ISMIP6 21st Century Greenland Projections

By sophie nowicki1, Erika Simon2, ISMIP6 team

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

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This dataset provides the Greenland 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 Greenland ice sheet under selected CMIP scenarios (RCP2.6, RCP8.5, SSP126 and SSP585) and CMIP models. Results of ISMIP6-Projection-Greenland have been published in Goelzer 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. The ocean forcing datasets are also described in Slater et al. (2019, 2020). The sampling methodology for the CMIP5 models (MIROC5, NorESM, HadGEM2-ES, IPSL-CM5-MR, CSIRO-Mk3.6, ACCESS1.3) 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 5km grid by ISMIP6. Polar stereo-graphic projection with standard parallel at 70° N and a central meridian of 45° W (315° E) on datum WGS84 (EPSG3413 projection). The lower left cell center is at (-720000m,-3450000m) with nx=1681 and ny=2881 cells in x and y-direction at full km positions (xmin = -720 km, xmax = +960 km, ymin = -3450 km, ymax = -570 km). The original submission from modeling groups are available upon request by emailing 

A brief overview of participating models and characteristics is shown in the table below (see Goelzer 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-Greenland 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 CMIP 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. Donald Slater, Denis Felixson, Mathieu Morlinghem and Heiko Goelzer have been instrumental in the development of the ice front retreat and melt parameterization and associated dataset. Xavier Fettweis, Patrick Alexander and Heiko Goelzer prepared the atmospheric dataset. Alice Barthel, Chris Little, Cecile Agosta, and Jamie Holte 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.