Sea Ice Modelling

Group Leader: 
Einar Örn Ólason


About us

We work on the physics of sea ice and its role in the polar climate system, combining numerical model developments and satellite remote sensing

Research Objectives

We focus on the following research topics:

• To develop the new neXt generation Sea Ice Model, neXtSIM.

This new model includes the Maxwell elasto brittle (MEB) rheology to simulate sea ice dynamics and an adapted code to simulate sea ice thermodynamics including the feedbacks between thermodynamical and dynamical processes.

• To develop and implement a new module into neXtSIM that resolves waves-ice interactions in the Marginal Ice Zone.

• To provide daily sea-ice forecasts for the entire Arctic region using the neXtSIM-F forecast system based on the new neXtSIM Lagrangian sea ice model.

• To understand why sea ice behaves as it does and caracterize the scaling properties of the underlying physics responsible of its dynamical behavior using both model and observations.

• To assess and quantify the role played by the sea ice cover motion and fracturing in affecting the upper ocean mixing, and regulating the primary production in the Arctic Ocean.

• To explain the reasons for the Arctic sea ice cover reduction observed over the last few decades, in a context of polar amplification and climate change.


Name Area of Expertise
Anton Korosov
remote sensing
sea ice
Einar Örn Ólason sea ice
Guillaume Boutin
sea ice
Heather Christine Regan
sea ice
Jonathan Winfield Rheinlænder
Pierre Rampal
sea ice
Timothy Spain
Computer science
sea ice
Timothy Williams
sea ice


The secrets of one of the world’s most advanced sea-ice models

11.10.2022 - 09:00 Henrike Wilborn
Researchers from NERSC and colleagues in France, Germany, and Mali have improved how to simulate sea-ice movement in the Arctic. Their sea-ice model neXtSIM...

Successfully simulating sea-ice breakups with neXtSIM

14.09.2022 - 13:00 Henrike Wilborn
A new study led by Jonathan Rheinlænder at the Nansen Center investigates if the sea-ice model neXtSIM can recreate an unusual breakup event in the Arctic to...

Cleaning up satellite images to make marine activities in the Arctic safer

03.05.2022 - 13:00 Henrike Wilborn
People have been using the Arctic Ocean for over a century, mainly for shipping goods between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. The northern passages come...

New role for Einar Ólason: Co-leader of Arctic ECRA

20.10.2021 - 08:00 Henrike Wilborn
Einar Ólason takes over the co-lead of the collaborative programme "Arctic", one of four core activities of the European Climate Research Alliance (ECRA). He...

New project at NERSC: The Scale-Aware Sea Ice Project (SASIP)

03.05.2021 - 10:30 Henrike Wilborn
Last month a new project has started, with several of our NERSC researchers involved. The "Scale-Aware Sea Ice Project" (SASIP) will run for six years, with...

Sea ice and waves in the Arctic: Modelling important interactions

19.03.2021 - 13:15 Henrike Wilborn
Our Sea Ice Modelling group members Guillaume Boutin, Timothy Williams, Einar Ólason, and Pierre Rampal (NERSC & CNRS) recently published an article...

Modelling sea ice in the Arctic: The Nansen Center’s contribution to the Nansen Legacy project

27.11.2020 - 15:30 Henrike Wilborn
Following the annual meeting for the Nansen Legacy project, which the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center is a partner of, we want to present our...

Gratulerer med dagen, Fridtjof Nansen! His research inspires sea ice modelling today

10.10.2020 - 09:00 Guillaume Boutin
159 years ago today, a legend was born: Fridtjof Nansen, a man who was not afraid to risk his life to prove that sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is drifting. His...

Young Research Talent grant at the Nansen Center

11.12.2016 - 22:20 Pierre Rampal
Dr. Pierre Rampal, researcher at NERSC and leader of the sea ice modelling group, has just been granted the prestigious Young Research Talent ...

SWARP User Workshop 28th - 29th Sept.

11.08.2016 - 08:39 Laurent Bertino
NERSC is hosting a two-days training workshop in the framework of the European SWARP project, on waves and ice forecasting in the Marginal Ice Zone. https://...