Articles | Volume 15, issue 9
Research article
08 Sep 2021
Research article |  | 08 Sep 2021

Downscaled surface mass balance in Antarctica: impacts of subsurface processes and large-scale atmospheric circulation

Nicolaj Hansen, Peter L. Langen, Fredrik Boberg, Rene Forsberg, Sebastian B. Simonsen, Peter Thejll, Baptiste Vandecrux, and Ruth Mottram

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Cited articles

Agosta, C., Amory, C., Kittel, C., Orsi, A., Favier, V., Gallée, H., van den Broeke, M. R., Lenaerts, J. T. M., van Wessem, J. M., van de Berg, W. J., and Fettweis, X.: Estimation of the Antarctic surface mass balance using the regional climate model MAR (1979–2015) and identification of dominant processes, The Cryosphere, 13, 281–296,, 2019. a, b, c, d, e
Bell, R. E., Banwell, A. F., Trusel, L. D., and Kingslake, J.: Antarctic surface hydrology and impacts on ice-sheet mass balance, Nat. Clim. Change, 8, 1044–1052, 2018. a
Boberg, F., Mottram, R., Hansen, N., Yang, S., and Langen, P. L.: Higher mass loss over Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets projected in CMIP6 than CMIP5 by high resolution regional downscaling EC-Earth, The Cryosphere Discuss. [preprint],, 2020. a
Boening, C., Lebsock, M., Landerer, F., and Stephens, G.: Snowfall-driven mass change on the East Antarctic ice sheet, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L21501,, 2012. a
Calonne, N., Geindreau, C., Flin, F., Morin, S., Lesaffre, B., Rolland du Roscoat, S., and Charrier, P.: 3-D image-based numerical computations of snow permeability: links to specific surface area, density, and microstructural anisotropy, The Cryosphere, 6, 939–951,, 2012. a
Short summary
We have used computer models to estimate the Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) from 1980 to 2017. Our estimates lies between 2473.5 ± 114.4 Gt per year and 2564.8 ± 113.7 Gt per year. To evaluate our models, we compared the modelled snow temperatures and densities to in situ measurements. We also investigated the spatial distribution of the SMB. It is very important to have estimates of the Antarctic SMB because then it is easier to understand global sea level changes.