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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-9
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Model description paper 23 Mar 2018

Model description paper | 23 Mar 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

The Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM) v1.0

Fabien Maussion1, Anton Butenko2, Julia Eis2, Kévin Fourteau1,3, Alexander H. Jarosch4, Johannes Landmann1,5,6, Felix Oesterle2, Beatriz Recinos2, Timo Rothenpieler2, Anouk Vlug7, Christian T. Wild1,8, and Ben Marzeion2 Fabien Maussion et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences, Universität Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2Institute of Geography, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 3Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRD, Grenoble INP, IGE, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • 4Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland
  • 5Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology (VAW), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, Switzerland
  • 6Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL), Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  • 7MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and Faculty of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 8Gateway Antarctica, Centre for Antarctic Studies and Research, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Abstract. Despite of their importance for sea-level rise, seasonal water availability, and as source of geohazards, mountain glaciers are one of the few remaining sub-systems of the global climate system for which no globally applicable, open source, community-driven model exists. Here we present the Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM, http://www.oggm.org), developed to provide a modular and open source numerical model framework for simulating past and future change of any glacier in the world. The modelling chain comprises data downloading tools (glacier outlines, topography, climate, validation data), a preprocessing module, a mass-balance model, a distributed ice thickness estimation model, and an ice flow model. The monthly mass-balance is obtained from gridded climate data and a temperature index melt model. To our knowledge, OGGM is the first global model explicitly simulating glacier dynamics: the model relies on the shallow ice approximation to compute the depth-integrated flux of ice along multiple connected flowlines. In this paper, we describe and illustrate each processing step by applying the model to a selection of glaciers before running global simulations under idealized climate forcings. Even without an in-depth calibration, the model shows a very realistic behaviour. We are able to reproduce earlier estimates of global glacier volume by varying the ice dynamical parameters within a range of plausible values. At the same time, the increased complexity of OGGM compared to other prevalent global glacier models comes at a reasonable computational cost: several dozens of glaciers can be simulated on a personal computer, while global simulations realized in a supercomputing environment take up to a few hours per century. Thanks to the modular framework, modules of various complexity can be added to the codebase, allowing to run new kinds of model intercomparisons in a controlled environment. Future developments will add new physical processes to the model as well as tools to calibrate the model in a more comprehensive way. OGGM spans a wide range of applications, from ice-climate interaction studies at millenial time scales to estimates of the contribution of glaciers to past and future sea-level change. It has the potential to become a self-sustained, community driven model for global and regional glacier evolution.

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Short summary
Mountain glaciers are one of the few remaining sub-systems of the global climate system for which no globally applicable community-driven model exists. Here we present the Open Global Glacier Model (OGGM, http://www.oggm.org), developed to provide a modular and open source numerical model framework for simulating past and future change of any glacier in the world.
Mountain glaciers are one of the few remaining sub-systems of the global climate system for...
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