Articles | Volume 8, issue 4
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
How much snow falls on the Antarctic ice sheet?
CNRS, LGGE, UMR5183, 38041 Grenoble, France
Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LGGE, UMR5183, 38041 Grenoble, France
J. E. Kay
NCAR CGD – National Center for Atmospheric Research Climate and Global Dynamics, Boulder, Colorado, USA
CNRS, LGGE, UMR5183, 38041 Grenoble, France
Univ. Grenoble Alpes, LGGE, UMR5183, 38041 Grenoble, France
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
N. B. Wood
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique/IPSL, CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
No articles found.
Valentin Wiener, Marie-Laure Roussel, Christophe Genthon, Étienne Vignon, Jacopo Grazioli, and Alexis Berne
Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,
Preprint under review for ESSDShort summary
7 years of data from a precipitation radar deployed at the Dumont d'Urville station in East Antarctica are presented in the present paper. The main characteristics of the dataset are outlined in a short statistical study. Interannual and seasonal variability are also investigated. Then, we extensively describe the processing method to retrieve snowfall profiles from the radar data. Lastly, a brief comparison is made with 2 climate models as an application example of the dataset.
Étienne Vignon, Lea Raillard, Christophe Genthon, Massimo Del Guasta, Andrew J. Heymsfield, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 12857–12872,Short summary
The near-surface atmosphere over the Antarctic Plateau is cold and pristine and resembles to a certain extent the high troposphere where cirrus clouds form. In this study, we use innovative humidity measurements at Concordia Station to study the formation of ice fogs at temperatures <−40°C. We provide observational evidence that ice fogs can form through the homogeneous freezing of solution aerosols, a common nucleation pathway for cirrus clouds.
Christophe Genthon, Dana E. Veron, Etienne Vignon, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, and Luc Piard
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 14, 1571–1580,Short summary
The surface atmosphere of the high Antarctic Plateau is very cold and clean. Such conditions favor water vapor supersaturation. A 3-year quasi-continuous series of atmospheric moisture in a ~40 m atmospheric layer at Dome C is reported that documents time variability, vertical profiles and occurrences of supersaturation. Supersaturation with respect to ice is frequently observed throughout the column, with relative humidities occasionally reaching values near liquid water saturation.
Christophe Genthon, Dana Veron, Etienne Vignon, Delphine Six, Jean-Louis Dufresne, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, Emmanuelle Sultan, and François Forget
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 13, 5731–5746,Short summary
A 10-year dataset of observation in the atmospheric boundary layer at Dome C on the high Antarctic plateau is presented. This is obtained with sensors at six levels along a tower higher than 40 m. The temperature inversion can reach more than 25 °C along the tower in winter, while full mixing by convection can occur in summer. Different amplitudes of variability for wind and temperature at the different levels reflect different signatures of solar vs. synoptic forcing of the boundary layer.
Norman B. Wood and Tristan S. L'Ecuyer
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 869–888,Short summary
Although millimeter-wavelength radar reflectivity observations are used to investigate snowfall properties, their ability to constrain specific properties has not been well-quantified. An information-focused retrieval method shows how well snowfall properties, including rate and size distribution, are constrained by reflectivity. Sources of uncertainty in snowfall rate are dominated by uncertainties in the retrieved size distribution properties rather than by other retrieval assumptions.
Elin A. McIlhattan, Claire Pettersen, Norman B. Wood, and Tristan S. L'Ecuyer
The Cryosphere, 14, 4379–4404,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.
Anne Sophie Daloz, Marian Mateling, Tristan L'Ecuyer, Mark Kulie, Norm B. Wood, Mikael Durand, Melissa Wrzesien, Camilla W. Stjern, and Ashok P. Dimri
The Cryosphere, 14, 3195–3207,Short summary
The total of snow that falls globally is a critical factor governing freshwater availability. To better understand how this resource is impacted by climate change, we need to know how reliable the current observational datasets for snow are. Here, we compare five datasets looking at the snow falling over the mountains versus the other continents. We show that there is a large consensus when looking at fractional contributions but strong dissimilarities when comparing magnitudes.
Marie-Laure Roussel, Florentin Lemonnier, Christophe Genthon, and Gerhard Krinner
The Cryosphere, 14, 2715–2727,Short summary
The Antarctic precipitation is evaluated against space radar data in the most recent climate model intercomparison CMIP6 and reanalysis ERA5. The seasonal cycle is mostly well reproduced, but relative errors are higher in areas of complex topography, particularly in the higher-resolution models. At continental and regional scales all results are biased high, with no significant progress in the more recent models. Predicting Antarctic contribution to sea level still requires model improvements.
Florentin Lemonnier, Alizée Chemison, Hubert Gallée, Gerhard Krinner, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, Chantal Claud, and Christophe Genthon
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Manuscript not accepted for further reviewShort summary
This study presents the first evaluation from snowfall observations in Antarctica of the general circulation model LMDz (global), the atmospheric component of the coupled IPSL Climate Model that is part of CMIP6 (IPCC). We also present an evaluation of the new version of the MAR model (regional), considered as a reference in terms of polar climate modelling. Both models show satisfying results for the modelling of precipitation in Antarctica.
Melville E. Nicholls, Warren P. Smith, Roger A. Pielke Sr., Stephen M. Saleeby, and Norman B. Wood
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,
Preprint withdrawnShort summary
Numerical modeling simulations indicate that radiation significantly accelerates tropical cyclogenesis. This study provides evidence that the primary physical mechanism is nocturnal longwave cooling of the environment. This generates weak upward motion in the core of the system that over the course of a night promotes convective activity and is responsible for a diurnal cycle. Understanding the role of radiation is likely to lead to improved forecasting of these major weather events.
Florentin Lemonnier, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, Chantal Claud, Christophe Genthon, Claudio Durán-Alarcón, Cyril Palerme, Alexis Berne, Niels Souverijns, Nicole van Lipzig, Irina V. Gorodetskaya, Tristan L'Ecuyer, and Norman Wood
The Cryosphere, 13, 943–954,Short summary
Evaluation of the vertical precipitation rate profiles of CloudSat radar by comparison with two surface-based micro-rain radars (MRR) located at two antarctic stations gives a near-perfect correlation between both datasets, even though climatic and geographic conditions are different for the stations. A better understanding and reassessment of CloudSat uncertainties ranging from −13 % up to +22 % confirms the robustness of the CloudSat retrievals of snowfall over Antarctica.
Claudio Durán-Alarcón, Brice Boudevillain, Christophe Genthon, Jacopo Grazioli, Niels Souverijns, Nicole P. M. van Lipzig, Irina V. Gorodetskaya, and Alexis Berne
The Cryosphere, 13, 247–264,Short summary
Precipitation is the main input in the surface mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet, but it is still poorly understood due to a lack of observations in this region. We analyzed the vertical structure of the precipitation using multiyear observation of vertically pointing micro rain radars (MRRs) at two stations located in East Antarctica. The use of MRRs showed the potential to study the effect of climatology and hydrometeor microphysics on the vertical structure of Antarctic precipitation.
Christophe Genthon, Alexis Berne, Jacopo Grazioli, Claudio Durán Alarcón, Christophe Praz, and Brice Boudevillain
Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 1605–1612,Short summary
Antarctica suffers from a severe shortage of in situ observations of precipitation. The APRES3 program contributes to improving observation from both the surface and from space. A field campaign with various instruments was deployed at the coast of Adélie Land, with an intensive observing period in austral summer 2015–16, then continuous radar monitoring through 2016 and beyond. This paper provides a compact presentation of the APRES3 dataset, which is now made open to the scientific community.
Mathieu Casado, Amaelle Landais, Ghislain Picard, Thomas Münch, Thomas Laepple, Barbara Stenni, Giuliano Dreossi, Alexey Ekaykin, Laurent Arnaud, Christophe Genthon, Alexandra Touzeau, Valerie Masson-Delmotte, and Jean Jouzel
The Cryosphere, 12, 1745–1766,Short summary
Ice core isotopic records rely on the knowledge of the processes involved in the archival processes of the snow. In the East Antarctic Plateau, post-deposition processes strongly affect the signal found in the surface and buried snow compared to the initial climatic signal. We evaluate the different contributions to the surface snow isotopic composition between the precipitation and the exchanges with the atmosphere and the variability of the isotopic signal found in profiles from snow pits.
Jacopo Grazioli, Christophe Genthon, Brice Boudevillain, Claudio Duran-Alarcon, Massimo Del Guasta, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, and Alexis Berne
The Cryosphere, 11, 1797–1811,Short summary
We present medium and long-term measurements of precipitation in a coastal region of Antarctica. These measurements are among the first of their kind on the Antarctic continent and combine remote sensing with in situ observations. The benefits of this synergy are demonstrated and the lessons learned from this measurements, which are still ongoing, are very important for the creation of similar observatories elsewhere on the continent.
Steven J. Cooper, Norman B. Wood, and Tristan S. L'Ecuyer
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 2557–2571,Short summary
Estimates of snowfall rate as derived from radar observations can suffer large uncertainties due to great natural variability in snowflake microphysical properties. We used in situ observations of particle size, shape, and fall speed to refine radar-based estimates of snowfall for five snow events at the ARM Barrow Climate Research Facility. Estimated snowfall amounts agreed well with nearby snow gauge observations and demonstrated significant sensitivity to both particle shape and fall speed.
Christophe Genthon, Luc Piard, Etienne Vignon, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine, Mathieu Casado, and Hubert Gallée
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 691–704,Short summary
Natural atmospheric supersaturation is a norm rather than an exception at the surface of Dome C on the Antarctic Plateau. This is reported by hygrometers adapted to perform in extreme cold environments and avoid release of excess moisture before it is measured. One year of observation shows that atmospheric models with cold microphysics parameterizations designed for high altitude cirrus reproduce frequently but fail with the detailed statistics of supersaturation at the surface of Dome C.
Mathieu Casado, Amaelle Landais, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, Christophe Genthon, Erik Kerstel, Samir Kassi, Laurent Arnaud, Ghislain Picard, Frederic Prie, Olivier Cattani, Hans-Christian Steen-Larsen, Etienne Vignon, and Peter Cermak
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 8521–8538,Short summary
Climatic conditions in Concordia are very cold (−55 °C in average) and very dry, imposing difficult conditions to measure the water vapour isotopic composition. New developments in infrared spectroscopy enable now the measurement of isotopic composition in water vapour traces (down to 20 ppmv). Here we present the results results of a first campaign of measurement of isotopic composition of water vapour in Concordia, the site where the 800 000 years long ice core was drilled.
L. Norin, A. Devasthale, T. S. L'Ecuyer, N. B. Wood, and M. Smalley
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 5009–5021,Short summary
The ability to estimate snowfall accurately is important for both weather and climate applications. In this work we have intercompared snowfall estimates from two observing systems: the space-based Cloud Profiling Radar on board NASA's CloudSat satellite and Swerad, the ground-based Swedish national weather radar network. The intercomparison shows encouraging agreement between these two observing systems despite their different sensitivities and user applications.
C. Amory, A. Trouvilliez, H. Gallée, V. Favier, F. Naaim-Bouvet, C. Genthon, C. Agosta, L. Piard, and H. Bellot
The Cryosphere, 9, 1373–1383,
K. Kodera, B. M. Funatsu, C. Claud, and N. Eguchi
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 6767–6774,Short summary
The the role of deep convection in stratosphere–troposphere dynamical coupling in the tropics was studied during two large major stratospheric sudden warming events in January 2009 and January 2010. Convective activity and precipitation increased in the equatorial Southern Hemisphere as a result of a strengthening of the Brewer–Dobson circulation induced by enhanced stratospheric planetary wave activity.
H. Gallée, S. Preunkert, S. Argentini, M. M. Frey, C. Genthon, B. Jourdain, I. Pietroni, G. Casasanta, H. Barral, E. Vignon, C. Amory, and M. Legrand
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 6225–6236,Short summary
Regional climate model MAR was run for the region of Dome C located on the East Antarctic plateau, during summer 2011–2012, with a high vertical resolution in the lower troposphere. MAR is generally in very good agreement with the observations and provides sufficiently reliable information about surface turbulent fluxes and vertical profiles of vertical diffusion coefficients when discussing the representativeness of chemical measurements made nearby the ground surface at Dome C.
H. Gallée, H. Barral, E. Vignon, and C. Genthon
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 6237–6246,Short summary
This is the first time that a low-level jet observed above the East Antarctic Plateau is simulated by a regional climate model. This paper illustrates in a 3-D simulation the respective influences of the large-scale pressure gradient force and turbulence on the onset of the low-level jet. As atmospheric turbulence plays a key role in explaining the behaviour of chemical tracers during the OPALE campaign, this paper also increases our confidence in using the outputs of the model for this purpose.
H. Barral, C. Genthon, A. Trouvilliez, C. Brun, and C. Amory
The Cryosphere, 8, 1905–1919,
N. B. Wood, T. S. L'Ecuyer, F. L. Bliven, and G. L. Stephens
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 3635–3648,
M. Sand, T. K. Berntsen, J. E. Kay, J. F. Lamarque, Ø. Seland, and A. Kirkevåg
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 211–224,
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Hannah J. Picton, Chris R. Stokes, Stewart S. R. Jamieson, Dana Floricioiu, and Lukas Krieger
The Cryosphere, 17, 3593–3616,Short summary
This study provides an overview of recent ice dynamics within Vincennes Bay, Wilkes Land, East Antarctica. This region was recently discovered to be vulnerable to intrusions of warm water capable of driving basal melt. Our results show extensive grounding-line retreat at Vanderford Glacier, estimated at 18.6 km between 1996 and 2020. This supports the notion that the warm water is able to access deep cavities below the Vanderford Ice Shelf, potentially making Vanderford Glacier unstable.
Fernando S. Paolo, Alex S. Gardner, Chad A. Greene, Johan Nilsson, Michael P. Schodlok, Nicole-Jeanne Schlegel, and Helen A. Fricker
The Cryosphere, 17, 3409–3433,Short summary
We report on a slowdown in the rate of thinning and melting of West Antarctic ice shelves. We present a comprehensive assessment of the Antarctic ice shelves, where we analyze at a continental scale the changes in thickness, flow, and basal melt over the past 26 years. We also present a novel method to estimate ice shelf change from satellite altimetry and a time-dependent data set of ice shelf thickness and basal melt rates at an unprecedented resolution.
Hyein Jeong, Adrian K. Turner, Andrew F. Roberts, Milena Veneziani, Stephen F. Price, Xylar S. Asay-Davis, Luke P. Van Roekel, Wuyin Lin, Peter M. Caldwell, Hyo-Seok Park, Jonathan D. Wolfe, and Azamat Mametjanov
The Cryosphere, 17, 2681–2700,Short summary
We find that E3SM-HR reproduces the main features of the Antarctic coastal polynyas. Despite the high amount of coastal sea ice production, the densest water masses are formed in the open ocean. Biases related to the lack of dense water formation are associated with overly strong atmospheric polar easterlies. Our results indicate that the large-scale polar atmospheric circulation must be accurately simulated in models to properly reproduce Antarctic dense water formation.
Cyrille Mosbeux, Laurie Padman, Emilie Klein, Peter D. Bromirski, and Helen A. Fricker
The Cryosphere, 17, 2585–2606,Short summary
Antarctica's ice shelves (the floating extension of the ice sheet) help regulate ice flow. As ice shelves thin or lose contact with the bedrock, the upstream ice tends to accelerate, resulting in increased mass loss. Here, we use an ice sheet model to simulate the effect of seasonal sea surface height variations and see if we can reproduce observed seasonal variability of ice velocity on the ice shelf. When correctly parameterised, the model fits the observations well.
Lena Nicola, Dirk Notz, and Ricarda Winkelmann
The Cryosphere, 17, 2563–2583,Short summary
For future sea-level projections, approximating Antarctic precipitation increases through temperature-scaling approaches will remain important, as coupled ice-sheet simulations with regional climate models remain computationally expensive, especially on multi-centennial timescales. We here revisit the relationship between Antarctic temperature and precipitation using different scaling approaches, identifying and explaining regional differences.
Steven Fons, Nathan Kurtz, and Marco Bagnardi
The Cryosphere, 17, 2487–2508,Short summary
Antarctic sea ice thickness is an important quantity in the Earth system. Due to the thick and complex snow cover on Antarctic sea ice, estimating the thickness of the ice pack is difficult using traditional methods in radar altimetry. In this work, we use a waveform model to estimate the freeboard and snow depth of Antarctic sea ice from CryoSat-2 and use these values to calculate sea ice thickness and volume between 2010 and 2021 and showcase how the sea ice pack has changed over this time.
Haihan Hu, Jiechen Zhao, Petra Heil, Zhiliang Qin, Jingkai Ma, Fengming Hui, and Xiao Cheng
The Cryosphere, 17, 2231–2244,Short summary
The oceanic characteristics beneath sea ice significantly affect ice growth and melting. The high-frequency and long-term observations of oceanic variables allow us to deeply investigate their diurnal and seasonal variation and evaluate their influences on sea ice evolution. The large-scale sea ice distribution and ocean circulation contributed to the seasonal variation of ocean variables, revealing the important relationship between large-scale and local phenomena.
Sanne B. M. Veldhuijsen, Willem Jan van de Berg, Max Brils, Peter Kuipers Munneke, and Michiel R. van den Broeke
The Cryosphere, 17, 1675–1696,Short summary
Firn is the transition of snow to glacier ice and covers 99 % of the Antarctic ice sheet. Knowledge about the firn layer and its variability is important, as it impacts satellite-based estimates of ice sheet mass change. Also, firn contains pores in which nearly all of the surface melt is retained. Here, we improve a semi-empirical firn model and simulate the firn characteristics for the period 1979–2020. We evaluate the performance with field and satellite measures and test its sensitivity.
Anna Ruth W. Halberstadt, Greg Balco, Hannah Buchband, and Perry Spector
The Cryosphere, 17, 1623–1643,Short summary
This paper explores the use of multimillion-year exposure ages from Antarctic bedrock outcrops to benchmark ice sheet model predictions and thereby infer ice sheet sensitivity to warm climates. We describe a new approach for model–data comparison, highlight an example where observational data are used to distinguish end-member models, and provide guidance for targeted sampling around Antarctica that can improve understanding of ice sheet response to climate warming in the past and future.
Mira Berdahl, Gunter Leguy, William H. Lipscomb, Nathan M. Urban, and Matthew J. Hoffman
The Cryosphere, 17, 1513–1543,Short summary
Contributions to future sea level from the Antarctic Ice Sheet remain poorly constrained. One reason is that ice sheet model initialization methods can have significant impacts on how the ice sheet responds to future forcings. We investigate the impacts of two key parameters used during model initialization. We find that these parameter choices alone can impact multi-century sea level rise by up to 2 m, emphasizing the need to carefully consider these choices for sea level rise predictions.
Julien A. Bodart, Robert G. Bingham, Duncan A. Young, Joseph A. MacGregor, David W. Ashmore, Enrica Quartini, Andrew S. Hein, David G. Vaughan, and Donald D. Blankenship
The Cryosphere, 17, 1497–1512,Short summary
Estimating how West Antarctica will change in response to future climatic change depends on our understanding of past ice processes. Here, we use a reflector widely visible on airborne radar data across West Antarctica to estimate accumulation rates over the past 4700 years. By comparing our estimates with current atmospheric data, we find that accumulation rates were 18 % greater than modern rates. This has implications for our understanding of past ice processes in the region.
Xiaoqiao Wang, Zhaoru Zhang, Michael S. Dinniman, Petteri Uotila, Xichen Li, and Meng Zhou
The Cryosphere, 17, 1107–1126,Short summary
The bottom water of the global ocean originates from high-salinity water formed in polynyas in the Southern Ocean where sea ice coverage is low. This study reveals the impacts of cyclones on sea ice and water mass formation in the Ross Ice Shelf Polynya using numerical simulations. Sea ice production is rapidly increased caused by enhancement in offshore wind, promoting high-salinity water formation in the polynya. Cyclones also modulate the transport of this water mass by wind-driven currents.
Na Li, Ruibo Lei, Petra Heil, Bin Cheng, Minghu Ding, Zhongxiang Tian, and Bingrui Li
The Cryosphere, 17, 917–937,Short summary
The observed annual maximum landfast ice (LFI) thickness off Zhongshan (Davis) was 1.59±0.17 m (1.64±0.08 m). Larger interannual and local spatial variabilities for the seasonality of LFI were identified at Zhongshan, with the dominant influencing factors of air temperature anomaly, snow atop, local topography and wind regime, and oceanic heat flux. The variability of LFI properties across the study domain prevailed at interannual timescales, over any trend during the recent decades.
Bryony I. D. Freer, Oliver J. Marsh, Anna E. Hogg, Helen Amanda Fricker, and Laurie Padman
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
We develop a method using ICESat-2 data to measure how Antarctic grounding lines (GLs) migrate across the tide cycle. At an ice plain on the Ronne Ice Shelf we observe 15 km of tidal GL migration - the largest reported distance in Antarctica, dominating any signal of long-term migration. We identify four distinct migration modes, which provide both observational support for models of tidal ice flexure and GL migration, and insights into ice shelf-ocean-subglacial interactions in grounding zones.
Serena Schroeter, Terence J. O'Kane, and Paul A. Sandery
The Cryosphere, 17, 701–717,Short summary
Antarctic sea ice has increased over much of the satellite record, but we show that the early, strongly opposing regional trends diminish and reverse over time, leading to overall negative trends in recent decades. The dominant pattern of atmospheric flow has changed from strongly east–west to more wave-like with enhanced north–south winds. Sea surface temperatures have also changed from circumpolar cooling to regional warming, suggesting recent record low sea ice will not rapidly recover.
Grant J. Macdonald, Stephen F. Ackley, Alberto M. Mestas-Nuñez, and Adrià Blanco-Cabanillas
The Cryosphere, 17, 457–476,Short summary
Polynyas are key sites of sea ice production, biological activity, and carbon sequestration. The Amundsen Sea Polynya is of particular interest due to its size and location. By analyzing radar imagery and climate and sea ice data products, we evaluate variations in the dynamics, area, and ice production of the Amundsen Sea Polynya. In particular, we find the local seafloor topography and associated grounded icebergs play an important role in the polynya dynamics, influencing ice production.
Giacomo Traversa, Davide Fugazza, and Massimo Frezzotti
The Cryosphere, 17, 427–444,Short summary
Megadunes are fields of huge snow dunes present in Antarctica and on other planets, important as they present mass loss on the leeward side (glazed snow), on a continent characterized by mass gain. Here, we studied megadunes using remote data and measurements acquired during past field expeditions. We quantified their physical properties and migration and demonstrated that they migrate against slope and wind. We further proposed automatic detections of the glazed snow on their leeward side.
Bertie W. J. Miles, Chris R. Stokes, Adrian Jenkins, Jim R. Jordan, Stewart S. R. Jamieson, and G. Hilmar Gudmundsson
The Cryosphere, 17, 445–456,Short summary
Satellite observations have shown that the Shirase Glacier catchment in East Antarctica has been gaining mass over the past 2 decades, a trend largely attributed to increased snowfall. Our multi-decadal observations of Shirase Glacier show that ocean forcing has also contributed to some of this recent mass gain. This has been caused by strengthening easterly winds reducing the inflow of warm water underneath the Shirase ice tongue, causing the glacier to slow down and thicken.
Hugues Goosse, Sofia Allende Contador, Cecilia M. Bitz, Edward Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, Clare Eayrs, Thierry Fichefet, Kenza Himmich, Pierre-Vincent Huot, François Klein, Sylvain Marchi, François Massonnet, Bianca Mezzina, Charles Pelletier, Lettie Roach, Martin Vancoppenolle, and Nicole P. M. van Lipzig
The Cryosphere, 17, 407–425,Short summary
Using idealized sensitivity experiments with a regional atmosphere–ocean–sea ice model, we show that sea ice advance is constrained by initial conditions in March and the retreat season is influenced by the magnitude of several physical processes, in particular by the ice–albedo feedback and ice transport. Atmospheric feedbacks amplify the response of the winter ice extent to perturbations, while some negative feedbacks related to heat conduction fluxes act on the ice volume.
Johannes Feldmann and Anders Levermann
The Cryosphere, 17, 327–348,Short summary
Here we present a scaling relation that allows the comparison of the timescales of glaciers with geometric similarity. According to the relation, thicker and wider glaciers on a steeper bed slope have a much faster timescale than shallower, narrower glaciers on a flatter bed slope. The relation is supported by observations and simplified numerical simulations. We combine the scaling relation with a statistical analysis of the topography of 13 instability-prone Antarctic outlet glaciers.
Marco Brogioni, Mark J. Andrews, Stefano Urbini, Kenneth C. Jezek, Joel T. Johnson, Marion Leduc-Leballeur, Giovanni Macelloni, Stephen F. Ackley, Alexandra Bringer, Ludovic Brucker, Oguz Demir, Giacomo Fontanelli, Caglar Yardim, Lars Kaleschke, Francesco Montomoli, Leung Tsang, Silvia Becagli, and Massimo Frezzotti
The Cryosphere, 17, 255–278,Short summary
In 2018 the first Antarctic campaign of UWBRAD was carried out. UWBRAD is a new radiometer able to collect microwave spectral signatures over 0.5–2 GHz, thus outperforming existing similar sensors. It allows us to probe thicker sea ice and ice sheet down to the bedrock. In this work we tried to assess the UWBRAD potentials for sea ice, glaciers, ice shelves and buried lakes. We also highlighted the wider range of information the spectral signature can provide to glaciological studies.
Eveline C. van der Linden, Dewi Le Bars, Erwin Lambert, and Sybren Drijfhout
The Cryosphere, 17, 79–103,Short summary
The Antarctic ice sheet (AIS) is the largest uncertainty in future sea level estimates. The AIS mainly loses mass through ice discharge, the transfer of land ice into the ocean. Ice discharge is triggered by warming ocean water (basal melt). New future estimates of AIS sea level contributions are presented in which basal melt is constrained with ice discharge observations. Despite the different methodology, the resulting projections are in line with previous multimodel assessments.
Paul R. Holland, Gemma K. O'Connor, Thomas J. Bracegirdle, Pierre Dutrieux, Kaitlin A. Naughten, Eric J. Steig, David P. Schneider, Adrian Jenkins, and James A. Smith
The Cryosphere, 16, 5085–5105,Short summary
The Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing ice, causing sea-level rise. However, it is not known whether human-induced climate change has contributed to this ice loss. In this study, we use evidence from climate models and palaeoclimate measurements (e.g. ice cores) to suggest that the ice loss was triggered by natural climate variations but is now sustained by human-forced climate change. This implies that future greenhouse-gas emissions may influence sea-level rise from Antarctica.
Ghislain Picard, Marion Leduc-Leballeur, Alison F. Banwell, Ludovic Brucker, and Giovanni Macelloni
The Cryosphere, 16, 5061–5083,Short summary
Using a snowpack radiative transfer model, we investigate in which conditions meltwater can be detected from passive microwave satellite observations from 1.4 to 37 GHz. In particular, we determine the minimum detectable liquid water content, the maximum depth of detection of a buried wet snow layer and the risk of false alarm due to supraglacial lakes. These results provide information for the developers of new, more advanced satellite melt products and for the users of the existing products.
Rajashree Tri Datta, Adam Herrington, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, David Schneider, Ziqi Yin, and Devon Dunmire
Precipitation over Antarctica is one of the greatest sources of uncertainty in sea level rise estimates. Earth systems models (ESMs) are a valuable tool for these estimates, but typically run at coarse spatial resolutions. Here, we present an evaluation of variable-resolution CESM2 (VR-CESM2), for the first time with a grid designed for enhanced spatial resolution over Antarctica to achieve the high resolution of regional climate models while preserving the two-way interactions of ESMs.
Thomas Dethinne, Quentin Glaude, Ghislain Picard, Christoph Kittel, Anne Orban, and Xavier Fettweis
We investigate the sensitivity of the regional climate model “Modèle Atmosphérique Régional” (MAR) to the assimilation of surface melt occurrence estimated by remote sensing datasets. The assimilation is performed by nudging the MAR snowpack temperature. The data assimilation is performed over the Antarctic Peninsula for the 2019–2021 period. The results show an increase in the melt production (+66.7 %) and a decrease in surface mass balance (-4.5 %) of the model for the 2019–2020 melt season.
Jonathan R. Adams, Joanne S. Johnson, Stephen J. Roberts, Philippa J. Mason, Keir A. Nichols, Ryan A. Venturelli, Klaus Wilcken, Greg Balco, Brent Goehring, Brenda Hall, John Woodward, and Dylan H. Rood
The Cryosphere, 16, 4887–4905,Short summary
Glaciers in West Antarctica are experiencing significant ice loss. Geological data provide historical context for ongoing ice loss in West Antarctica, including constraints on likely future ice sheet behaviour in response to climatic warming. We present evidence from rare isotopes measured in rocks collected from an outcrop next to Pope Glacier. These data suggest that Pope Glacier thinned faster and sooner after the last ice age than previously thought.
Guillian Van Achter, Thierry Fichefet, Hugues Goosse, and Eduardo Moreno-Chamarro
The Cryosphere, 16, 4745–4761,Short summary
We investigate the changes in ocean–ice interactions in the Totten Glacier area between the last decades (1995–2014) and the end of the 21st century (2081–2100) under warmer climate conditions. By the end of the 21st century, the sea ice is strongly reduced, and the ocean circulation close to the coast is accelerated. Our research highlights the importance of including representations of fast ice to simulate realistic ice shelf melt rate increase in East Antarctica under warming conditions.
Jinfei Wang, Chao Min, Robert Ricker, Qian Shi, Bo Han, Stefan Hendricks, Renhao Wu, and Qinghua Yang
The Cryosphere, 16, 4473–4490,Short summary
The differences between Envisat and ICESat sea ice thickness (SIT) reveal significant temporal and spatial variations. Our findings suggest that both overestimation of Envisat sea ice freeboard, potentially caused by radar backscatter originating from inside the snow layer, and the AMSR-E snow depth biases and sea ice density uncertainties can possibly account for the differences between Envisat and ICESat SIT.
Yaowen Zheng, Nicholas R. Golledge, Alexandra Gossart, Ghislain Picard, and Marion Leduc-Leballeur
The Cryosphere Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for TCShort summary
Positive Degree Day (PDD) schemes are widely used in many Antarctic numerical ice sheet models. However, the PDD approach has not been systematically explored for its application to Antarctica. We make use of a PDD model, then we use this model to provide a new time series of surface melt amount covering the whole of Antarctica for the last four decades. We suggest that an appropriately parameterized PDD model can be a valuable tool for exploring Antarctic surface melt beyond the satellite era.
Devon Dunmire, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, Rajashree Tri Datta, and Tessa Gorte
The Cryosphere, 16, 4163–4184,Short summary
Earth system models (ESMs) are used to model the climate system and the interactions of its components (atmosphere, ocean, etc.) both historically and into the future under different assumptions of human activity. The representation of Antarctica in ESMs is important because it can inform projections of the ice sheet's contribution to sea level rise. Here, we compare output of Antarctica's surface climate from an ESM with observations to understand strengths and weaknesses within the model.
The Cryosphere, 16, 4087–4106,Short summary
The marginal ice zone (MIZ) in the Antarctic is the largest in the world ocean. Antarctic sea ice has large year-to-year changes, and the MIZ represents its most variable component. Processes typical of the MIZ have also been observed in fully ice-covered ocean and are not captured by existing diagnostics. A new statistical method has been shown to address previous limitations in assessing the seasonal cycle of MIZ extent and to provide a probability map of sea ice state in the Southern Ocean.
Helen Ockenden, Robert G. Bingham, Andrew Curtis, and Daniel Goldberg
The Cryosphere, 16, 3867–3887,Short summary
Hills and valleys hidden under the ice of Thwaites Glacier have an impact on ice flow and future ice loss, but there are not many three-dimensional observations of their location or size. We apply a mathematical theory to new high-resolution observations of the ice surface to predict the bed topography beneath the ice. There is a good correlation with ice-penetrating radar observations. The method may be useful in areas with few direct observations or as a further constraint for other methods.
A. Clara J. Henry, Reinhard Drews, Clemens Schannwell, and Vjeran Višnjević
The Cryosphere, 16, 3889–3905,Short summary
We used a 3D, idealised model to study features in coastal Antarctica called ice rises and ice rumples. These features regulate the rate of ice flow into the ocean. We show that when sea level is raised or lowered, the size of these features and the ice flow pattern can change. We find that the features depend on the ice history and do not necessarily fully recover after an equal increase and decrease in sea level. This shows that it is important to initialise models with accurate ice geometry.
Jeremy Carter, Amber Leeson, Andrew Orr, Christoph Kittel, and J. Melchior van Wessem
The Cryosphere, 16, 3815–3841,Short summary
Climate models provide valuable information for studying processes such as the collapse of ice shelves over Antarctica which impact estimates of sea level rise. This paper examines variability across climate simulations over Antarctica for fields including snowfall, temperature and melt. Significant systematic differences between outputs are found, occurring at both large and fine spatial scales across Antarctica. Results are important for future impact assessments and model development.
Francesca Baldacchino, Mathieu Morlighem, Nicholas R. Golledge, Huw Horgan, and Alena Malyarenko
The Cryosphere, 16, 3723–3738,Short summary
Understanding how the Ross Ice Shelf will evolve in a warming world is important to the future stability of Antarctica. It remains unclear what changes could drive the largest mass loss in the future and where places are most likely to trigger larger mass losses. Sensitivity maps are modelled showing that the RIS is sensitive to changes in environmental and glaciological controls at regions which are currently experiencing changes. These regions need to be monitored in a warming world.
Shun Tsutaki, Shuji Fujita, Kenji Kawamura, Ayako Abe-Ouchi, Kotaro Fukui, Hideaki Motoyama, Yu Hoshina, Fumio Nakazawa, Takashi Obase, Hiroshi Ohno, Ikumi Oyabu, Fuyuki Saito, Konosuke Sugiura, and Toshitaka Suzuki
The Cryosphere, 16, 2967–2983,Short summary
We constructed an ice thickness map across the Dome Fuji region, East Antarctica, from improved radar data and previous data that had been collected since the late 1980s. The data acquired using the improved radar systems allowed basal topography to be identified with higher accuracy. The new ice thickness data show the bedrock topography, particularly the complex terrain of subglacial valleys and highlands south of Dome Fuji, with substantially high detail.
Sebastian Skatulla, Riesna R. Audh, Andrea Cook, Ehlke Hepworth, Siobhan Johnson, Doru C. Lupascu, Keith MacHutchon, Rutger Marquart, Tommy Mielke, Emmanuel Omatuku, Felix Paul, Tokoloho Rampai, Jörg Schröder, Carina Schwarz, and Marcello Vichi
The Cryosphere, 16, 2899–2925,Short summary
First-year sea ice has been sampled at the advancing outer edge of the Antarctic marginal ice zone (MIZ) along the Good Hope Line. Ice cores were extracted from five pancake ice floes and subsequently analysed for their physical and mechanical properties. Of particular interest was elucidating the transition of ice composition within the MIZ in terms of differences in mechanical stiffness and strength properties as linked to physical and textural characteristics at early-stage ice formation.
Marie Bergelin, Jaakko Putkonen, Greg Balco, Daniel Morgan, Lee B. Corbett, and Paul R. Bierman
The Cryosphere, 16, 2793–2817,Short summary
Glacier ice contains information on past climate and can help us understand how the world changes through time. We have found and sampled a buried ice mass in Antarctica that is much older than most ice on Earth and difficult to date. Therefore, we developed a new dating application which showed the ice to be 3 million years old. Our new dating solution will potentially help to date other ancient ice masses since such old glacial ice could yield data on past environmental conditions on Earth.
Christoph Kittel, Charles Amory, Stefan Hofer, Cécile Agosta, Nicolas C. Jourdain, Ella Gilbert, Louis Le Toumelin, Étienne Vignon, Hubert Gallée, and Xavier Fettweis
The Cryosphere, 16, 2655–2669,Short summary
Model projections suggest large differences in future Antarctic surface melting even for similar greenhouse gas scenarios and warming rates. We show that clouds containing a larger amount of liquid water lead to stronger melt. As surface melt can trigger the collapse of the ice shelves (the safety band of the Antarctic Ice Sheet), clouds could be a major source of uncertainties in projections of sea level rise.
Douglas I. Benn, Adrian Luckman, Jan A. Åström, Anna J. Crawford, Stephen L. Cornford, Suzanne L. Bevan, Thomas Zwinger, Rupert Gladstone, Karen Alley, Erin Pettit, and Jeremy Bassis
The Cryosphere, 16, 2545–2564,Short summary
Thwaites Glacier (TG), in West Antarctica, is potentially unstable and may contribute significantly to sea-level rise as global warming continues. Using satellite data, we show that Thwaites Eastern Ice Shelf, the largest remaining floating extension of TG, has started to accelerate as it fragments along a shear zone. Computer modelling does not indicate that fragmentation will lead to imminent glacier collapse, but it is clear that major, rapid, and unpredictable changes are underway.
Jill Brouwer, Alexander D. Fraser, Damian J. Murphy, Pat Wongpan, Alberto Alberello, Alison Kohout, Christopher Horvat, Simon Wotherspoon, Robert A. Massom, Jessica Cartwright, and Guy D. Williams
The Cryosphere, 16, 2325–2353,Short summary
The marginal ice zone is the region where ocean waves interact with sea ice. Although this important region influences many sea ice, ocean and biological processes, it has been difficult to accurately measure on a large scale from satellite instruments. We present new techniques for measuring wave attenuation using the NASA ICESat-2 laser altimeter. By measuring how waves attenuate within the sea ice, we show that the marginal ice zone may be far wider than previously realised.
Jeannette Xiu Wen Wan, Natalya Gomez, Konstantin Latychev, and Holly Kyeore Han
The Cryosphere, 16, 2203–2223,Short summary
This paper assesses the grid resolution necessary to accurately model the Earth deformation and sea-level change associated with West Antarctic ice mass changes. We find that results converge at higher resolutions, and errors of less than 5 % can be achieved with a 7.5 km grid. Our results also indicate that error due to grid resolution is negligible compared to the effect of neglecting viscous deformation in low-viscosity regions.
Alex R. Aves, Laura E. Revell, Sally Gaw, Helena Ruffell, Alex Schuddeboom, Ngaire E. Wotherspoon, Michelle LaRue, and Adrian J. McDonald
The Cryosphere, 16, 2127–2145,Short summary
This study confirms the presence of microplastics in Antarctic snow, highlighting the extent of plastic pollution globally. Fresh snow was collected from Ross Island, Antarctica, and subsequent analysis identified an average of 29 microplastic particles per litre of melted snow. The most likely source of these airborne microplastics is local scientific research stations; however, modelling shows their origin could have been up to 6000 km away.
Qingkai Wang, Zhaoquan Li, Peng Lu, Yigang Xu, and Zhijun Li
The Cryosphere, 16, 1941–1961,Short summary
A large area of landfast sea ice exists in the Prydz Bay, and it is always a safety concern to transport cargos on ice to the research stations. Knowing the mechanical properties of sea ice is helpful to solve the issue; however, these data are rarely reported in this region. We explore the effects of sea ice physical properties on the flexural strength, effective elastic modulus, and uniaxial compressive strength, which gives new insights into assessing the bearing capacity of landfast sea ice.
Fengguan Gu, Qinghua Yang, Frank Kauker, Changwei Liu, Guanghua Hao, Chao-Yuan Yang, Jiping Liu, Petra Heil, Xuewei Li, and Bo Han
The Cryosphere, 16, 1873–1887,Short summary
The sea ice thickness was simulated by a single-column model and compared with in situ observations obtained off Zhongshan Station in the Antarctic. It is shown that the unrealistic precipitation in the atmospheric forcing data leads to the largest bias in sea ice thickness and snow depth modeling. In addition, the increasing snow depth gradually inhibits the growth of sea ice associated with thermal blanketing by the snow.
Sutao Liao, Hao Luo, Jinfei Wang, Qian Shi, Jinlun Zhang, and Qinghua Yang
The Cryosphere, 16, 1807–1819,Short summary
The Global Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (GIOMAS) can basically reproduce the observed variability in Antarctic sea-ice volume and its changes in the trend before and after 2013, and it underestimates Antarctic sea-ice thickness (SIT) especially in deformed ice zones. Assimilating additional sea-ice observations with advanced assimilation methods may result in a more accurate estimation of Antarctic SIT.
Joanne S. Johnson, Ryan A. Venturelli, Greg Balco, Claire S. Allen, Scott Braddock, Seth Campbell, Brent M. Goehring, Brenda L. Hall, Peter D. Neff, Keir A. Nichols, Dylan H. Rood, Elizabeth R. Thomas, and John Woodward
The Cryosphere, 16, 1543–1562,Short summary
Recent studies have suggested that some portions of the Antarctic Ice Sheet were less extensive than present in the last few thousand years. We discuss how past ice loss and regrowth during this time would leave its mark on geological and glaciological records and suggest ways in which future studies could detect such changes. Determining timing of ice loss and gain around Antarctica and conditions under which they occurred is critical for preparing for future climate-warming-induced changes.
Stephen J. Chuter, Andrew Zammit-Mangion, Jonathan Rougier, Geoffrey Dawson, and Jonathan L. Bamber
The Cryosphere, 16, 1349–1367,Short summary
We find the Antarctic Peninsula to have a mean mass loss of 19 ± 1.1 Gt yr−1 over the 2003–2019 period, driven predominantly by changes in ice dynamic flow like due to changes in ocean forcing. This long-term record is crucial to ascertaining the region’s present-day contribution to sea level rise, with the understanding of driving processes enabling better future predictions. Our statistical approach enables us to estimate this previously poorly surveyed regions mass balance more accurately.
Tian R. Tian, Alexander D. Fraser, Noriaki Kimura, Chen Zhao, and Petra Heil
The Cryosphere, 16, 1299–1314,Short summary
This study presents a comprehensive validation of a satellite observational sea ice motion product in Antarctica by using drifting buoys. Two problems existing in this sea ice motion product have been noticed. After rectifying problems, we use it to investigate the impacts of satellite observational configuration and timescale on Antarctic sea ice kinematics and suggest the future improvement of satellite missions specifically designed for retrieval of sea ice motion.
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