Resources and links

Data/Observation Information


1. DMI

The Danish Meteorological Institute DMI maintain weather stations around Greenland on the coast. All data are freely available for research purposes. Historical data (back to the 18th century) from the Faeroe Islands and other parts of the world are also available. Contact DMI directly for access to this. Technical reports, many in English can be downloaded from here with data, metadata, notes etc to assist in understanding and using data properly.
Sea ice charts to assist in navigation around Greenland are also produced every other day and can be
downloaded from here

2. SeaRISE Datasets

One of the core missions of the SeaRISE effort has been to establish common model inputs. The Datasets are available here in NetCDF format:

  • Present day Antarctica data sets consist of
    • Mean annual surface temperature
    • Ice thickness
    • Accumulation/ablation Rate
    • Ice surface elevation
    • Bed topography
    • Basal heat flux
    • Thickness mask
    • Interferometrically determined surface velocity
    • Melt rate estimate (Under Ross ice streams only)
    • Surface balance velocity
  • Present day Greenland data sets consist of:
    • Ice thickness
    • Bed topography
    • Ice surface elevation
    • Precipitation
    • Basal heat flux
    • Mean annual near-surface(2m) air temperature
    • Surface balance velocity
    • Interferometrically determined surface velocity


Model Information

Ice Models:

  • The Glimmer-CISM model, which is under active development (hosted by a Berlios space ) to add new physics and parallelization. A wiki is maintained containing useful datasets and info about the model by folks at U Montana. LANL folks also maintain a wiki for Glimmer-CISM here .
    • Glimmer-CISM is based on the GLIMMER shallow-ice model developed by Tony Payne (Bristol). It has been extended to include the so called first order stress balance equations (Pattyn JGR 2003) by at least two different groups.
    • Users of Glimmer-CISM:
      • The shallow ice version has been coupled to the CCSM global coupled climate model as the land ice module by Bill Lipscomb (LANL).
      • Whole ice sheet modelling is being done for Greenland and Antarctica by various groups (please elaborate...)
      • Carl Gladish (NYU) and David Holland (NYU) are using Glimmer-CISM, coupled to an ocean plume model, to understand the interactions between ice and ocean that may lead to interesting channel features observed in Petermann glacier.


  • The Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM ) is a Jet Propulsion Laboratory - University of California Irvine - École Centrale Paris collaboration to develop a massively-parallelized multi-purpose finite element framework dedicated to ice sheet modeling. It is a fully coupled thermo-mechanical finite element model, that can run steady-state and transient. It leverages parallel architectures and is scalable. It also includes embedded tools for sensitivity analysis, as well as data assimilation of satellite data!
    • Ice flow models available:
      • Shallow Ice Approximation (SIA)
      • MacAyeal Shelfy Stream / Shallow Shelf model (SSA)
      • Blatter/Pattyn higher order model (HO)
      • Full-Stokes (FS)
    • Capabilities:
      • Thermo mechanical coupling
      • Data Assimilation (inversion of basal drag and rheology)
      • Anisotropic mesh adaptation
    • Future capabilities:
      • Model coupling (Full-Stokes/Pattyn/MacAyeal)
      • Moving calving front
      • ...
    • Developers:
      • Éric Larour, Mathieu Morlighem and Hélène Seroussi are actively developing ISSM
      • Éric Rignot is the team manager
    • Download:
      • In the long run, ISSM will be released but its use is currently limited to JPL/UCI. Nevertheless, non-users willing to collaborate on a project using ISSM can request more information to Eric Larour (



Top Resources


A random list of useful websites

Summer School on Ice Sheet Models for the 21st Century

U.S. Sea-level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution (SeaRISE)

E.U. ice2sea

An intro class on adjoint methods and automatic differentiation

Svein Østerhus' collection of historical articles on "The Norwegian Sea - One hundred years after"

Geoff Vallis' collection on "Classic and Historical Papers In GFD and Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics"

Cooperative Arctic Data and Information Service of the Arctic Observing Network (AON-CADIS)

eWOCE : a great gallery of ocean figures showing the large-scale distribution of tracers (temperature, salinity, oxygen, etc) from data collected in the World Ocean Circulation Experiment--If you just want an overall picture of how the ocean looks, this is a great place to start.

Introduction to Physical Oceanography , by Stewart: a free online textbook that offers a good general introduction to all things PO. No particular mention of ice, but if you want to know something about waves or ice or the effects of rotation, it's not a bad place to start.


NSIDC (National Snow and Ice Data Center): Hosts many datasets


The EISMINT Phase II model intercomparison page.  This page shows the state of the art in ice sheet modeling in the early to middle 1990s. Some of the lessons learned in this comparison project still apply today.


The Glimmer-CISM (Community Ice Sheet Model) page.  Glimmer-CISM is probably the best-supported ice sheet model right now.


The SICOPOLIS ice sheet model page.  SICOPOLIS (Simulation Code for Polythermal Ice Sheets) is another full-featured ice sheet model.


Summer Modeling School, Portland, OR 2009.  There is a lot of good stuff hidden in this wiki, including an introduction to Fortran and explanations of how we couple ice sheet models to other parts of the earth system.


SERC Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences Workshops. Highly recommended for late-stage graduate students and postdocs.  The SERC Web site in general ( is a great resource.



Mailing lists:

  • Ice
    • Cryolist: mail distribution list to communicate between everyone studying and with interests in all things frozen. Types of posts: announcements, requests or inquiries, and discussions. Many PhD/Postdoc/permanent positions are regularly posted.
    • Arctic info: moderated mailing list maintained by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS). The list provides arctic researchers with timely information about funding opportunities, important events, publications, position announcements, and other useful news.


ACDC2010 had additional support from US Department of Energy`s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (DoE/ASCR) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).



28-1 2013