We present a modelling study of processes controlling the summer melt of the Arctic sea ice cover. We perform a sensitivity study and focus our interest on the thermodynamics at the ice–atmosphere and ice–ocean interfaces. We use the Los Alamos community sea ice model CICE, and additionally implement and test three new parametrization schemes: (i) a prognostic mixed layer; (ii) a three equation boundary condition for the salt and heat flux at the ice–ocean interface; and (iii) a new lateral melt parametrization. Recent additions to the CICE model are also tested, including explicit melt ponds, a form drag parametrization and a halodynamic brine drainage scheme. The various sea ice parametrizations tested in this sensitivity study introduce a wide spread in the simulated sea ice characteristics. For each simulation, the total melt is decomposed into its surface, bottom and lateral melt components to assess the processes driving melt and how this varies regionally and temporally. Because this study quantifies the relative importance of several processes in driving the summer melt of sea ice, this work can serve as a guide for future research priorities.
One contribution of 6 to a discussion meeting issue ‘Arctic sea ice reduction: the evidence, models and impacts (Part 2)’.
- Accepted April 30, 2015.
- © 2015 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.