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Arctic sea ice data assimilation combining an ensemble Kalman filter with a novel Lagrangian sea ice model for the winter 2019–2020

Cheng, S., Chen, Y. ORCID:, Aydoğdu, A., Bertino, L., Carrassi, A. ORCID:, Rampal, P. and Jones, C. K. R. T. (2023) Arctic sea ice data assimilation combining an ensemble Kalman filter with a novel Lagrangian sea ice model for the winter 2019–2020. The Cryosphere, 17 (4). pp. 1735-1754. ISSN 1994-0424

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/tc-17-1735-2023


Advanced data assimilation (DA) methods, widely used in geophysical and climate studies to merge observations with numerical models, can improve state estimates and consequent forecasts. We interface the deterministic ensemble Kalman filter (DEnKF) to the Lagrangian neXt generation Sea Ice Model, neXtSIM. The ensemble is generated by perturbing the atmospheric and oceanic forcing throughout the simulations and randomly initialized ice cohesion. Our ensemble–DA system assimilates sea ice concentration (SIC) from the Ocean and Sea Ice Satellite Application Facility (OSI-SAF) and sea ice thickness (SIT) from the merged CryoSat-2 and SMOS datasets (CS2SMOS). Because neXtSIM is computationally solved on a time-dependent evolving mesh, it is a challenging application for ensemble–DA. As a solution, we perform the DEnKF analysis on a fixed and regular reference mesh, on which model variables are interpolated before the DA and then back to each member's mesh after the DA. We evaluate the impact of assimilating different types of sea ice observations on the model's forecast skills of the Arctic sea ice by comparing satellite observations and a free-run ensemble in an Arctic winter period, 2019–2020. Significant improvements in modeled SIT indicate the importance of assimilating weekly CS2SMOS SIT, while the improvements of SIC and ice extent are moderate but benefit from daily ingestion of the OSI-SAF SIC. For most of the winter, the correlation between SIT and SIC is weaker, which results in little cross-inference between the two variables in the assimilation step. Overall, the ensemble–DA system based on the stand-alone sea ice model demonstrates the feasibility of winter Arctic sea ice prediction with good computational efficiency. These results open the path toward operational implementation and the extension to multi-year assimilation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO)
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:111739
Publisher:European Geosciences Union


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