Over the last decade, substantial progress has been made on observing and modeling firn processes on land ice, including glaciers and ice caps outside of the large ice sheets. Understanding firn layer processes such as accumulation and water percolation is critical for assessing, for example, mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet, the risk of destabilization for the floating ice shelves that buttress much of Antarctica’s ice and, on the other side of the mass balance equation, the future role of East Antarctica in potentially storing more ice on land. With increasing detail and resolution of ice sheet and climate models, as well as remote sensing products, the time is right to bring together the global research community on firn processes to discuss the current state of our knowledge and identify the future developments which will serve the broader cryosphere community. To discuss this in a collaborative, collaborative and global framework, we propose to bring together the firn research community in an online workshop, organized during the month of May 2022. The workshop is funded by the AntClimNow Scientific Research Program by the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (https://www.scar.org/science/antclimnow/home/).
The goals of our workshop are:
- To provide an accessible-for-all framework for presenting, sharing, and discussing new research on firn processes on land ice, with a particular focus on early-career scientists.
- To discuss and synthesize the current state of knowledge and open questions regarding the general theme of firn on land ice.
- To enhance collaboration between data-focused (observational) and modeling-focused communities, and entrain expertise from neighboring disciplines such as seasonal snow and ice sheet dynamics, which are essential steps in addressing the next big challenges in understanding firn.
The workshop will be organized throughout the month of May 2022, and consists of three phases:
- Sharing phase (May 2-13): presenters will share their work online (via pre recorded presentations). Everyone gets a chance to explore the shared work on a cloud based video platform, which will be organized into themes that are defined by the participants. Slack will be used to communicate within the community. Monetary awards will be given out to excellent student and early-career scientist presenters.
- Topical discussion phase (May 16-20): each theme will organize an online discussion focused on the shared work. Each topical discussion will be organized and led by two coordinators, one early career representative and one senior scientist.
- Joint session phase (May 23-24): overview talks by themes and outlook/summary talks, spread over two days (Monday and Tuesday).
All live sessions will accommodate as many time zones as possible. Participants unable to attend live sessions will have immediate access to recordings of the sessions.
The synthesis phase (June-September) will feature the writing of the workshop outcomes in a review paper. Each pair of topical coordinators will lead the writing of a section, and will be co-author of the review paper.