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OCEAN:ICE (Ocean Cryosphere Exchanges in ANtarctica: Impacts on Climate and the Earth System)

OCEAN:ICE aims to assess the impact of changes to the Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) and surrounding Southern Ocean on the global climate, particularly those impacts mediated by changes in ocean circulation driven by glacial ice melt. There is a strong emphasis on understanding the coupled nature of ocean-ice interactions, improving our observations and modelling of these processes, and determining the impact of such feedbacks on climate scale simulations over centennial timescales.

As part of this project, the EPB will work to improve the existing knowledge and provide evidence based policy advice to regional and international policymakers.

OCEAN:ICE will collaborate closely with existing Horizon 2020 programmes looking at individual aspects of the Polar-climate system, such as SO-CHIC, PROTECT, TiPACCS, PolarRES etc. and many co-Is also have leading roles in these projects. 

Specific OCEAN:ICE objectives are to:

O1: Reduce the spatial and knowledge gaps in ocean observations around Antarctica, particularly relating to ice sheet-ocean interaction and deep water formation and export.

O2: Improve critical ice sheet-ocean processes in numerical models, using historical observations and new data sets obtained in the project.

O3: Improve representation of AIS dynamics and integrate this knowledge into ice sheet and coupled ice sheet-climate models.

O4: Quantify AIS melt sensitivity to climate forcing and reduce the ‘deep uncertainty’ in freshwater flux and SLR projections to 2300.

O5: Assess how global ocean circulation is impacted by freshwater discharge from the northern and southern ice sheets.

O6: Assess the ocean impact on, and feedbacks between, key global climate metrics (e.g. SLR, global mean surface temperature) and polar ice sheet melt to 2300 and beyond.

O7: Deliver free and open access to all data obtained in the project and contribute to international assessments (e.g. IPCC), climate model development, multi-national ocean observing initiatives (e.g. SOOS, All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance) and policymakers.