Polar Climate Working Group (PCWG)

The Polar Climate Working Group (PCWG) is a consortium of scientists who are interested in modeling and understanding the climate in the Arctic and the Antarctic, and how polar climate processes interact with and influence climate at lower latitudes. Our members come from universities and laboratories, and our interests span all elements of polar climate, from the ocean depths to the top of the atmosphere. In addition to conducting scientific modeling experiments, we are charged with developing and maintaining the state-of-the-art sea ice model component (CICE) used in CESM. Although the Land Ice Working Group is responsible for modeling land ice (glaciers, ice sheets), LMWG and PCWG members are interested in these processes also. Workshops and meetings of the PCWG are open to all who are interested in polar processes. If you wish attend future meetings of the PCWG, please contact either of the co-chairs.

The PCWG also develops and maintains a standard set of diagnostic plots for quick look at the sea ice simulation from the CESM. These include timeseries, contour, and vector plots with annual, seasonal, and regional means. The plots are compared to observations where available. A sample of the current plots is available at: 2-degree Pre-Industrial Control. This sea ice diagnostic package is freely available from the CESM Subversion release repository at: CESM Sea Ice Diagnostic Package. Note that a one-time registration is required to access the release repository: CESM 1.0 Release Page.

Online materials from the CESM Tutorial, including lectures and practical sessions on the CESM sea ice component, are available after a short registration: CESM Tutorials including online materials.

Some members of the PCWG have drafted some documents on observational needs for climate models in the polar regions. The first one is intended to be a living document and feedback is appreciated.

  • Kay, de Boer, and Hunke, 2012 [PDF]
  • Massonnet and Jahn, 2012 [PDF]

CICE Consortium

The Los Alamos sea ice model (CICE) is a widely used and freely available research tool. Recently a CICE Consortium was formed to maintain the current CICE model for existing and new users, to incorporate and maintain new research and development, and to accelerate scientific sea ice model development and its transfer into operational use.

For more information view the GitHub here

AGU Fall Meeting 2018 Tutorial Talks

Science of a Rapidly Changing Arctic System by Twila A Moon, University of Colorado at Boulder, Marika M Holland, National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Edward Schuur, University of Florida, at AGU Fall Meeting 2018 on 12 December.


Past PCWG Workshops

2018 CESM Polar Modeling Workshop

Date: 13 - 17 August, 2018

Location: NCAR Mesa Lab, Boulder, CO

More info


2018 Arctic System Change Workshop

Date: 9 - 12 April, 2018

Location: NCAR Mesa Lab, Boulder, CO

More info


Arctic Change Workshop

In June of 2017, we hosted a group of observational and modeling scientists in the area of artic change.

Date: 22 - 23 June, 2017

Location: NCAR Mesa Lab, Boulder, CO

More info


Sea Ice Thickness Workshop

In November of 2016, we hosted a group of observational and modeling scientists in the area of sea ice thickness.

Date: 16 - 17 November, 2016

Location: NCAR Mesa Lab, Boulder, CO

More info | Workshop Report


Snow On Sea Ice Workshop

In February of 2015, we hosted a group of observational and modeling scientists in the area of snow on sea ice.

Date: 5 - 6 February, 2015

Location: NCAR Mesa Lab, Boulder, CO

Workshop Report

Polar Climate Co Chairs