September 15, 1997 to November 1, 1998
Project Location: 
Arctic Ocean
Project Phase: 
Data Stewardship
Project Description: 

SHEBA is motivated by the large discrepancies among simulations by global climate models (GCMs) of the present and future climate in the arctic and by uncertainty about the impact of the arctic on climate change. These problems arise from an incomplete understanding of the physics of vertical energy exchange within the ocean/ice/atmosphere system. To address this problem, the SHEBA project is focused on enhancing understanding of the key processes that determine ice albedo feedback in the arctic pack ice and on a applying this knowledge to improve climate modeling.


(1) Develop accurate physical and mathematical relationships between the state of the ice cover and albedo, for any given incident short-wave radiation

(2) Determine how the state of the ice cover changes in response to forcing from the atmosphere and the ocean

(3) Relate the surface forcing to conditions within the atmospheric and oceanic boundary layers

(4) Extend the relationships determined in Objectives 1-3 from local scales to the aggregate scales suitable for climate models

(5) Establish a basic data set suitable for developing and testing climate models that incorporate the processes SHEBA is proposing to study.