OCEAN:ICE Breakout Session to Explore Ice sheet impacts on ocean circulation and climate feedbacks at IUGG 2023

As part of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) conference, the OCEAN:ICE team is organizing a breakout session on Friday, July 14th, 2023 at 08:30 to 10:00 (CEST) in room R2.

OCEAN:ICE interactions – Ice sheet impacts on ocean circulation and climate feedbacks
JP03/JP04 Breakout Discussion Session

The IACS/IAPSO/IASPEI inter-association symposia sessions JP03 (Physical and Biogeochemical Ocean and Ice Processes in the Southern Ocean: Observations, State Estimation and Modeling) and JP04 (Ice Sheet-Ocean Interactions: Challenges and Insights From Theory, Observations and Modelling) present a cross cutting examination of the Southern Ocean’s interaction with the Antarctic Ice Sheet and associated processes. A breakout session has been organised in order to facilitate a more in depth discussion of the science presented in these sessions, and to take advantage of the congregation of many experts in the field. This will be hosted and moderated by the convenors of these sessions, with the support of the OCEAN:ICE Horizon Europe Project. The hoped for outcome of the session will be a coalescence of the big challenges facing the field right now, and what is needed in terms of observations, modelling and theory to address them.

The discussion session will take place on Friday July 14th, 0830-1000 in room R2 (find us in the meetings tab of the online schedule); on the day between the two sessions and overlapping as little as possible with other relevant sessions. It will follow the format of some short scene setting talks followed by a moderated panel and plenary discussion, arranged around the main themes emerging from the two sessions.

Additionally, the session will be held as a hybrid meeting, with outside participation from people not attending IUGG welcome and encouraged. Access the meeting here.

Discussion themes and panelists will include:

  • Antarctic coastal circulation and heat/freshwater transport – Dr. Wilma Huneke (ANU)
  • Ice sheet-ocean processes: Prof. Sophie Nowicki (U. Buffalo)
  • Modelling ice sheet ocean interaction: Dr. Hélène Seroussi (U. Dartmouth)
  • The carbonate system response to Southern Ocean and ice sheet changes: Prof. Ric Williams (U. Liverpool)
  • Large scale ocean-ice sheet interaction and climate impacts: Dr. Ariaan Purich (Monash U.)

Convenors: Dr. Andrew Meijers (BAS), Dr. Felicity McCormack (Monash U.), Dr. Ruth Mottram (DMI), Dr. Adele Morrison (ANU), Dr. Yoshihiro Nakayama (Hokkaido U.), Prof. Tony Payne (U. Bristol) & Prof. Joellen Russell (U. Arizona)

As a reminder of the session themes:

JP03 Physical and Biogeochemical Ocean and Ice Processes in the Southern Ocean: Observations, State Estimation and Modeling (IAPSO, IACS)

Convener(s): Joellen L. Russel (USA, IAPSO)

Co-Convener(s): Martin Vancoppenolle (France, IACS), Adele Morrison (Australia, IAPSO), Ilana Wainer (Brazil, IAPSO)


Quantification and simulation of the physical and biogeochemical processes that determine the Southern Ocean and its ice cover’s mean state, variability, and response to external forcing are critical to our understanding of the climate system as a whole, and for reducing uncertainties in climate projections. Advances in data collection, state estimation and modeling capabilities have finally established the necessary infrastructure to permit a deeper understanding of the Southern Ocean’s processes that are relevant to climate. This session will present new results based on modeling and/or observational efforts that investigate ocean and ice processes in the Southern Ocean, in terms of physical and biogeochemical processes, as well as ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions.

JP04 Ice Sheet-Ocean Interactions: Challenges and Insights From Theory, Observations and Modelling (IAPSO, IACS, IASPEI)

Convener(s): Felicity McCormack (Australia, IAPSO), Isabel Nias (UK, IACS)

Co-Convener(s): Donald Slater (UK, IACS), Sue Cook (Australia, IACS), Yoshihiro Nakayama (Japan, IAPSO), Helene Seroussi (USA, IACS/IAPSO), Rick Aster (USA, IASPEI)


Ocean-driven melting of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets is accelerating and is a key process contributing to the significant uncertainty associated with estimates of future sea level rise. Ice sheet-ocean interactions range across spatial scales: from the microscale processes governing melt at the ice-ocean boundary layer, through the buoyancy-driven circulation beneath ice shelves and at tidewater glaciers, to large-scale fjord and open ocean circulation patterns; and across a range of timescales: in response to seasonal fluctuations in warm water supply to the ice-ocean front to multi-decadal and centennial oscillations in response to intrinsic ice and ocean dynamic processes. This symposium brings together researchers working in the areas of interactions between ice sheets, ice shelves, tidewater glaciers, icebergs, and the ocean, and covering a range of spatial and temporal scales that are relevant to ocean-driven melting of ice. The session will cover theoretical, observational, and modelling disciplines. Studies that offer new insights and technologies to improve understanding of ice-ocean interactions are particularly welcomed.

Find the full program and information about IUGG 2023 here.