The Los Alamos sea ice model (CICE) is the result of an effort to develop a computationally efficient sea ice component for use in fully coupled, atmosphere-ice-ocean-land global climate models, and it was originally developed to be compatible with the Parallel Ocean Program (POP). CICE was used in several of the climate models contributing to the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Although it is designed for global climate modeling, CICE can also be used in standalone mode for sea ice simulations. The current version of the model has been enhanced greatly through collaborations with members of the Community Climate System Model Polar Climate Working Group, based at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and researchers at the U. K. Met Office Hadley Centre, the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling, and the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory. We especially thank the DOE Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) effort for both funding and the dedication required to get CICE v5.1 running successfully in both RASM and CESM, along with the addition of many model enhancements.

A new sea ice modeling consortium for CICE

CICE’s community of stakeholders and primary developers has formed a new Sea Ice Modeling Consortium as a vehicle for collaboration and sharing, to maintain the current CICE model for existing and new users, to incorporate and maintain new research and development, and to accelerate scientific sea ice model development and its transfer into operational use.


Source code, documentation and data sets

The CICE code is freely available under a CopyRight agreement, including full documentation and basic forcing data for testing. CICE version 5.1 was publicly released in March, 2015. The main web page with documentation and downloads is here:


CICE Documentation and User's Guide (pdf)


Mailing List

If you would like announcements about releases and other CICE information, you can subscribe to the cice-users list. To subscribe, send an e-mail to listmanager@… (listmanager at with the message "subscribe cice-users". We will need to confirm your request before you are officially added.

Users and Collaborators

We have begun to compile a list of references to document the wide usage that CICE enjoys, and we appreciate your assistance in this effort: CiceUsers

To distribute your CICE modifications to the CICE user community: CiceCodeModifications

A list of ongoing code development collaborations: CiceDev

CICE: the name

The Los Alamos developers pronounce the name as "sea ice," but there has been a small grass-roots movement underway to alter the model name's pronunciation to what an Italian might say, "chee-chay." Others choose to say "sice" (English, rhymes with "ice"), "seese" (French, like "cease") or "shii-aisu" (Japanese). However you pronounce it, it is CICE, the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model.

Update: The CICE Consortium voted that the name should be pronounced as "sice".

Last modified 7 weeks ago Last modified on 12/02/16 16:49:00

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