Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/tc-2016-252
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
14 Nov 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
SEMIC: an efficient surface energy and mass balance model applied to the Greenland ice sheet
Mario Krapp1,2, Alexander Robinson3,1, and Andrey Ganopolski1 1Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
2Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge
3Dpto. Astrofísica y CC de la Atmósfera, Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Abstract. We present SEMIC, a Surface Energy and Mass balance model of Intermediate Complexity for snow and ice covered surfaces such as the Greenland ice sheet. SEMIC is fast enough for glacial cycle applications, making it a suitable replacement for simpler methods such as the positive degree day method often used in ice sheet modelling. Our model explicitly calculates the main processes involved in the surface energy and mass balance, while maintaining a simple interface and minimal data input to drive it. In this novel approach, we parameterise diurnal temperature variations in order to more realistically capture the daily thaw-freeze cycles that characterise the ice sheet mass balance. We show how to derive optimal model parameters for SEMIC to reproduce surface characteristics and day-to-day variations similar to the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) and its incorporated multi-layer snowpack model. A validation test shows that SEMIC simulates future changes in surface temperature and surface mass balance in good agreement with the more sophisticated multi-layer snowpack model included in MAR. With this paper, we present a physically-based surface model to the ice sheet-modelling community that is computationally fast enough for long-term integrations, such as glacial cycles or future climate change scenarios.

Citation: Krapp, M., Robinson, A., and Ganopolski, A.: SEMIC: an efficient surface energy and mass balance model applied to the Greenland ice sheet, The Cryosphere Discuss., doi:10.5194/tc-2016-252, in review, 2016.
Mario Krapp et al.
Mario Krapp et al.
Mario Krapp et al.

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Short summary
We present the snowpack model SEMIC. It calculates snow height, surface temperature, surface albedo, and the surface mass balance of snow and ice-covered surfaces while using meteorological data as input. In this paper we describe how SEMIC works and how well it compares with snowpack data of a more sophisticated regional climate model applied to the Greenland ice sheet. Because of its simplicity and efficiency, SEMIC can be used as coupling interface between atmospheric and ice sheet models.
We present the snowpack model SEMIC. It calculates snow height, surface temperature, surface...
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