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C-SIDE 1st workshop: Developing Data and Modeling Capacity to Understand Past Changes in Sea Ice in the Southern Ocean

Vancouver, BC, Canada
Workshop report
Contact person
Karen Kohfeld
E-Mail address
Working groups
Meeting Category

The PAGES working group Cycles of Sea Ice Dynamics in the Earth System (C-SIDE) will hold their first workshop, titled "Developing Data and Modeling Capacity to Understand Past Changes in Sea Ice in the Southern Ocean" from 24-26 October 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.

Access a pdf copy (4.8MB) of the final program here.


Day 1: Segal Building, 500 Granville Street (corner of Granville and Pender)

Rooms 1300-1500, 8:00-17:30;

Day 2: SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings

Plenary: Room 1600, semicircular tiered seating with desktop outlets (no windows), 8:00-16:30

Break-out Rooms: Breakout rooms 1500, 1520 and 2200, 10:00-13:00

Day 3: Wosk Centre, Room 370 Executive Meeting Room, 8:00-13:00


This workshop is limited to approximately 35 participants.

Seven places are still available. Suitable attendees would be scientists working on:

- modern, high-resolution sea-ice modeling

- Quaternary sea-ice reconstruction in the Southern Ocean

- links between sea ice and ocean biogeochemistry

- links between sea ice and physical oceanographic circulation

This represents the first of three workshops to be held in the first three-year working group cycle. We will provide opportunities for smaller sub-groups to assemble at the IUGG congress in Montreal, Canada in July 2019, and then have scheduled Workshop 2 (2019) to occur just prior to the International Conference on Paleoceanography (ICP13) meeting (1-6 September 2019) in Sydney, Australia. A third workshop will occur in 2020 (location to be decided).


Southern Ocean sea ice plays important roles within the Earth system, affecting nutrient cycling, ocean productivity, air-sea gas exchange, deep-water formation, and ocean heat transport. As Southern Ocean sea ice cover is currently changing and will continue to change in future, it is important for our climate models to accurately simulate sea ice and its effects on the climate system. However, climate models currently produce large differences in sea-ice formation – and responses to that formation - for both past and present climates (e.g. Roche et al. 2012; Marzocchi and Jansen 2017).

These differences have profound implications regarding the ability of models to project future responses to sea ice change.  Reconstructions of sea-ice cover during past climate periods can aid in our understanding of the Earth system and serve as a valuable benchmark for our climate models.  However, our understanding of past sea ice conditions in the Southern Ocean is currently limited to a handful of locations.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together an international team of oceanographers, Earth system modelers, micropaleontologists, and geochemists who share expertise in sea ice reconstruction, to assemble a hemispheric reconstruction of transient changes in sea-ice extent for the last full glacial cycle (130,000 years). We have invited several outstanding early career researchers (PhDs received in last five years), and researchers from developing and BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).


This community aims to:

1. assemble existing records of sea ice proxies in the Southern Ocean;

2. coordinate taxonomic and statistical approaches between regions;

3. develop regional reconstructions of sea-ice dynamics;

4. compare these reconstructions with other regional reconstructions of environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, circulation, marine productivity, and ice core proxies of sea ice change); and

5. compare these sea ice reconstructions with model simulations of sea ice cover the full glacial-interglacial cycle.

This workshop will initiate development of the first global database of Southern Ocean sea ice behavior for the past 130,000 years, establish a network of climate model simulations spanning the same time period, and provide the groundwork for the publication of a special issue presenting these results.

A major goal of our first workshop is to establish the database template and archiving protocol as a firm basis for the development of the datasets to be put together by regional groups.

Key speakers/participants

Bostock, Helen

Crosta, Xavier

Kohfeld, Karen

Leventer, Amy

Meissner, Katrin

Allen, Claire

DuVivier, Alice

Eby, Michael

Esper, Oliver

Jaccard, Sam

Jones, Jacob

Lange, Carina

Marzocchi, Alice

Menviel, Laurie

Mix, Alan

Müller, Juliane

Nair, Abhilash

Patterson, Molly

Pike, Jenny

Prebble, Joe

Reisselman, Christina

Rhodes, Rachael

Shukla, Sunil

Sime, Louise

Xiao, Wenshen

Yang, Jiao

Zickfeld, Kirsten

Williams, James


Access a pdf copy (4.8MB) of the final program here.

Day 1 - Introduction of ongoing science

8:30-9:00: Workshop Check-In

Part I: Overview

9:00-9:10: Karen Kohfeld, Welcome/Orientation

9:10-9:30: Katrin Meissner, Goals of PAGES Working Groups

9:30-9:50: Karen Kohfeld, Overview and Goals of the C-SIDE Working Group

9:50-10:10: All, Introductions (Names, affiliations, backgrounds)

10:10-10:30: Alice Marzocchi, Link between Sea Ice and Deep Ocean Circulation

10:30-10:50: Presentation, Link between Sea Ice and biogeochemistry

10:50-11:10: Coffee break

Part II: Reconstruction of Sea Ice

11:10-11:30: Xavier Crosta, Diatoms as a Proxy for Sea Ice: Advances and Challenges (What data are available? What do they show? What are controversies? What do we still need to know (How reliable are the proxies? Calibrations?)

11:30-11:50: Rachael Rhodes, Sea Ice as seen from the ice cores

11:50-12:10: Juliane Mueller, Development of new sea ice proxies

12:10-12:30: Discussion, How do we incorporate data that are providing different or inconsistent information?

12:30-13:30: Lunch

Part III: Speed Talks

13:30-15:00: Participants have 5 minutes to present 1-3 slides regarding their work

15:00-15:20: Coffee break

Part IV: Identifying Research Questions and Key Open Controversies

15:20-15:30: Helen Bostock, Introduce Idea for Controversies Paper for AGU 100; Deadline, Overview paper, AGU/EGU abstract 15:30-16:30: Parallell small-group discussion, Identify research questions and key open controversies. Keep in mind: (1) Are there specific topics relevant for specific regions? Identify topics / regions for data assemblage (2) What data should be included in the database to address these controversies?

16:30-16:50: Report back, Identify roles for paper

16:50-17:00: Karen Kohfeld, Housekeeping Wrap-Up: Identify social media guru; Evening plans; Plans for tomorrow

17:30-onwards: Evening activity at Pub Irish Heather

Day 2 - Establish working groups; plan database and model simulation development

Part V: Database and model-data development

9:00-9:20: Amy Leventer, Summary of Highlights for Day 1; Goals for Day 2

9:20-9:50: Presentation, How can Earth system modeling be integrated into this working group?

9:50-10:10: Presentation, How can LinkedEarth Facilitate Data Synthesis Efforts?

10:10-10:30: Karen Kohfeld, Establishment of data compilation protocols

10:30-10:50: Coffee break

10:50-12:30: Break out groups: WG 1: Modeling - Existing Modeling Simulations; Data needs for model evaluation; WG 2: Sea Ice Proxies - What needs to be included so a database can be interpreted correctly; WG 3: Complementary data sets

12:30-13:30: Lunch

13:30-14:30: WGs 1-3 Report back

Part VI: Future Planning

14:30-15:30: Helen Bostock, Discussion: Establishment of 3-year working plan; Development of Topical/Regional Working groups; Special Issue?; Planning of Model Simulations; Final Database Development Plans

15:30-15:40: Karen Kohfeld, Meeting Wrap-Up, Planning for next meeting

19:30-21:00: Xavier Crosta, Evening Presentation at SFU Harbour Centre

Day 3 - Focused writing of sea-ice controversies and workshop write-up documents (small groups)

9:00-12:00: Small Groups, Outline of Controversies Paper; Assigning of Specific Writing Tasks; Preparation of Workshop Report

12:00: Lunch (not provided by workshop) and time for sightseeing.

Outreach event

Xavier Crosta will speak at an outreach event, sponsored by the SFU Faculty of Environment, on "Antarctic Sea Ice in a Changing World" on Thursday 25 October from 19:00-21:00 at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings St, Room 1900.

Access a pdf of the outreach event flyer here.


Funding for this workshop has been provided by:

Past Global Changes (PAGES)

National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC; grant to Karen Kohfeld)

Simon Fraser University (Faculty of Environment; Coastal Science Fund; Vice President of Academics Conference Fund; and SFU Academic Women)

Further information

Contact workshop organizer Karen Kohfeld: (kohfeld[at]sfu[dot]ca)