Documentation for PISM, a parallel Ice Sheet Model

NEWS: A worst case for the Antarctic Ice Sheet

The Parallel Ice Sheet Model pism0.7 is an open source, parallel, high-resolution ice sheet model. Features:

  • hierarchy of shallow stress balances
  • marine ice sheet physics, dynamic calving fronts
  • polythermal, enthalpy-based conservation of energy scheme
  • subglacial hydrology and till model
  • extensible coupling to atmospheric and ocean models
  • inversion toolbox in Python
  • verification and validation tools
  • complete documentation for users and developers
  • uses MPI and PETSc for parallel simulations
  • reads and writes CF-compliant NetCDF

PISM Application of the Month

August 2015


Click the image to go to the Nature Climate Change page.

Consistent evidence of increasing Antarctic accumulation with warming
investigator: K. Frieler and others
journal: Nature Climate Change

The Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) will likely experience higher snow accumulation rates in a warmer climate because warmer air has a higher moisture-holding capacity. This paper quantifies the effect based on ice-core data and paleo-climate simulations, which together show a consistent continental-scale accumulation increase of 5 percent per degree Kelvin. (Note ice-core data and GCM-type modelling results agree for the last deglaciation.) However, some of the mass gain of the AIS is offset by dynamical losses induced by accumulation. This is where PISM plays a supporting role in the paper. PISM results were used to generate a response function allowing projections of sea-level fall in terms of continental-scale accumulation changes. In PISM the accumulation changes can and do compete with changes in surface melting and with dynamical losses induced by mechanisms like ocean interaction and sliding.

2015/08/15 14:34 · Ed Bueler

Latest News

Postdoc for ESM/PISM modeler (MPI-M Hamburg)

This is a re-posting of the CRYOLIST announcement from Uwe Mikolajewicz

The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) is a multidisciplinary center for climate and Earth system research located in Hamburg, Germany. MPI-M contributes to the BMBF project “From the Last Interglacial to the Anthropocene: Modeling a Complete Glacial Cycle” (PalMod), which aims at simulating the climate from the peak of the last interglacial up to the present using comprehensive Earth System Models.

With respect to this research project, we have an open position for a

Postdoctoral Scientist (m/f, Ref. MPIM-W009)

The successful candidate will be part of a local team performing and analyzing transient simulations from the last Glacial to the Holocene with an interactively coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice sheet model. Additionally the candidate will contribute to the development of this model. The model system will consist of the MPI-Earth system model and the ice sheet model PISM.

  • A PhD in oceanography/meteorology/physics or a related science.
  • Experience in performing and analyzing experiments with a comprehensive earth system model or ice sheet model;
  • Strong motivation and ability to carry out model development in an interdisciplinary and international environment;
  • Ability and desire to work in a closely cooperating team;
  • Excellent communication skills and publication record;
  • Familiarity with coding and running computer models, very good programming skills in FORTRAN (on a Linux platform) and scripting;
  • Knowledge of the MPI-Earth system model or the ice sheet model PISM would be of advantage.

more details

Additional PhD Fellowships

For information on PhD Fellowships in Earth System Modeling at MPI-M, see

2015/08/17 08:40 · Ed Bueler

PISM version 0.7.1 and PETSc 3.6.1

PISM v0.7.1 was released 30 June 2015. In addition to bug fixes this version adds support for PETSc 3.6.1, which was released 22 July 2015.

PETSc 3.6.0 is not supported due to a bug in PETSc. Please use PETSc 3.5.4 or >= 3.6.1 with PISM.

2015/06/30 09:45 · Constantine Khroulev

PISM team

PISM is jointly developed at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). For more about the team see the UAF Developers and PIK Developers pages.

UAF developers, who are in the Glaciers Group at the GI, are supported by NASA's Modeling, Analysis, and Prediction and Cryospheric Sciences Programs (grants NAG5-11371, NNX09AJ38C, NNX13AM16G, NNX13AK27G) and by the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center.

home.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/30 19:16 by Ed Bueler
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