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25 January 2022 16:00 CET

Observations and modeling of ice sheets

AIMES, Earth Commission, Future Earth, and the World Climate Research Programme Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity are hosting a discussion series that aims to advance the knowledge about tipping elements, irreversibility, and abrupt changes in the Earth system. This event focused on ice sheets (MIRO board).


Moderated by Hannah Liddy (AIMES) and Heiko Goelzer (Bjerknes Centre).

The event recording is provided below. 

The MIRO board where participants workshopped ideas is available online.

Back to overview of the full series.

All you need to know

This event is part of a series of online discussions aims to advance the knowledge about tipping elements, irreversibility, and abrupt changes in the Earth system. It supports efforts to increase consistency in treatment of tipping elements in the scientific community, develop a research agenda, and design joint experiments and ideas for a Tipping Element Model Intercomparison Project (TipMip).

This discussion series is a joint activity of the Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES) global research project of Future Earth, the Earth Commission Working Group 1 Earth and Human Systems Intercomparison Modelling Project (EHSMIP) under the Global Commons Alliance and the Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity of World Climate Research Program (WCRP).

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Professor Ricarda Winkelmann

Prof. Winkelmann is a professor at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and University of Potsdam. She is Co-Chair of Working Group 1 of the Earth Commission and leads the TIP-MIP intercomparison project. Trained as a mathematician  and theoretical physicist in Germany and the United States, Winkelmann received her PhD with distinction from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and was a visiting researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford before returning to Germany as professor of Climate System Analysis. Ricarda has received numerous awards for her work, including being named Young Scientist of the Year by Academics and ZEIT Publishing Group. Her research at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research focuses on ice-dynamics in Greenland and Antarctica, future sea-level rise and tipping elements in the Earth System.

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Professor Sophie Nowicki

Dr. Sophie Nowicki is an Empire Innovation Professor in the
Department of Geology and RENEW Faculty. Her research focusses on the
Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, their connections to the Earth’s
climate system and their impact on sea level. Her work is aligned with
the RENEW Climate Change and Socioeconomic Impacts focus areas.Through
applied mathematics, remote sensing observations and numerical
modeling, her work spans the spectrum of local processes, such as
understanding the physics of ice sheet grounding lines, or the impact of
bedrock topography on ice dynamics, to that of large-scale continental
ice sheet models and their use in projections of sea level change. As
sea level projections from ice sheet models require knowledge of
atmospheric and oceanic conditions that drive ice sheet evolution, Dr.
Nowicki is also interested in how to improve climate models in the polar
regions, as well as the use of multiple models for projections.Prior
to joining UB, Dr. Nowicki was a Research Scientist and Deputy Chief
for the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory (Code 615) at NASA Goddard Space
Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. While at NASA Goddard, Sophie was a
science team member for Operation IceBridge, and co-lead the SeaRISE
(Sea-Level Response to Ice Sheet Evolution), an international effort
that investigated the sensitivity of the Greenland and Antarctic ice
sheets to external environmental forcings. She led many competed efforts
such as an effort to couple ice sheet models to the two Goddard climate
models (i.e., GEOS-5 and ModelE), and an effort that investigated the
feedbacks, processes and impacts of contemporary changes in the Arctic
using satellite observations, ice sheet and climate models.Dr.
Nowicki is a member of the NASA Sea Level Change Team (N-SLCT), a member
of the SEARCH Land Ice Action Team (LIAT), an executive committee
member for the Ice Sheet Mass Balance Intercomparison Exercise phase 2
(IMBIE2), a member of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) Scientific
Steering Committee (SSC) and co-leads the Ice Sheet Model
Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6). She is the Division Head for
Ice Sheets for the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences
(IACS) and a member of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Sea
Level Change and Coastal Impacts Chand Challenge. She was invited to be a
lead author on the IPCC 6th Assessment Report Chapter on “Ocean,
cryosphere, and sea level change”.Dr. Nowicki holds a Ph.D. in
Theoretical Glaciology from University College London (UK), an MSc in
Remote Sensing and Image Processing and a bachelor degree in Geophysics
from The University of Edinburgh (UK). Over her time as a scientist, Dr.
Nowicki has received numerous awards including that of NASA Cryospheric
Sciences Most Valuable Player, awards for Outstanding Publications and
Scientific Achievements. She is most proud of her mentoring award (the
Robert Goddard Honor Award for Mentoring) which recognizes not only her
work with postdocs and young scientists, but also the amazing work that
they did.

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Organized by

Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES)

The Analysis, Integration, and Modeling of the Earth System (AIMES) project is an international network of Earth system scientists and scholars that seek to develop innovative, interdisciplinary ways to understand the complexity of the natural world and its interactions with human activities. AIMES is a global research project of Future Earth.

WCRP Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity.

The Safe Landing Climates Lighthouse Activity is an exploration of the routes to “safe landing” spaces for human and natural systems. It will explore future pathways that avoid dangerous climate change while at the same time contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including those of climate action, zero hunger, clean water and sanitation, good health and well-being, affordable and clean energy, and healthy ecosystems above and below water. The relevant time scale is multi-decadal to millennial.

Earth Commission

The Earth Commission is a major scientific assessment, hosted by Future Earth, to define a safe and just corridor for people and planet. The Commission will inform the creation of science-based targets, the “1.5-degree equivalents”, to help maintain and protect critical global commons – our shared climate, land, biodiversity, freshwater, atmosphere and oceans. The Earth Commission is an international team of leading natural and social scientists and five working groups of additional experts. It forms the scientific cornerstone of the Global Commons Alliance.

World Climate Research Programme

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) leads the way in addressing frontier scientific questions related to the coupled climate system — questions that are too large and too complex to be tackled by a single nation, agency or scientific discipline. Through international science coordination and partnerships, WCRP contributes to advancing our understanding of the multi-scale dynamic interactions between natural and social systems that affect climate.

Future Earth

Future Earth is a global network of scientists, researchers, and innovators collaborating for a more sustainable planet. Future Earth initiates and supports international collaboration between researchers and stakeholders to identify and generate the integrated knowledge needed for successful transformations towards societies that provide good and fair lives for all within a stable and resilient Earth system. Future Earth is the host of the Earth Commission.