Articles | Volume 15, issue 7
The Cryosphere, 15, 3459–3494, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-3459-2021
The Cryosphere, 15, 3459–3494, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-3459-2021

Research article 26 Jul 2021

Research article | 26 Jul 2021

Energetics of surface melt in West Antarctica

Madison L. Ghiz et al.

Data sets

ERA5 hourly data on pressure levels from 1979 to present H. Hersbach, B. Bell, P. Berrisford, G. Biavati, A. Horányi, J. Muñoz Sabater, J. Nicolas, C. Peubey, R. Radu, I. Rozum, D. Schepers, A. Simmons, C. Soci, D. Dee, and J.-N. Thépaut https://doi.org/10.24381/cds.f17050d7

CERES and GEO-Enhanced TOA, Within-Atmosphere and Surface Fluxes, Clouds and Aerosols 1-Hourly Terra-Aqua Edition4A NASA/LARC/SD/ASDC https://doi.org/10.5067/TERRA+AQUA/CERES/SYN1DEG-1HOUR_L3.004A

Data quality assessment for ARM Radiation Data (QCRAD1LONG) D. Zhang and C. Long https://doi.org/10.5439/1027372

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Short summary
We investigate how melt occurs over the vulnerable ice shelves of West Antarctica and determine that the three primary mechanisms can be evaluated using archived numerical weather prediction model data and satellite imagery. We find examples of each mechanism: thermal blanketing by a warm atmosphere, radiative heating by thin clouds, and downslope winds. Our results signify the potential to make a multi-decadal assessment of atmospheric stress on West Antarctic ice shelves in a warming climate.