Clemens Schannwell

Department Climate Variability
Group Ocean Physics
Position Postdoc
phone +49 40 41173-415
Room B 231

About me

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the group of Dr Uwe Mikolajewicz. I am a glaciologist and my main research interests are in the area of ice dynamics of glaciers and ice sheets and their interactions with the ocean and atmosphere.

My main tools to study these processes are numerical models and observations from using geophysical methods. I am currently working on the PalMod project which aims to simulate the last 130,000 years with a fully-coupled Earth System Model to investigate climate variability and identify key processes that are driving this variability.

PalMod -  From the Last Interglacial to the Anthropocene - Modeling a Complete Glacial Cycle

Scalar - Quantifying millennial timescale grounding-line retreat in East Antarctica

Since  November 2019

Postdoc at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany


June 2017 - November 2019

Postdoc at University of Tübingen, Germany


November 2013- June 2017

PhD in Glaciology University of Birmingham and British Antarctic Survey, UK



MSc by Research in Glaciology, Swansea University, UK



BSc in Geography, University of Bonn, Germany

[14] Schannwell, C., Mikolajewicz, U., Kapsch, M.-L., and Ziemen, F. (2024). A mechanism for reconciling the synchronisation of Heinrich events and Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles. Nature Communications, 15, 2961,

[13] Schannwell, C., Mikolajewicz, U., Ziemen, F., and Kapsch, M.-L. (2023). Sensitivity of Heinrich-type ice-sheet surge characteristics to boundary forcing perturbations. Clim. Past, 19, 179–198,

[12] Višnjević, V., Drews, R., Schannwell, C., Koch, I., Franke, S., Jansen, D., and Eisen, O. (2022). Predicting the steady-state isochronal stratigraphy of ice shelves using observations and modeling. The Cryosphere, 16, 4763–4777,

[11] Henry, A. C. J., Drews, R., Schannwell, C., and Višnjević, V. (2022). Hysteretic evolution of ice rises and ice rumples in response to variations in sea level. The Cryosphere, 16, 3889–3905,

[10] Kapsch, M.-L., Mikolajewicz, U., Ziemen, F., and Schannwell, C. (2022). Ocean response in transient simulations of the last deglaciation dominated by underlying ice-sheet reconstruction and method of meltwater distribution'. Geophysical Research Letters, 49, e2021GL096767.

[9] Kapsch, M.-L., Mikolajewicz, U., Ziemen, F. A., Rodehacke, C. B., and Schannwell, C. (2021). Analysis of the surface mass balance for deglacial climate simulations. The Cryosphere, 15, 1131–1156,

[8] Schannwell, C., Drews, R., Ehlers, T. A., Eisen, O., Mayer, C., Malinen, M., Smith, E. C., and Eisermann, H. (2020). Quantifying the effect of ocean bed properties on ice sheet geometry over 40 000 years with a full-Stokes model. The Cryosphere, 14, 3917–3934,

[7] Drews, R., Schannwell, C., Ehlers, T. A., Gladstone, R., Pattyn, F., and Matsuoka, K. (2020). Atmospheric and oceanographic signatures in the ice‐shelf channel morphology of Roi Baudouin Ice Shelf, East Antarctica, inferred from radar data. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 125, e2020JF005587,

[6] Schannwell, C., Drews, R., Ehlers, T. A., Eisen, O., Mayer, C., and Gillet-Chaulet, F. (2019). Kinematic response of ice-rise divides to changes in ocean and atmosphere forcing. The Cryosphere, 13, 2673–2691,

[5] Schannwell, C., Cornford, S., Pollard, D., and Barrand, N. E. (2018). Dynamic response of Antarctic Peninsula Ice Sheet to potential collapse of Larsen C and George VI ice shelves. The Cryosphere, 12, 2307-2326,

[4] Mayer, C., Schaffer. J., Hattermann, T., Floricioiu, D., Krieger, L., Dodd, P. A., Kanzow, T., Licciulli, C., and Schannwell, C. (2018). Large ice loss variability at Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier, Northeast-Greenland. Nature Communications 9 (1), 2768, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05180-x.

[3] Schannwell, C., Barrand, N.E., and Radic, V. (2016). Future sea-level rise from tidewater and ice-shelf tributary glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 453, 161-170,

[2] Schannwell, C., Barrand, N.E., and Radic, V. (2015). Modeling ice dynamic contributions to sea level rise from the Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 120, 2374-2392, doi: 10.1002/2015JF003667.

[1] Schannwell, C., Murray, T., Kulessa, B., Gusmeroli, A., Saintenoy, A., and Jansson, P. (2014). An automatic approach to delineate the cold-temperate transition surface with ground-penetrating radar on polythermal glaciers. Annals of Glaciology 55 (67), 89-96, doi:10.3189/2014AoG67A102.

Research highlights

[Translate to English:]

Large-scale research project PalMod: What have we learned?

The PalMod project (short for paleo-modeling), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), investigates the climate system…

[Translate to English:]

The effect of climate perturbations on the timing of Heinrich events

Throughout the last glacial period (ca. 65,000-15,000 years before present) periodic ice discharge events from the North American ice sheet, known as…

Figure of ice shelf

How ice rises and rumples affect the Antarctic ice sheet

In a study in The Cryosphere, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology examined the effect of basal friction and sea level variation on…