Predictions of ice-mass response to climate change are based on numerical models that replicate the behaviour of ice masses under the influence of changing mass balance. Accurately predicting spatially distributed ice motion is central to the success of these models because it is the glacier's flow field that dictates its pattern of geometrical adjustment to mass-balance change. For this accuracy to be achieved with confidence, models must include close representations of all relevant processes of mass motion, preferably incorporating variations in those processes at as high a temporal and spatial resolution as possible. Field-based glaciologists have a great deal to offer, and to learn from, the modelling community in this context.
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