Scope of activities

The presence of sea ice in the Arctic ocean regulates various dynamical and thermodynamical processes, and has a substantial influence on regional and global climate. Significant decrease of the Arctic sea-ice thickness, area, and volume has been observed in the recent years. To better understand the processes leading to such changes, observations and modelling studies, as well as comparison metrics, are needed.

The goal of this group is to marry emerging results from the observational community with theoretical developments in sea-ice physics to be able to better represent the Arctic sea ice at high and very high resolution. More specifically, the Sea Ice Team efforts are divided into three subgroups:

1 - Predictions:

In close collaboration with the Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN), this subgroup is working on projects such as the comparison and characterization of sea-ice prediction metrics, defining new sea-ice predictions products based on the stakeholders needs, evaluation of sea-ice hindcasts for predictability and ensemble spread, and understanding the predictability of sea-ice drift.

 2- Thickness metrics:

By combining field measurements and model output, this subgroup aims at developing sea-ice thickness metrics to assess the data reliability and to determine whether local measurements are representative of the regional thickness field. This subgroup is also developing a thermodynamic model to predict freeze-up and break-up dates at the site of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, and in the Arctic in general.

3- Rheology metrics:

This subgroup is dedicated to the comparison, evaluation, and definition of new and already existing sea-ice rheology metrics. By using high and very high resolution sea-ice models with different rheologies (e.g. viscous-plastic, elastic-viscous-plastic, collisional rheology, etc.), metrics that allow discrimination between the different sea-ice rheologies will first be identified and characterized. Idealized experiments with prescribed domain and forcing will then be used to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each rheology. Pan-Arctic simulations of sea-ice dynamics are also going to be compared to observations with the same set of metrics to draw a complete picture of the performance of the different sea-ice rheologies in a global context, and to identify if they can reproduce observed dynamical sea-ice behaviors.

Team leaders

Amélie Bouchat
McGill University, Montréal

Nils Hutter
Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research

Mark Johnson
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Anja Rösel
Norwegian Polar Institute

Julienne Stroeve


Request an account

Join scientists working on arctic modeling and observation.

Membership is subject to approval and adherence to the codes of conduct.


Contact Andrey Proshutinsky, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution at