Documentation for PISM, a parallel Ice Sheet Model

NEWS: Juneau Ice Field in Cambridge Core news

The Parallel Ice Sheet Model pism0.7 is open source and capable of high resolution. It is widely adopted as a tool for doing science. Features include:

PISM Application of the Month

November 2016

The East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) has been more stable than the other major ice sheets for at least a million years. However, for older warm periods there is evidence suggesting collapse of the Totten Glacier, one of several large, ocean-forced outlets of the EAIS, with retreat into interior basins. This paper shows that deep ice-sheet erosion has occurred in two regions, one at the present-day head of the Glacier and the other deep within the subglacial basin behind it. Aerogeophysical data suggest two distinct configurations, a “modern” ice sheet with a near-present-day margin, and a retreated configuration. The transitional region between these is less eroded, suggesting shorter-lived exposure to repeated retreat–advance events.

What is a role for PISM is such work? In this case, ice-sheet modelling indicates that the sector's retreat-driven global sea-level increase could 0.9 meters in modern-like configurations, with a jump up to 2 meters or more if there is a transition to the retreated configuration.

2016/11/07 15:56 · Ed Bueler

Latest News

PostDoc in ice sheet and climate modelling at AWI Bremerhaven, Germany

The Paleoclimate Dynamics section at Alfred-Wegener-Institut invites applications for a position as a

PostDoc scientist

with a background in ice sheet or climate modelling for the DFG-project “Global sea level change since the Mid Holocene” (SPP 1889).

Background and tasks:

The aim of this project is to study the evolution of polar ice sheets of the last 6000 years and to estimate the role of climate – ice sheet interactions. Combining climate and ice sheet simulations of different resolution, the project particularly focusses on the ice sheets' mass balance and on ice shelf – ocean interactions under natural and anthropogenic climate change.

The postdoc’s duties will include set-up, supervision, and analysis of climate and ice sheet (PISM) simulations as well as publication in peer-reviewed journals.


The successful candidate should have a PhD in glaciology, atmospheric sciences, oceanography or related sciences and should have a background in either ice sheet or climate modelling.

The position is limited to 3 years, starting August 1st, 2016 or later. The salary will be paid in accordance with the German Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes (TVöD Bund), salary level 13. The place of employment will be Bremerhaven.

For further information:

2016/06/15 07:49 · Ed Bueler

PISM stable/dev and PETSc 3.7

PETSc 3.7 was released on April 25, 2016. We are currently working on making PISM compatible with PETSc 3.7 and will announce it here as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please install petsc 3.6.4 from here. PISM version 0.7 (stable0.7 branch) works with any PETSc 3.5.X and higher.

2016/04/27 08:54 · Andy Aschwanden

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, NNX16AQ40G) and by NSF grants PLR-1603799 and PLR-1644277.

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