COSIPY v1.3 – an open-source coupled snowpack and ice surface energy and mass balance model

Tobias Sauter, Anselm Arndt, Christoph Schneider
2020 Geoscientific Model Development  
Abstract. Glacier changes are a vivid example of how environmental systems react to a changing climate. Distributed surface mass balance models, which translate the meteorological conditions on glaciers into local melting rates, help to attribute and detect glacier mass and volume responses to changes in the climate drivers. A well-calibrated model is a suitable test bed for sensitivity, detection, and attribution analyses for many scientific applications and often serves as a tool for
more » ... a tool for quantifying the inherent uncertainties. Here, we present the open-source COupled Snowpack and Ice surface energy and mass balance model in PYthon (COSIPY), which provides a flexible and user-friendly framework for modeling distributed snow and glacier mass changes. The model has a modular structure so that the exchange of routines or parameterizations of physical processes is possible with little effort for the user. The framework consists of a computational kernel, which forms the runtime environment and takes care of the initialization, the input–output routines, and the parallelization, as well as the grid and data structures. This structure offers maximum flexibility without having to worry about the internal numerical flow. The adaptive subsurface scheme allows an efficient and fast calculation of the otherwise computationally demanding fundamental equations. The surface energy balance scheme uses established standard parameterizations for radiation as well as for the energy exchange between atmosphere and surface. The schemes are coupled by solving both surface energy balance and subsurface fluxes iteratively such that consistent surface skin temperature is returned at the interface. COSIPY uses a one-dimensional approach limited to the vertical fluxes of energy and matter but neglects any lateral processes. Accordingly, the model can be easily set up in parallel computational environments for calculating both energy balance and climatic surface mass balance of glacier surfaces based on flexible horizontal grids and with varying temporal resolution. The model is made available on a freely accessible site and can be used for non-profit purposes. Scientists are encouraged to actively participate in the extension and improvement of the model code.
doi:10.5194/gmd-13-5645-2020 fatcat:hnp3xoyszjd7jo6ysjt6jnrg7e