Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
The Cryosphere, 10, 459–463, 2016
The Cryosphere, 10, 459–463, 2016

Brief communication 01 Mar 2016

Brief communication | 01 Mar 2016

Brief Communication: Upper-air relaxation in RACMO2 significantly improves modelled interannual surface mass balance variability in Antarctica

Willem Jan van de Berg and Brooke Medley

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Cited articles

Favier, V., Agosta, C., Parouty, S., Durand, G., Delaygue, G., Gallée, H., Drouet, A.-S., Trouvilliez, A., and Krinner, G.: An updated and quality controlled surface mass balance dataset for Antarctica, The Cryosphere, 7, 583–597,, 2013.
Lenaerts, J. T. M., van den Broeke, M. R., Déry, S. J., van Meijgaard, E., van de Berg, W. J., Palm, S. P., and Rodrigo, J. S.: Modeling drifting snow in Antarctica with a regional climate model: 1. Methods and model evaluation, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D05108,, 2012.
Medley, B., Joughin, I., Das, S. B., Steig, E. J., Conway, H., Gogineni, S., Criscitiello, A. S., McConnell, J. R., Smith, B. E., van den Broeke, M. R., Lenaerts, J. T. M., Bromwich, D. H., and Nicolas, J. P.: Airborne-radar and ice-core observations of annual snow accumulation over Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica confirm the spatiotemporal variability of global and regional atmospheric models, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 3649–3654, 2013.
Medley, B., Joughin, I., Smith, B. E., Das, S. B., Steig, E. J., Conway, H., Gogineni, S., Lewis, C., Criscitiello, A. S., McConnell, J. R., van den Broeke, M. R., Lenaerts, J. T. M., Bromwich, D. H., Nicolas, J. P., and Leuschen, C.: Constraining the recent mass balance of Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers, West Antarctica, with airborne observations of snow accumulation, The Cryosphere, 8, 1375–1392,, 2014.
Short summary
Regional climate models improve the spatial surface mass balance (SMB) patterns in Antarctica compared to reanalyses, but they deteriorate the representation of interannual variability in SMB. Hence, we implemented additional nudging in our regional climate model RACMO2. Using annual SMB observations of the Twaites drainage basin, Antarctica, we show that this nudging vastly improves the representation of interannual variability without significant deterioration of the modelled mean SMB fields.