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ISMASS Expert Group Report 2022

Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Sea Level (ISMASS) 2020-22 Report

Expert Group of the Physical Science Group

Report Author(s): Frank Pattyn (Belgium), Heiko Goelzer (Norway), Catherine Ritz (France), Guðfinna Aðalgeirsdóttir (Iceland) and Edward Hanna (UK).

Summary of activities from 2020-22

ISMASS is dedicated to both Arctic and Antarctic science and is supported by SCAR, CliC, and IASC. The following information does not directly concern Antarctica but Greenland. However, the tools are common for both ice sheets. ISMASS promoted an intercomparison project (SMBMIP, also in the framework of ISMIP6) which is being led by Dr. Xavier Fettweis (University of Liege, Belgium) and has recently evaluated regional climate model (RCM), positive degree day (PDD) and global climate model (GCM) estimates of surface mass balance (SMB) for the Greenland Ice Sheet, with the goal of forcing ice sheet models with reconciled information from SMB models. The results are published in The Cryosphere: Fettweis, X. et al.: GrSMBMIP: intercomparison of the modelled 1980–2012 surface mass balance over the Greenland Ice Sheet, The Cryosphere, 14, 3935–3958,, 2020.

Virtual EGU 2021 session on ice sheet mass balance and sea-level. ISMASS has organized a joint session with ISMIP6 titled “Integrating models and observations for the estimation of ice sheet mass balance and sea level, incorporating ISMASS/ISMIP6” at vEGU21: Gather Online, 19–30 April 2021.

Hybrid EGU 2022 session on ice sheet mass balance and sea-level. ISMASS organized a joint session with ISMIP6 titled “Ice sheet mass balance and sea level: ISMASS/ISMIP6 and beyond” at the General Assembly 2022, 23–27 May 2022.

The Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6), with ISMASS chair Heiko Goelzer taking a leading role in the Greenland projections, has delivered key publications that formed an important basis for the latest IPCC assessment report (AR6) for both the Greenland an Antarctic ice sheets (see publication list)

In connection with Cryosphere 2022, the ISMASS Consortium organises a special session on recent and future ice-sheet changes (Ice sheets: weather versus climate) within the IGS Symposium to be held in Reykjavik in August 2022. This 1.5-day workshop will explore the degree to which short-term fluctuations and extreme events in the ice sheets (both Greenland and Antarctica) in the last two decades reflect their longer-term evolution and response to ongoing climate change. The workshop is sponsored by CliC, IASC and SCAR.

The 2022 allocated budget of 6350 USD is used for the ISMASS workshop in Reykjavik, especially to accommodate early career researchers to attend the meeting.

Key challenge was the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which reduced ISMASS meeting activities during this reporting period.