Articles | Volume 16, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 16, 435–450, 2022
The Cryosphere, 16, 435–450, 2022
Research article
04 Feb 2022
Research article | 04 Feb 2022

Relating snowfall observations to Greenland ice sheet mass changes: an atmospheric circulation perspective

Michael R. Gallagher et al.

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Cited articles

Bennartz, R., Fell, F., Pettersen, C., Shupe, M. D., and Schuettemeyer, D.: Spatial and temporal variability of snowfall over Greenland from CloudSat observations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 8101–8121,, 2019. a, b, c, d, e, f, g
Boening, C., Lebsock, M., Landerer, F., and Stephens, G.: Snowfall-driven mass change on the East Antarctic ice sheet, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, 1–5,, 2012. a
Boisvert, L. N. and Stroeve, J. C.: The Arctic is becoming warmer and wetter as revealed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 4439–4446,, 2015. a
Box, J. E., Bromwich, D. H., Veenhuis, B. A., Bai, L.-S., Stroeve, J. C., Rogers, J. C., Steffen, K., Haran, T., and Wang, S.-H.: Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Mass Balance Variability (1988–2004) from Calibrated Polar MM5 Output, J. Climate, 19, 2783–2800,, 2006. a
Cao, Q., Zhang, J., Gourley, J. J., Kirstetter, P. E., Chen, S., and Hong, Y.: Snowfall Detectability of Nasa'S Cloudsat: the First Cross-Investigation of Its 2C-Snow-Profile Product and National Multi-Sensor Mosaic Qpe (Nmq) Snowfall Data, Prog. Electromagn. Res., 148, 55–61,, 2014. a
Short summary
By using direct observations of snowfall and mass changes, the variability of daily snowfall mass input to the Greenland ice sheet is quantified for the first time. With new methods we conclude that cyclones west of Greenland in summer contribute the most snowfall, with 1.66 Gt per occurrence. These cyclones are contextualized in the broader Greenland climate, and snowfall is validated against mass changes to verify the results. Snowfall and mass change observations are shown to agree well.