Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Coupling ice-sheet and climate models for simulation of former ice sheets

January 1, 2003

This chapter explores the development of coupled climate and ice-sheet models over the past two decades, discusses the current technical and physical capabilities of models, and identifies future work for developing a better understanding of ice-climate events that have punctuated Earth history. The chapter also illustrates the complex behavior of the climate system and the modeling challenges posed by the observations. Climate and ice-sheet models continue to improve, both in terms of model physics and technical capabilities. Regional climate model simulations should be carried out for each temporal snapshot or matrix element for improved mass–balance calculation over the ice sheets. Fully coupled atmosphere-ocean-cryosphere-land surface models are required for addressing a number of paleoclimatic puzzles, particularly with respect to millennial climate variability. The concerted effort to better understand West Antarctic Ice Sheet dynamics, and the development of subglacial hydrological models should lead to improvements in the next generation of ice-sheet models and help to address millennial-scale variability in ice-sheet/climate models.

Publication Year 2003
Title Coupling ice-sheet and climate models for simulation of former ice sheets
DOI 10.1016/S1571-0866(03)01006-6
Authors Shawn J. Marshall, David Pollard, Steven W. Hostetler, Peter U. Clark
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Developments in Quaternary Sciences
Index ID 70216681
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center