ELIC Louvain-La-Neuve

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Short bio

I obtained my PhD in Sciences in 2014 from the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). During his PhD, under supervision of Profs T. Fichefet and H. Goosse, I developed various metrics to evaluate sea ice models used in the framework of climate reconstructions, predictions and projections. I participated as a contributing author to the IPCC WG1 AR5 and was involved in several national and international research projects about climate prediction and predictability. I also implemented da assimilation methods in large-scale sea ice models for state and parameter estimation. 

I then started a F.R.S. -FNRS Post-Doctoral fellowship as a scientific visitor at the Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences (Spain). My main collaborators there are Francisco Doblas-Reyes and Virginie Guemas. where I was focusing on the prediction of climate at seasonal to interannualtime scales using theeuropeanclimate model EC-Earth. There, I explored various aspects of seasonal-to-decadal polar and extra-polar prediction, including attribution of extreme events, improved initialization techniques, novel aspects of forecast verification and linkages of the Arctic system with lower latitudes. In particular, I implemented an ensemble coupled sea ice data assimilation method in the General Circulation Model EC-Earth for initialization of near-term predictions in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Since December 2016, I am a F.R.S.-FNRS Postdoctoral Researcher at the Université catholique de Louvain. My work is focused on the use and assessment of climate general circulation models for prediction at time scales from the month to the decade.


Peer-Reviewed publications

Submitted/In Revision

Massonnet, F., Vancoppenolle, M., Goosse, H., Docquier, D., Fichefet, T. and Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, E. Arctic sea-ice change tied to its mean state through thermodynamic processes

Lebrun, M., Vancoppenolle, M., Madec, G. and Massonnet, F. Arctic sea-ice free season projected to extend into fall.

Manubens, N., Caron, L. P., Hunter, A., Bellprat, O., Exarchou, E., Fučkar, N. S., Garcia-Serrano, J., Massonnet, F., Ménégoz, M., Sicardi, V., Batté, L., Prodhomme, C., Torralba, V.,Cortesi, N., Mula-Valls, O., Serradell, K., Guemas, V., Doblas-Reyes, F. J. s2dverification: an R package for forecast verification.

Uotila, P., Goosse, H., Haines, K., Chevallier, M., Barthelemy, A., Bricaud, C., Carton, J.,Fuckar, N. Garric, G., Iovino, D., Kauker, F., Korhonen, M., Lien, V., Marnela, M., Massonnet,F., Mignac, D., Peterson, A., Sadikhi, R. Shi, L., Tietsche, S., Toyoda, T., Xie, J., Zhang, Z. An assessment of ten ocean reanalyses in the polar regions.

Kimmritz, M., Counillon, F., Bitz, C., Massonnet, F., Bethke, I., Gao, Y. Optimising assimilation of sea ice concentration in an Earth system model with a multicategory sea ice model.

H. Goosse, J. E. Kay, K. C. Armour, A. Bodas-Salcedo, H. Chepfer, D. Docquier, A. Jonko, P. J. Kushner, O. Lecomte, F. Massonnet, H. –S. Park, F. Pithan, G. Svensson, M. Vancoppenolle, Beyond radiative feedbacks: a process-oriented perspective on climate feedbacks in polar regions


  1. Docquier, D., Massonnet, F., Tandon, N. F., Lecomte, O., and Fichefet, T.: Arctic sea ice drift-strength feedback modelled by NEMO-LIM3.6, Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-60, accepted (2017)
  2. Bellprat, O., Massonnet, F., Siegert, S., Prodhomme, C., Macias-Gómez, D., Guemas, V., Doblas-Reyes, F. J. Uncertainty propagation in observational references to climate model scales. Remote Sens. Env. , in press (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rse.2017.06.034)
  3. Fučkar, N., Massonnet, F., Guemas, V., García-Serrano, J., Bellprat, O., Doblas-Reyes, F. J. and Acosta, M. Record low Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent in March 2015 in Explaining Extreme Events of 2015 from a Climate Perspective. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0153.1
  4. Bellprat, O., Massonnet, F., García-Serrano, J., Fučkar, N., Guemas, V. and Doblas-Reyes, F. J. The role of Arctic sea ice and sea surface temperatures on the cold 2015 February over North America, in Explaining Extreme Events of 2015 from a Climate Perspective, Bulletin of American Meteorological Society, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0159.1(2016)
  5. Massonnet, F., Bellprat, O., Guemas, V. & Doblas-Reyes, F. J. Using climate models to estimate the quality of global observational data sets. Science 354 452-455, doi:10.1126/science.aaf6369 (2016)
  6. Prodhomme, C., Batté, L., Massonnet, F., Davini, P., Bellprat, O., Guemas, V. and Doblas-Reyes, F. J. Benefits of increasing the model resolution for the seasonal forecast quality in EC-Earth. J. Clim., doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0117.1 (2016)
  7. E. Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, A. Barthélemy, M. Chevallier, R. Cullather, N. Fučkar, F. Massonnet, P. Posey, W. Wang, J. Zhang, C. Ardilouze, C. M. Bitz, G. Vernieres, A. Wallcraft, and M. Wang (2016). Multi-model seasonal forecast of Arctic sea-ice: forecast uncertainty at pan-Arctic and regional scales. Climate Dynamics, doi:10.1007/s00382-016-3388-9
  8. D. Notz A. Jahn, M. Holland, E. Hunke, F. Massonnet, J. Stroeve, B. Tremblay, M. Vancoppenolle (2016), The CMIP6 Sea-Ice Model Intercomparison Project (SIMIP): understanding sea ice through climate-model simulations, Geoscientific Model Development 9 3427-3446, doi:10.5194/gmd-9-3427-2016 .
  9. N. Steiner, C. Deal, D. Lannuzel, D. Lavoie, F. Massonnet, L. Miller, S. Moreau, E. Popova, J. Stefels, L. Tedesco, What sea-ice biogeochemical modellers need from observationalists. Elementa Science of the Anthropocene 4: 000084. doi: 10.12952/journal.elementa.000084
  10. H. Goessling, T. Jung, S. Klebe J. Baeseman, P. Bauer, P. Chen, M. Chevallier, R. Dole, N. Gordon, P. Ruti, A. Bradley, D. Bromwich, B. Casati, D. Chechin, J. Day, F. Massonnet, B. Mills, I. Renfrew, G. Smith, R. Tatusko: Paving the way for the year of Polar Prediction, http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00270.1
  11. N. S. Fučkar, V. Guemas, N. C. Johnson, F. Massonnet and F.J. Doblas-Reyes, 2015. Clusters of interannual sea ice variability in the northern hemisphere. Climate Dynamics, 45, 1-17, doi:10.1007/s00382-015-2917-2.
  12. F. Massonnet, V. Guemas, N. Fuckar and F. J. Doblas-Reyes (2015). The 2014 high record of Antarctic sea ice extent. In Explaining Extreme Events of 2014 from a Climate Perspective, Bulletin of American Meteorological Society. Bulletin of American Meteorological Society, 96, S163-S167, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00093.1.
  13. F. Massonnet, 2015, Communicating climate complexity, Physics Today 69, 9, 8,doi:10.1063/PT.3.2894
  14. A. Barth , M. Canter, B. Van Schaeybroeck, S. Vannitsem, F. Massonnet, V. Zunz, P. Mathiot, A. Alvera-Azcárate, J.-M. Beckers, Assimilation of sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration and sea ice drift in a model of the Southern Ocean, in revision in Ocean Modelling
  15. J. Stroeve, E. Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, V. Guemas, S. Howell, F. Massonnet, S. Tietsche, Improving predictions of Arctic sea ice extent, Eos, 96, doi:10.1029/2015EO031431.
  16. A. Bellucci, R. Haarsma, N. Bellouin, B. Booth, C. Cagnazzo, B. van den Hurk, N. Keenlyside, T. Koenigk, F. Massonnet, S. Materia, M. Weiss, 2015, Advancements in decadal climate predictability: beyond the ocean, Review of Geophysics, doi:10.1002/2014RG000473
  17. F. Massonnet, H. Goosse, T. Fichefet, 2014, Prospects for better seasonal Arctic sea ice predictions from multivariate initialization, Ocean Modelling 88 16-25, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.12.013 PDF available upon request.
  18. O. Lecomte, T. Fichefet, F. Massonnet, M. Vancoppenolle (2014). Benefits from representing snow properties and related processes in coupled ocean - sea ice models, Ocean Modelling, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2014.11.005
  19. P. J. Hezel, T. Fichefet, F. Massonnet, 2014, Modeled Arctic sea ice evolution through 2300 in CMIP5 extended RCPs1195-1204, doi:10.5194/tc-8-1195-2014.
  20. F. Massonnet, H. Goosse, T. Fichefet, F. Counillon, 2014 Calibration of sea ice dynamic parameters in an ocean-sea ice model using an ensemble Kalman filter, Journal of Geophysical Research, 119, doi:10.1002/2013JC009705. PDF available upon request.
  21. O. Lecomte, T. Fichefet, M. Vancoppenolle, F. Domine, F. Massonnet, P. Mathiot, S. Morin, P. -Y. Barriat, 2013, On the formulation of snow thermal conductivity in large-scale sea ice models, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 5, doi:10.1002/jame.20039
  22. F. Massonnet, P. Mathiot, T. Fichefet, H. Goosse, C. König Beatty, M. Vancoppenolle, T. Lavergne, 2013, A model reconstruction of the Antarctic sea ice thickness and volume changes over 1980-2008 using data assimilation, Ocean Modelling, 64 67-75, doi:10.1016/j.ocemod.2013.01.003
  23. V. Zunz, H. Goosse and F. Massonnet, 2013, How does internal variability influence the ability of CMIP5 models to reproduce the recent trend in Southern Ocean sea ice extent?, The Cryosphere, 7 451-468. PDF
  24. P. Mathiot, C. König Beatty, T. Fichefet, H. Goosse, F. Massonnet, M. Vancoppenolle, 2012, Better constraints on the sea-ice state using global sea-ice data assimilation, Geosci. Model Dev., 5 1501-1515. PDF.
  25. F. Massonnet, T. Fichefet, H. Goosse, C. M. Bitz, G. Philippon-Berthier, M. M. Holland, P. -Y. Barriat, 2012, Constraining projections of summer Arctic sea ice, The Cryosphere, 6 1383-1394. PDF
  26. P. J. Hezel, X. Zhang, C. M. Bitz, B. P. Kelly and F. Massonnet, 2012, Projected decline in spring snow depth on Arctic sea ice caused by progressively later autumn open ocean freeze-up this century, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L17505, doi:10.1029/2012GL052794
  27. F. Massonnet, T. Fichefet, H. Goosse, M. Vancoppenolle, P. Mathiot, and C. König Beatty, 2011, On the influence of model physics on simulations of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice, The Cryosphere, 5 687-699.  PDF 

Chapters of Books

M. Collins, R. Knutti, et al. Chapter 12 : Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working group 1 to the Fifth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Contributing author.


Oral communications  

  • The all-time high record of Antarctic sea ice extent. (Polar Predictability meeting, Reading; PREDANTAR meeting, UCL). Slides. Video
  • High-resolution in seasonal climate prediction (High-latitude dynamics workshop, Rosendal, Norway; IUGG, Prague, 2015). Slides.
  • 2014, year of extremes? (Seminar at the IC3 and UCL, 2015). Slides.
  • Data assimilation in sea ice modeling (Seminar in the LEGI/LGGE teams, Grenoble, July 2014). Slides.
  • Future of the Louvain-la-Neuve sea ice model (NEMO Users meeting, Grenoble, July 2014). Slides.
  • Data assimilation with sea ice models (SIPN Workshop, NCAR, Boulder, April 2014). Slides. Video.
  • Constraining projections of summer Arctic sea ice (IGS Symposium, Hobart, March 2014). Slides.
  • Overview of current and future developments with LIM (EC-Earth meeting, Reading, February 2014). Slides.
  • Modelling recent and future sea ice changes (Belgium National Committee for Antarctic Research, Brussels, December 2013). Slides.
  • Calibration of sea ice dynamic parameters (Scientific visit at IC3, Barcelona, December 2013). Slides.
  • Modeling recent and future sea ice changes - An assessment of COMBINE/CMIP5 results (COMBINE Final General Assembly, Wageningen, October 2013). Slides
  • Ensemble Kalman filter in sea ice modeling. (IICWG Workshop, Bremen, May 2013). Slides.
  • Climate change and computational compromises (CÉCI annual scientific meeting, Namur, April 2013). Slides.
  • Constraining projections of summer Arctic sea ice (EGU General Assembly, Vienna, April 2013). Slides
  • Changes in Southern Ocean sea ice thickness and volume reconstructed with data assimilation (solicited talk, EGU General Assembly, Vienna, April 2013). Slides.
  • Ensemble sea ice data assimilation with NEMO-LIM (EGU General Assembly, Vienna, April 2013). Poster.
  • 21st century changes in the Arctic sea ice cover: what can we learn from CMIP5 models? (3rd International Conference on Earth System Modelling, Hamburg, September 2012). Slides.
  • Constraining projections of summer Arctic sea ice (Climate Change in High Latitudes, Bergen, September 2012). Poster.
  • Climate projections of Arctic sea ice: what can we learn from global models? (MeteoClim, Liège, June 2012). Slides.
  • The recent decadal variability of the sea ice cover as viewed from a numerical model (UNITER, Brussels, December 2011). Slides.
  • Sea ice modelling with LIM (CLIC meeting, Boulder, October 2011). Slides.
  • A data assimilation approach for reconstructing sea ice volume in the Southern Hemisphere (WCRP Open Science Conference, Denver, October 2011; Harmony on Ice meeting, Paris, November 2011; 3rd International Conference on Earth System Modelling, Hamburg, September 2012). WCRP Outstanding Poster presentation. Slides.
  • What is the importance of sea ice physics in global simulations at decadal time scales? (ResClim Summer School, UNIS, June 2011; WCRP Open Science Conference, Denver, October 2011). UNIS' best Poster award.
  • Global sea-ice data assimilation in NEMO-LIM: towards systematic biases reduction in sea-ice concentration and thickness (COMBINE General Assembly, MetOffice, May 2011). Slides.
  • Importance of physics for global hindcast simulations of sea ice with NEMO-LIM (EC-Earth meeting, ECMWF, Jan. 2011 ; EGU General Assembly, Vienna, April 2011). Slides. Updated Slides.
  • Seminar series on Sea Ice, TECLIM Seminar (UCL, November 2010). Slides.
  • Importance of physics, resolution and forcing in hindcast simulations of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice variability and trends (WCRP Seasonal to Multi-decadal Predictability of Polar Climate, Bergen, October 2010). Slides.
  • Comparative study of sea ice response from NEMO-LIM3 to two atmospheric forcings (EGU General Assembly, Vienna, May 2010; IPY Belgian Symposium, Brussels, May 2010; EC-Earth meeting, Barcelona, June 2010). Poster. Slides.
  • Floquet Instabilities on Rossby Waves (APMA935, Simon Fraser University, 2008; PHY2151, UCL, March 2010).  Slides.
  • PhD Proposal (EC-Earth meeting, Reading, Dec. 2009). Slides
  • Review of assimilation techniques (ASTR, Dec. 2009). Slides

List of References used in my works (updated May 2014)

Doctoral thesis

Evaluation and improvement of climate simulations of sea ice (graduation: 25th of April, 2014)

Members of the jury: T. Fichefet (supervisor), H. Goosse (supervisor), M. Crucifix, V. Legat, M. Vancoppenolle, L. Bertino, D. Notz, M. -L. De Keersmaecker (chair)

Private defense (28th February 2014). Slides.

Public defense: Slides.


Other publications & outreach

  • L. Newman, L. Talley, M. Mazloff, B. Galton-Fenzi, S. Ackley, P. Heimbach, F. Massonnet, J. Shi, M. Sparrow. Southern Ocean community comment on the Year of Polar Prediction Implementation Plan. https://zenodo.org/record/27261?ln=en#.Vch4OvntlBd
  • A. Bradley, F. Massonnet, J. Baeseman. CliC Contributions for the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) http://www.climate-cryosphere.org/media-gallery/1521-clic4yopp
  • F. Massonnet, Extremes of 2014 in Review, Guest Contribution to Ed Hawkin’s Climate Lab Book blog. http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/2015/extremes-2014-in-review/
  • F. Massonnet. Prévoir le climat, une question de société (seminar to high school students of the Lycée Berlaymont). PDF.
  • F. Massonnet, A. Jahn, Observational needs for sea ice models, Short note, 2012. PDF.
  • F. Massonnet, T. Fichefet, H. Goosse, Communiqué de presse, 2011. PDF. (published in Le Soir, on RTL-TVI and Twizz Radio).
  • F. Massonnet, T. Fichefet, H. Goosse, P. Mathiot, C. König Beatty, M. Vancoppenolle, Comparative study of sea ice response from NEMO-LIM3 to two atmospheric forcings, in Proceedings of the IPY Belgian Symposium, 100 pp., 2010. PDF

Referee for

Nature Climate Change, Journal of Climate, Geophys. Res. Lett., Journal of Geophys. Res., Journal of Physical Oceanography, Journal of Oceanogrphy, The Cryosphere, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.