Some of the terminology used within the ice2sea programme has a specific and precise scientific meaning that may not be apparent to the general reader, or may, in common usage, be used slightly differently. Below are specific definitions.

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Term Definition
Ablation Processes by which snow and ice are lost from a glacier, floating ice, or snow cover. These processes include melting, evaporation, (sublimation), wind erosion, and calving
Calving The process of detachment of icebergs and smaller blocks of ice from a glacier into water.
Continental ice A collective term for all ice, glaciers, ice caps and ice sheets that rest on land. For the purposes of the ice2sea programme, not including permafrost, seasonal snow cover, or lake/river ice.
Eemian The Eemian was an interglacial period which began about 130,000 years ago and ended about 114,000 years ago. It was the second-to-latest interglacial period of the current Ice Age, the most recent being the Holocene which extends to the present day. The prevailing Eemian climate is believed to have been similar to that of the Holocene.
Eustatic sea-level rise (As opposed to local change) results in an alteration to the global sea levels due to changes in either the volume of water in the world oceans or net changes in the volume of the ocean basins.
Firn Partially-compacted névé, a type of snow that has been left over from past seasons and has been recrystallized into a substance denser than névé. It is ice that is at an intermediate stage between snow and glacial ice. Firn has the appearance of wet sugar, but has a hardness that makes it extremely resistant to shovelling. Its density generally ranges from 550 kg/m³-830 kg/m³ and can be often found underneath the snow that accumulates at the head of a glacier.
Full Stokes ice model A fully 3-D model of ice that requires considerable computer time to run, but which provides the most reliable prediction of ice-response since it solves to full set of Stokes equations to describe the motion of the ice.
Glacier Any body of ice that flows from an area of accumulation to an area of ablation (loss)
Glaciology The branch of geology that deals with the nature, distribution, andaction of glaciers and with their effect on the earth’s topography.
Grounding line Contact of the ice sheet with the ocean, where it starts to float and forms an ice shelf or ice tongue.
Holocene The Holocene is a geological epoch which began 11,700 years ago and continues to the present. It has been identified with the current warm period and based on that past evidence can be considered an interglacial in the current ice age.
Hypsometry A topographic description of a glacier that expresses its likely sensitivity to changes in climate and snow-fall.
Ice cap A dome of glacial ice with a generally radial flow pattern usually covering an island .
Ice sheet A glacier of considerable thickness and more than 50,000 km 2, forming a continuous cover over a land surface, spreading outward in all directions. (Two ice sheets still exist on Earth, one covering Greenland and the other in Antarctica).
Ice Shelf A continuous plate of floating ice which extends seaward from a grounded glacier or ice sheet
Ice-response model Generic term used by ice2sea for the dynamic/statistical models of ice-sheet, ice-cap, glacier that we will use to predict the future behaviour of continental ice masses.
Last Glacial Maximum The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) refers to a period in the Earth’s climate history when ice sheets were at their maximum extension, between 26,500 and 19,000–20,000 years ago, marking the peak of the last glacial period.
Marine ice sheet An ice sheet that rests on rock that is below sea level and would remain below sea level once the ice was removed.
Mean sea level MSL is a measure of the average height of the ocean’s surface (such as the halfway point between the mean high tide and the mean low tide); used as a standard in reckoning land elevation.
Mountain glacier A channel of flowing ice flowing in a mountain environment.
Nunatak An isolated hill or peak which projects through the surface of a glacier and is completely surrounded by ice or snow.
Sea ice Ice that forms by the freezing of sea water. (Cf. ice shelves and icebergs which also float on the sea and are derived from glacier ice on land).
Shallow ice approximation model A simple ice-sheet model that can be embedded in a model of global climate.
Surface mass balance Collectively, the processes that lead to the accumulation or ablation of snow on the surface of a glacier or ice sheet (precipitation, wind-transport, melting/refreezing).
Tidewater glacier A channel of flowing ice that terminates in the sea.
Acronymns Definition
SMB Surface Mass Balance
DEM Digital Elevation Model
RCM Regional Climate Model
ECHAM The ECHAM GCM has its original roots in global forecast models developed at ECMWF. This model has been modified for climate research, and its development continued to the current cycle ECHAM5.ECHAM is a comprehensive general circulation model of the atmosphere. Depending on the configuration the model resolves the atmosphere up to 10 hPa (ECHAM) or up to 0.01 hPa (MAECHAM). The former model has been used extensively to study the climate of the troposphere, the latter allows to include also the middle atmosphere.
HadCM Hadley Centre Climate Model
GCM Global Climate Model
LGM Last Glacial Maximum
ECMWF European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts

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