Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-298
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-298

  30 Sep 2021

30 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Impact of radiation penetration on Antarctic surface melt and subsurface snow temperatures in RACMO2.3p3

Christiaan Timo van Dalum, Willem Jan van de Berg, and Michiel Roland van den Broeke Christiaan Timo van Dalum et al.
  • Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract. This study investigates the sensitivity of modeled surface melt and subsurface heating on the Antarctic ice sheet to a new spectral snow albedo and radiative transfer scheme in the Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2), version 2.3p3 (Rp3). We tune Rp3 to observations by performing several sensitivity experiments and assess the impact on temperature and melt by changing one parameter at a time. When fully tuned, Rp3 compares well with in situ and remote sensing observations of surface mass and energy balance, melt, temperature, albedo and snow grain specific surface area. Furthermore, the introduction of subsurface heating in Rp3 significantly improves the snow temperature profile. Near surface snow temperature is especially sensitive to the prescribed fresh snow specific surface area and fresh dry snow metamorphism. These processes, together with the refreezing grain size and subsurface heating, are important for melt around the margins of the Antarctic ice sheet. Moreover, small changes in the albedo and the aforementioned processes can lead to an order of magnitude overestimation of melt, locally leading to runoff and a reduced surface mass balance.

Christiaan Timo van Dalum et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-298', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-298', Anonymous Referee #2, 01 Nov 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on tc-2021-298', Cécile Agosta, 04 Nov 2021

Christiaan Timo van Dalum et al.

Data sets

RACMO2.3p3 monthly SMB, SEB and t2m data for Antarctica (1979-2018) Christiaan van Dalum; Willem Jan van de Berg; Michiel van den Broeke https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5512077

Christiaan Timo van Dalum et al.

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Short summary
In this study, we improve the regional climate model RACMO2 and investigate the climate of Antarctica. We have implemented a new radiative transfer and snow albedo scheme and do several sensitivity experiments. When fully tuned, the results compare well with observations and snow temperature profiles have improved. Moreover, small changes in the albedo and the investigated processes can lead to a strong overestimation of melt, locally leading to runoff and a reduced surface mass balance.