uptake, and (b) the pathway and spreading of the melt water and the stratification in the Nordic Seas and North Atlantic Ocean, the deep-water formation and the thermohaline circulation (conveyor belt).
  • To assess the economic impact a melting ice cover in the Arctic Ocean and the Baltic Sea will have on marine transportation (e.g. the Northern Sea Route, trans-Arctic and the Baltic Sea), off-shore industry (e.g. Stockman field, eastern Barents, Pechora and Kara Seas) and fisheries (e.g. Barents Sea, Svalbard region).

Ice thickness data analysis

We are the lead contractor for Workpackage 3.1 on Ice Thickness Analysis, using data from Arctic submarines from a 30-year period. (Workpackage 3.2 is on ice thickness data analysis by space-borne altimetry).

Members of the group analysed Upward Looking Sonar (ULS) data from Royal Navy submarines.
Bruce Denby was employed as a Research Associate on this project, from 2001 to 2002.

Updated April 2003