Welcome! We are the Ice Sheets and Climate research group, led by Jan Lenaerts. We are part of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (ATOC).

In our group, we try to understand and answer the following scientific questions:

How do ice sheets respond to weather, climate variability, and climate change? 

What are the main processes driving this ice sheet response?

How can we improve the models that represent these processes?

Our research focuses on ice sheet surface processes, and on the interactions between the ice sheets and the regional (polar) and global climate system. We are interested in understanding the atmospheric (e.g. large-scale atmospheric circulation, atmospheric warming), snow (e.g. surface melt, runoff), and atmosphere-snow processes (e.g. albedo-melt feedback, drifting snow, polar clouds, etc.) that cause the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets to respond to weather, climate, and climate change. Our main tools are snow and climate models, which we try to understand & improve by combining observations (from the field, airborne, and satellite remote sensing) with knowledge on the physical processes. 

Our group is strongly involved in the Community Earth System Model (CESM) consortium. As contributing members of the Land Ice Working Group, we aim to understand ice sheet changes in a global context.

group on hike

Ice sheets and Climate group in March '20. From left to right: Michelle Maclennan (thanks to the wonders of Photoshop and Nicki), Jan Lenaerts, Nicki Montgomery, Nander Wever, Devon Dunmire, Tessa Gorte, Eric Keenan, Megan Thompson-Munson, and Brice Noël (visiting from Utrecht University).