Simultaneous Parameter Optimization of an Arctic Sea Ice–Ocean Model by a Genetic Algorithm

Hiroshi.Sumata [ at ]


Improvement and optimization of numerical sea ice models are of great relevance for understanding the role of sea ice in the climate system. They are also a prerequisite for meaningful prediction. To improve the simulated sea ice properties, we develop an objective parameter optimization system for a coupled sea ice– oceanmodel based on a genetic algorithm. To take the interrelation of dynamic and thermodynamicmodel parameters into account, the system is set up to optimize 15 model parameters simultaneously. The optimization is minimizing a cost function composed of the model–observation misfit of three sea ice quantities (concentration, drift, and thickness). The system is applied for a domain covering the entire Arctic and northern North Atlantic Ocean with an optimization window of about two decades (1990–2012). It successfully improves the simulated sea ice properties not only during the period of optimization but also in a validation period (2013–16). The similarity of the final values of the cost function and the resulting sea ice fields from a set of 11 independent optimizations suggest that the obtained sea ice fields are close to the best possible achievable by the current model setup, which allows us to identify limitations of the model formulation. The optimized parameters are applied for a simulation with a higher-resolution model to examine a portability of the parameters. The result shows good portability, while at the same time, it shows the importance of the oceanic conditions for the portability.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Research Networks
Peer revision
ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1175/MWR-D-18-0360.1

Cite as
Sumata, H. , Kauker, F. , Karcher, M. and Gerdes, R. (2019): Simultaneous Parameter Optimization of an Arctic Sea Ice–Ocean Model by a Genetic Algorithm , Monthly Weather Review . doi: 10.1175/MWR-D-18-0360.1



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