ISMIP6 21st Century Antarctic Projections

By sophie nowicki1, Erika Simon2, ISMIP6 Team

1. Department of Geology and RENEW Institute, University at Buffalo 2. NASA GSFC

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This dataset provides the Antarctic ice sheet model output produced as part of the Ice Sheet Model Intercomparison Project for CMIP6 (ISMIP6, Eyring et al., 2016; Nowicki et al. 2016).  These simulations focus on 21st century evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet under selected CMIP scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP8.5, SSP126 and SSP585) and CMIP models. Results of ISMIP6-Projection-Antarctica have been published in Seroussi et al. (2020) and Payne et al. (2021).  


See here and Nowicki et al. (2020) for the experimental protocol, CMIP models, forcing datasets and requested model output data. More information on the oceanic datasets is provided in Jourdain et al. (2020). The sampling methodology for the CMIP5 models (NorESM1-M, MIROC-ESM-CHEM, CCSM4, HadGEM2-RS, CSIRO-Mk3, IPSL-CM5A-MR) is described in Barthel et al. (2020). As CMIP6 models became available, ISMIP6 prepared dataset for CNRM-CM6 (SSP585 and SSP126), CESM2 (SSP585) and UKEM1-CM6 (SSP585). Unlike for the rigorous analysis for the CMIP5 models, the CMIP6 models were selected because of their availability. The forcing dataset is also available via GHub.

To view available experiments and individual ice sheet model contributions see the summary table in the attached documentation.

This archive only contains time varying 2D variables (see Table A1 of ISMIP6 wiki). The data have been conservatively interpolated to a 8km diagnostic grid by ISMIP6. Polar stereo-graphic projection with standard parallel at 71° S and a central meridian of 0° W on datum WGS84. The lower left corner is at (-3040000 m, -3040000 m) and the upper right at (3040000 m, 3040000 m). This is the same grid used to provide the SMB and basal melting anomaly forcings. The original submission from modeling groups are available upon request by emailing 

A brief overview of the participating models and their characteristics is shown in the table below (Table 3 of Seroussi et al., 2020)


Downloading Data

The data can be downloaded from the Globus GHub-ISMIP6-Projections endpoint. Please log in and click on the Download tab to receive the Download instructions.


The experimental protocol and datasets for the ISMIP6-Projections-Antarctica standalone ice sheet simulations would not have been possible without the effort of many scientists that have given their time and expertise, and have run models to convert the CMIP5 models output into datasets that standalone ice sheet models can use. ISMIP6 would like to thank the ocean focus group under the leadership of Fiamma Straneo, the atmospheric focus group under the leadership of Bill Lipscomb and Robin Smith, and the CMIP5 model evaluation focus group under the leadership of Alice Barthel. Xylar Asay-Davis, Nicolas Jourdain, Tore Hattermann, Chris Little, Helene Seroussi have been instrumental in the development of the ice shelf basal melt rate parameterization and associated datasets. Erika Simon, Richard Cullather and Sophie Nowicki prepared the atmospheric dataset. Luke Trusel and Helene Seroussi prepared the ice shelf fracture dataset. Alice Barthel, Chris Little, Cecile Agosta, Nicolas Jourdain, and Tore Hattermann provided a rigorous analysis of the CMIP5 models against historical data, which allowed the CMIP5 model evaluation group and the ISMIP6 steering committee to select the CMIP5 models used in this effort. Finally, we thank the ISMIP6 ice sheet modelers for their feedback on the design of the protocol and their willingness to participate in ISMIP6.

Terms of use and citation requirements

To enable modeling groups and others who support CMIP6 and ISMIP6 to demonstrate its impact (and secure ongoing funding), you are required to cite and acknowledge those who have made CMIP6 and ISMIP6 possible. Please read and adhere to the CMIP6 and ISMIP6 Terms of Use.