Short Name:

Collaborative Research: IPY, The Next Generation: A Community Ice Sheet Model for Scientists and Educators With Demonstration Experiments in Amundsen Sea Embayment Region

This award supports a project to create a "Community Ice Sheet Model (CISM)". The intellectual merit of the proposed activity is that the development of such a model will aid in advancing the science of ice sheet modeling. The model will be developed with the goal of assuring that CISM is accurate, robust, well documented, intuitive, and computationally efficient. The development process will stress principles of software design. Two complementary efforts will occur. One will involve novel predictive modeling experiments on the Amundsen Sea Embayment region of Antarctica with the goal of understanding how interactions between basal processes and ice sheet dynamics can result in abrupt reconfigurations of ice-sheets, and how those reconfigurations impact other Earth systems. New modeling physics are to include the higher order stress terms that allow proper resolution of ice stream and shelf features, and the associated numerical methods that allow higher and lower order physics to be coexist in a single model. The broader impacts of the proposed activity involve education and public outreach. The model will be elevated to a high standard in terms of user interface and design, which will allow for the production of inquiry based, polar and climate science curriculum for K-12 education. The development of a CISM itself would represent a sea change in the way that glaciological research is conducted, eliminating numerous barriers to progress in polar research such as duplicated efforts, lack of transparency in publication, lack of a cryospheric model for others to link to and reference, and a common starting point from which to begin investigation. As the appropriate interfaces are developed, a curriculum to utilize CISM in education will be developed. Students participating in this grant will be required to be involved in public outreach through various mechanisms including local and state science fairs. The model will also serve as a basis for educating "a new generation" of climate scientists. This project is relevant to the International Polar Year (IPY) as the research team is multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary, will bring new groups and new specialties into the realm of polar research and is part of a larger group of proposals whose research focuses on research in the Amundsen Sea Embayment Plan region of Antarctica. The project is international in scope and the nature of software development is quite international, with firm commitments from the United Kingdom and Belgium to collaborate. In addition there will be an international external advisory board that will be used to guide development, and serve as a link to other IPY activities.

Map of Earth