Articles | Volume 13, issue 4
Research article
15 Apr 2019
Research article |  | 15 Apr 2019

A key factor initiating surface ablation of Arctic sea ice: earlier and increasing liquid precipitation

Tingfeng Dou, Cunde Xiao, Jiping Liu, Wei Han, Zhiheng Du, Andrew R. Mahoney, Joshua Jones, and Hajo Eicken

Data sets

Automated ice mass balance site (SIZONET) H. Eicken

Short summary
The variability and potential trends of rain-on-snow events over Arctic sea ice and their role in sea-ice losses are poorly understood. This study demonstrates that rain-on-snow events are a critical factor in initiating the onset of surface melt over Arctic sea ice, and onset of spring rainfall over sea ice has shifted to earlier dates since the 1970s, which may have profound impacts on ice melt through feedbacks involving earlier onset of surface melt.