Articles | Volume 6, issue 4
Research article 09 Aug 2012
Research article | 09 Aug 2012
Surface and snowdrift sublimation at Princess Elisabeth station, East Antarctica
W. Thiery et al.
Related subject area
Atmospheric InteractionsSpatio-temporal flow variations driving heat exchange processes at a mountain glacierMeasurements and modeling of snow albedo at Alerce Glacier, Argentina: effects of volcanic ash, snow grain size, and cloudinessThe influence of föhn winds on annual and seasonal surface melt on the Larsen C Ice Shelf, AntarcticaReconciling the surface temperature–surface mass balance relationship in models and ice cores in Antarctica over the last 2 centuriesTracing devastating fires in Portugal to a snow archive in the Swiss Alps: a case studySystematic bias of Tibetan Plateau snow cover in subseasonal-to-seasonal modelsTowards understanding the pattern of glacier mass balances in High Mountain Asia using regional climatic modellingWarm-air entrainment and advection during alpine blowing snow eventsQuantifying the impact of synoptic weather types and patterns on energy fluxes of a marginal snowpackRadar measurements of blowing snow off a mountain ridgeBrief communication: Rare ambient saturation during drifting snow occurrences at a coastal location of East AntarcticaUnderstanding snow bedform formation by adding sintering to a cellular automata modelDecadal changes in the leading patterns of sea level pressure in the Arctic and their impacts on the sea ice variability in boreal summerEvaluation of snow depth and snow cover over the Tibetan Plateau in global reanalyses using in situ and satellite remote sensing observationsContributions of advection and melting processes to the decline in sea ice in the Pacific sector of the Arctic OceanA multi-season investigation of glacier surface roughness lengths through in situ and remote observationPotential faster Arctic sea ice retreat triggered by snowflakes' greenhouse effectBrief communication: Analysis of organic matter in surface snow by PTR-MS – implications for dry deposition dynamics in the AlpsVariability in individual particle structure and mixing states between the glacier–snowpack and atmosphere in the northeastern Tibetan PlateauEvaluation of the CloudSat surface snowfall product over Antarctica using ground-based precipitation radarsMelting over the northeast Antarctic Peninsula (1999–2009): evaluation of a high-resolution regional climate modelMulti-year analysis of distributed glacier mass balance modelling and equilibrium line altitude on King George Island, Antarctic PeninsulaAtmospheric influences on the anomalous 2016 Antarctic sea ice decayWind enhances differential air advection in surface snow at sub-meter scalesImpact of dust deposition on the albedo of Vatnajökull ice cap, IcelandDirect visualization of solute locations in laboratory ice samplesIsotopic exchange on the diurnal scale between near-surface snow and lower atmospheric water vapor at Kohnen station, East AntarcticaTwo years with extreme and little snowfall: effects on energy partitioning and surface energy exchange in a high-Arctic tundra ecosystemBrief communication: Two well-marked cases of aerodynamic adjustment of sastrugiWind tunnel experiments: cold-air pooling and atmospheric decoupling above a melting snow patchNumerical simulations and observations of the role of katabatic winds in the creation and maintenance of Scharffenbergbotnen blue ice area, AntarcticaAir temperature variability over three glaciers in the Ortles–Cevedale (Italian Alps): effects of glacier fragmentation, comparison of calculation methods, and impacts on mass balance modelingBlowing snow in coastal Adélie Land, Antarctica: three atmospheric-moisture issuesBrief Communication: Trends in sea ice extent north of Svalbard and its impact on cold air outbreaks as observed in spring 2013Brief communication: Light-absorbing impurities can reduce the density of melting snowThe impact of heterogeneous surface temperatures on the 2-m air temperature over the Arctic Ocean under clear skies in springThe footprint of Asian monsoon dynamics in the mass and energy balance of a Tibetan glacierSensitivity of a distributed temperature-radiation index melt model based on AWS observations and surface energy balance fluxes, Hurd Peninsula glaciers, Livingston Island, Antarctica
Rebecca Mott, Ivana Stiperski, and Lindsey Nicholson
The Cryosphere, 14, 4699–4718,Short summary
The Hintereisferner Experiment (HEFEX) investigated spatial and temporal dynamics of the near-surface boundary layer and associated heat exchange processes close to the glacier surface during the melting season. Turbulence data suggest that strong changes in the local thermodynamic characteristics occur when westerly flows disturbed prevailing katabatic flow, forming across-glacier flows and facilitating warm-air advection from the surrounding ice-free areas, which potentially promote ice melt.
Julián Gelman Constantin, Lucas Ruiz, Gustavo Villarosa, Valeria Outes, Facundo N. Bajano, Cenlin He, Hector Bajano, and Laura Dawidowski
The Cryosphere, 14, 4581–4601,Short summary
We present the results of two field campaigns and modeling activities on the impact of atmospheric particles on Alerce Glacier (Argentinean Andes). We found that volcanic ash remains at different snow layers several years after eruption, increasing light absorption on the glacier surface (with a minor contribution of soot). This leads to 36 % higher annual glacier melting. We find remarkably that volcano eruptions in 2011 and 2015 have a relevant effect on the glacier even in 2016 and 2017.
Jenny V. Turton, Amélie Kirchgaessner, Andrew N. Ross, John C. King, and Peter Kuipers Munneke
The Cryosphere, 14, 4165–4180,Short summary
Föhn winds are warm and dry downslope winds in the lee of a mountain range, such as the Antarctic Peninsula. Föhn winds heat the ice of the Larsen C Ice Shelf at the base of the mountains and promote more melting than during non-föhn periods in spring, summer and autumn in both model output and observations. Especially in spring, when they are most frequent, föhn winds can extend the melt season by over a month and cause a similar magnitude of melting to that observed in summer.
Marie G. P. Cavitte, Quentin Dalaiden, Hugues Goosse, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, and Elizabeth R. Thomas
The Cryosphere, 14, 4083–4102,Short summary
Surface mass balance (SMB) and surface air temperature (SAT) are correlated at the regional scale for most of Antarctica, SMB and δ18O. Areas with low/no correlation are where wind processes (foehn, katabatic wind warming, and erosion) are sufficiently active to overwhelm the synoptic-scale snow accumulation. Measured in ice cores, the link between SMB, SAT, and δ18O is much weaker. Random noise can be removed by core record averaging but local processes perturb the correlation systematically.
Dimitri Osmont, Sandra Brugger, Anina Gilgen, Helga Weber, Michael Sigl, Robin L. Modini, Christoph Schwörer, Willy Tinner, Stefan Wunderle, and Margit Schwikowski
The Cryosphere, 14, 3731–3745,Short summary
In this interdisciplinary case study, we were able to link biomass burning emissions from the June 2017 wildfires in Portugal to their deposition in the snowpack at Jungfraujoch, Swiss Alps. We analysed black carbon and charcoal in the snowpack, calculated backward trajectories, and monitored the fire evolution by remote sensing. Such case studies help to understand the representativity of biomass burning records in ice cores and how biomass burning tracers are archived in the snowpack.
Wenkai Li, Shuzhen Hu, Pang-Chi Hsu, Weidong Guo, and Jiangfeng Wei
The Cryosphere, 14, 3565–3579,Short summary
Understanding the forecasting skills of the subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) model on Tibetan Plateau snow cover (TPSC) is the first step to applying the S2S model to hydrological forecasts over the Tibetan Plateau. This study conducted a multimodel comparison of the TPSC prediction skill to learn about their performance in capturing TPSC variability. S2S models can skillfully forecast TPSC within a lead time of 2 weeks but show limited skill beyond 3 weeks. Systematic biases of TPSC were found.
Remco J. de Kok, Philip D. A. Kraaijenbrink, Obbe A. Tuinenburg, Pleun N. J. Bonekamp, and Walter W. Immerzeel
The Cryosphere, 14, 3215–3234,Short summary
Glaciers worldwide are shrinking, yet glaciers in parts of High Mountain Asia are growing. Using models of the regional climate and glacier growth, we reproduce the observed patterns of glacier growth and shrinkage in High Mountain Asia of the last decades. Increases in snow, in part from water that comes from lowland agriculture, have probably been more important than changes in temperature to explain the growing glaciers. We now better understand changes in the crucial mountain water cycle.
Nikolas O. Aksamit and John W. Pomeroy
The Cryosphere, 14, 2795–2807,Short summary
In cold regions, it is increasingly important to quantify the amount of water stored as snow at the end of winter. Current models are inconsistent in their estimates of snow sublimation due to atmospheric turbulence. Specific wind structures have been identified that amplify potential rates of surface and blowing snow sublimation during blowing snow storms. The recurrence of these motions has been modeled by a simple scaling argument that has its foundation in turbulent boundary layer theory.
Andrew J. Schwartz, Hamish A. McGowan, Alison Theobald, and Nik Callow
The Cryosphere, 14, 2755–2774,Short summary
This study measured energy available for snowmelt during the 2016 and 2017 snow seasons in Kosciuszko National Park, NSW, Australia, and identified common traits for days with similar weather characteristics. The analysis showed that energy available for snowmelt was highest in the days before cold fronts passed through the region due to higher air temperatures. Regardless of differences in daily weather characteristics, solar radiation contributed the highest amount of energy to snowpack melt.
Benjamin Walter, Hendrik Huwald, Josué Gehring, Yves Bühler, and Michael Lehning
The Cryosphere, 14, 1779–1794,Short summary
We applied a horizontally mounted low-cost precipitation radar to measure velocities, frequency of occurrence, travel distances and turbulence characteristics of blowing snow off a mountain ridge. Our analysis provides a first insight into the potential of radar measurements for determining blowing snow characteristics, improves our understanding of mountain ridge blowing snow events and serves as a valuable data basis for validating coupled numerical weather and snowpack simulations.
Charles Amory and Christoph Kittel
The Cryosphere, 13, 3405–3412,Short summary
Snow mass fluxes and vertical profiles of relative humidity are used to document concurrent occurrences of drifting snow and near-surface air saturation at a site dominated by katabatic winds in East Antarctica. Despite a high prevalence of drifting snow conditions, we demonstrate that saturation is reached only in the most extreme wind and transport conditions and discuss implications for the understanding of surface mass and atmospheric moisture budgets of the Antarctic ice sheet.
Varun Sharma, Louise Braud, and Michael Lehning
The Cryosphere, 13, 3239–3260,Short summary
Snow surfaces, under the action of wind, form beautiful shapes such as waves and dunes. This study is the first ever study to simulate these shapes using a state-of-the-art numerical modelling tool. While these beautiful and ephemeral shapes on snow surfaces are fascinating from a purely aesthetic point of view, they are also critical in regulating the transfer of heat and mass between the atmosphere and snowpacks, thus being of huge importance to the Earth system.
Nakbin Choi, Kyu-Myong Kim, Young-Kwon Lim, and Myong-In Lee
The Cryosphere, 13, 3007–3021,Short summary
This study compares the decadal changes of the leading patterns of sea level pressure between the early (1982–1997) and the recent (1998–2017) periods as well as their influences on the Arctic sea ice extent (SIE) variability. The correlation between the Arctic Dipole (AD) mode and SIE becomes significant in the recent period, not in the past, due to its spatial pattern change. This tends to enhance meridional wind over the Fram Strait and sea ice discharge to the Atlantic.
Yvan Orsolini, Martin Wegmann, Emanuel Dutra, Boqi Liu, Gianpaolo Balsamo, Kun Yang, Patricia de Rosnay, Congwen Zhu, Wenli Wang, Retish Senan, and Gabriele Arduini
The Cryosphere, 13, 2221–2239,Short summary
The Tibetan Plateau region exerts a considerable influence on regional climate, yet the snowpack over that region is poorly represented in both climate and forecast models due a large precipitation and snowfall bias. We evaluate the snowpack in state-of-the-art atmospheric reanalyses against in situ observations and satellite remote sensing products. Improved snow initialisation through better use of snow observations in reanalyses may improve medium-range to seasonal weather forecasts.
Haibo Bi, Qinghua Yang, Xi Liang, Liang Zhang, Yunhe Wang, Yu Liang, and Haijun Huang
The Cryosphere, 13, 1423–1439,Short summary
The Arctic sea ice extent is diminishing, which is deemed an immediate response to a warmer Earth. However, quantitative estimates about the contribution due to transport and melt to the sea ice loss are still vague. This study mainly utilizes satellite observations to quantify the dynamic and thermodynamic aspects of ice loss for nearly 40 years (1979–2016). In addition, the potential impacts on ice reduction due to different atmospheric circulation pattern are highlighted.
Noel Fitzpatrick, Valentina Radić, and Brian Menounos
The Cryosphere, 13, 1051–1071,Short summary
Measurements of surface roughness are rare on glaciers, despite being an important control for heat exchange with the atmosphere and surface melt. In this study, roughness values were determined through measurements at multiple locations and seasons and found to vary across glacier surfaces and to differ from commonly assumed values in melt models. Two new methods that remotely determine roughness from digital elevation models returned good performance and may facilitate improved melt modelling.
Jui-Lin Frank Li, Mark Richardson, Wei-Liang Lee, Eric Fetzer, Graeme Stephens, Jonathan Jiang, Yulan Hong, Yi-Hui Wang, Jia-Yuh Yu, and Yinghui Liu
The Cryosphere, 13, 969–980,Short summary
Observed summer Arctic sea ice retreat has been faster than simulated by the average CMIP5 models, most of which exclude falling ice particles from their radiative calculations. We use controlled CESM1-CAM5 simulations to show for the first time that snowflakes' radiative effects can accelerate sea ice retreat. September retreat rates are doubled above current CO2 levels, highlighting falling ice radiative effects as a high priority for inclusion in future modelling of the Arctic.
Dušan Materić, Elke Ludewig, Kangming Xu, Thomas Röckmann, and Rupert Holzinger
The Cryosphere, 13, 297–307,
Zhiwen Dong, Shichang Kang, Dahe Qin, Yaping Shao, Sven Ulbrich, and Xiang Qin
The Cryosphere, 12, 3877–3890,Short summary
This study aimed to provide a first and unique record of physicochemical properties and mixing states of LAPs at the glacier and atmosphere interface over the northeastern Tibetan Plateau to determine the individual LAPs' structure aging and mixing state changes through the atmospheric deposition process from atmosphere to glacier–snowpack surface, thereby helping to characterize the LAPs' radiative forcing and climate effects in the cryosphere region.
Niels Souverijns, Alexandra Gossart, Stef Lhermitte, Irina V. Gorodetskaya, Jacopo Grazioli, Alexis Berne, Claudio Duran-Alarcon, Brice Boudevillain, Christophe Genthon, Claudio Scarchilli, and Nicole P. M. van Lipzig
The Cryosphere, 12, 3775–3789,Short summary
Snowfall observations over Antarctica are scarce and currently limited to information from the CloudSat satellite. Here, a first evaluation of the CloudSat snowfall record is performed using observations of ground-based precipitation radars. Results indicate an accurate representation of the snowfall climatology over Antarctica, despite the low overpass frequency of the satellite, outperforming state-of-the-art model estimates. Individual snowfall events are however not well represented.
Rajashree Tri Datta, Marco Tedesco, Cecile Agosta, Xavier Fettweis, Peter Kuipers Munneke, and Michiel R. van den Broeke
The Cryosphere, 12, 2901–2922,Short summary
Surface melting on the East Antarctic Peninsula (East AP) has been linked to ice shelf collapse, including the Larsen A (1995) and Larsen B (2002) ice shelves. Regional climate models (RCMs) are a valuable tool to understand how wind patterns and general warming can impact the stability of ice shelves through surface melt. Here, we evaluate one such RCM (Modèle Atmosphérique Régionale) over the East AP, including the remaining Larsen C ice shelf, by comparing it to satellite and ground data.
Ulrike Falk, Damián A. López, and Adrián Silva-Busso
The Cryosphere, 12, 1211–1232,Short summary
The present study address the glacier–atmosphere relation on King George Island (South Shetland Islands) at the northern Antarctic Peninsula. The focus is on 5 years of glacier mass balance observations and the adaptation of a spatially distributed, physically based mass balance model. The focus is on the analysis of equilibrium line altitude and catchment runoff. The observed changes are expected to have a direct impact on environmental conditions in coastal waters and biota.
Elisabeth Schlosser, F. Alexander Haumann, and Marilyn N. Raphael
The Cryosphere, 12, 1103–1119,Short summary
The atmospheric influence on the unusually early and strong decrease in Antarctic sea ice in the austral spring 2016 was investigated using data from the global forecast model of the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts. Weather situations related to warm, northerly flow conditions in the regions with large negative anomalies in sea ice extent and area were frequent and explain to a large part the observed melting. Additionally, oceanic influences might play a role.
Stephen A. Drake, John S. Selker, and Chad W. Higgins
The Cryosphere, 11, 2075–2087,Short summary
Reaction rates of radiatively and chemically active trace species are influenced by the mobility of air contained within the snowpack. By measuring wind speed and the evolution of a tracer gas with in situ sensors over a 1 m horizontal grid, we found that inhomogeneities in a single snow layer enhanced air movement unevenly as wind speed increased. This result suggests small-scale variability in reaction rates that increases with wind speed and variability in snow permeability.
Monika Wittmann, Christine Dorothea Groot Zwaaftink, Louise Steffensen Schmidt, Sverrir Guðmundsson, Finnur Pálsson, Olafur Arnalds, Helgi Björnsson, Throstur Thorsteinsson, and Andreas Stohl
The Cryosphere, 11, 741–754,Short summary
This work includes a study on the effects of dust deposition on the mass balance of Brúarjökull, an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, Iceland's largest ice cap. A model was used to simulate dust deposition on the glacier, and these periods of dust were compared to albedo measurements at two weather stations on Brúarjökull to evaluate the dust impact. We determine the influence of dust events on the snow albedo and the surface energy balance.
Ted Hullar and Cort Anastasio
The Cryosphere, 10, 2057–2068,Short summary
We study chemical reactions in snow and ice by freezing solutions in the laboratory. Although it is important to know where these chemicals are in the frozen sample (at the surface or buried in the ice), we do not understand this well. In this paper, we used X-rays to look at the chemical location in frozen samples. We found chemical location is sensitive to freezing method, sample container, and chemical characteristics, requiring careful experimental design and interpretation of results.
François Ritter, Hans Christian Steen-Larsen, Martin Werner, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Anais Orsi, Melanie Behrens, Gerit Birnbaum, Johannes Freitag, Camille Risi, and Sepp Kipfstuhl
The Cryosphere, 10, 1647–1663,Short summary
We present successful continuous measurements of water vapor isotopes performed in Antarctica in January 2013. The interest is to understand the impact of the water vapor isotopic composition on the near-surface snow isotopes. Our study reveals a diurnal cycle in the snow isotopic composition in phase with the vapor. This finding suggests fractionation during the sublimation of the ice, which has an important consequence on the interpretation of water isotope variations in ice cores.
Christian Stiegler, Magnus Lund, Torben Røjle Christensen, Mikhail Mastepanov, and Anders Lindroth
The Cryosphere, 10, 1395–1413,Short summary
In this study we investigate the impact of strong variability in snow accumulation during 2 subsequent years (2013–2014) on the land–atmosphere interactions and surface energy exchange in two high-Arctic tundra ecosystems (wet fen and dry heath) in Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland. We observe that the energy balance during the snowmelt periods and growing seasons was strongly regulated by the availability of snow meltwater, with strong impact on the overall ecosystem performance.
C. Amory, F. Naaim-Bouvet, H. Gallée, and E. Vignon
The Cryosphere, 10, 743–750,Short summary
This study presents observational characterization of interactions between wind-induced surface roughness and aeolian erosion over a rough surface in coastal East Antarctica. It is shown that the drag caused by small-scale roughness elements can significantly affects the aeolian snow mass flux during an erosion event, depending on the ability of the surface to adjust according to the main wind. Such measurements are essential to improve parameterization schemes for aeolian snow transport models.
Rebecca Mott, Enrico Paterna, Stefan Horender, Philip Crivelli, and Michael Lehning
The Cryosphere, 10, 445–458,Short summary
For the first time, this contribution investigates atmospheric decoupling above melting snow in a wind tunnel study. High-resolution vertical profiles of sensible heat fluxes are measured directly over the melting snow patch. The study shows that atmospheric decoupling is strongly increased in topographic sheltering but only for low wind velocities. Then turbulent mixing close to the surface is strongly suppressed, facilitating the formation of cold-air pooling in local depressions.
T. Zwinger, T. Malm, M. Schäfer, R. Stenberg, and J. C. Moore
The Cryosphere, 9, 1415–1426,Short summary
By deploying a large-scale high-resolution turbulent CFD simulation using the present-day topography of the Scharffenbergbotnen (SBB) valley, we show how the surrounding topography redirects incoming easterly katabatic storm fronts to impact the blue ice areas (BIA) inside the valley, where the snow cover frequently is removed. A further simulation of a reconstructed topography at the Late Glacial Maximum further reveals that the BIA at SBB must have formed after this period.
L. Carturan, F. Cazorzi, F. De Blasi, and G. Dalla Fontana
The Cryosphere, 9, 1129–1146,Short summary
Using a dataset from 12 weather stations collected in 2010 and 2011, we analyzed the air temperature variability and wind regime over three different glaciers in the Ortles-Cevedale. The magnitude of the cooling effect and the occurrence of katabatic boundary layer processes showed remarkable differences among the three ice bodies, suggesting the likely existence of important reinforcing mechanisms during glacier decay and fragmentation, with significant impacts for glacier mass balance modeling.
H. Barral, C. Genthon, A. Trouvilliez, C. Brun, and C. Amory
The Cryosphere, 8, 1905–1919,
A. Tetzlaff, C. Lüpkes, G. Birnbaum, J. Hartmann, T. Nygård, and T. Vihma
The Cryosphere, 8, 1757–1762,
O. Meinander, A. Kontu, A. Virkkula, A. Arola, L. Backman, P. Dagsson-Waldhauserová, O. Järvinen, T. Manninen, J. Svensson, G. de Leeuw, and M. Leppäranta
The Cryosphere, 8, 991–995,
A. Tetzlaff, L. Kaleschke, C. Lüpkes, F. Ament, and T. Vihma
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