Articles | Volume 14, issue 12
The Cryosphere, 14, 4379–4404, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-4379-2020
The Cryosphere, 14, 4379–4404, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-14-4379-2020

Research article 04 Dec 2020

Research article | 04 Dec 2020

Satellite observations of snowfall regimes over the Greenland Ice Sheet

Elin A. McIlhattan et al.

Data sets

Microwave radiometer snow categorization tool for Summit, Greenland, 2010–2015 C. Pettersen and A. Merrelli https://doi.org/10.18739/A2R28Q

Millimeter Cloud Radar measurements taken at Summit Station, Greenland M. Shupe https://doi.org/10.18739/A20G3GZ8B

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Short summary
Snowfall builds the mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and reduces melt by brightening the surface. We present satellite observations of GrIS snowfall events divided into two regimes: those coincident with ice clouds and those coincident with mixed-phase clouds. Snowfall from ice clouds plays the dominant role in building the GrIS, producing ~ 80 % of total accumulation. The two regimes have similar snowfall frequency in summer, brightening the surface when solar insolation is at its peak.