WorldWideScience

Sample records for greenland snow melting

  1. How much can Greenland melt? An upper bound on mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet through surface melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, X.; Bassis, J. N.

    2015-12-01

    With observations showing accelerated mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet due to surface melt, the Greenland Ice Sheet is becoming one of the most significant contributors to sea level rise. The contribution of the Greenland Ice Sheet o sea level rise is likely to accelerate in the coming decade and centuries as atmospheric temperatures continue to rise, potentially triggering ever larger surface melt rates. However, at present considerable uncertainty remains in projecting the contribution to sea level of the Greenland Ice Sheet both due to uncertainty in atmospheric forcing and the ice sheet response to climate forcing. Here we seek an upper bound on the contribution of surface melt from the Greenland to sea level rise in the coming century using a surface energy balance model coupled to an englacial model. We use IPCC Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP8.5, RCP6, RCP4.5, RCP2.6) climate scenarios from an ensemble of global climate models in our simulations to project the maximum rate of ice volume loss and related sea-level rise associated with surface melting. To estimate the upper bound, we assume the Greenland Ice Sheet is perpetually covered in thick clouds, which maximize longwave radiation to the ice sheet. We further assume that deposition of black carbon darkens the ice substantially turning it nearly black, substantially reducing its albedo. Although assuming that all melt water not stored in the snow/firn is instantaneously transported off the ice sheet increases mass loss in the short term, refreezing of retained water warms the ice and may lead to more melt in the long term. Hence we examine both assumptions and use the scenario that leads to the most surface melt by 2100. Preliminary models results suggest that under the most aggressive climate forcing, surface melt from the Greenland Ice Sheet contributes ~1 m to sea level by the year 2100. This is a significant contribution and ignores dynamic effects. We also examined a lower bound

  2. Extending remote sensing estimates of Greenland ice sheet melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavner, M.; Loveland, R.

    2010-12-01

    The Melt Area Detection Index (MADI), a remote sensing algorithm to discriminate between dry and wet snow, has been previously developed and applied to the western portion of the Greenland ice sheet for the years 2000-2006, using Moderate Resolution Imaging Radiospectrometer (MODIS) data (Chylek et al, 2007). We extend that work both spatially and temporally by taking advantage of newly available data, and developing algorithms that facilitate the sensing of cloud cover and the automated inference of wet snow regions. The automated methods allow the development of a composite melt area data product with 0.25 km^2 spatial resolution and approximately two week temporal resolution. We discuss melt area dynamics that are inferred from this high resolution composite melt area. Chylek, P., M. McCabe, M. K. Dubey, and J. Dozier (2007), Remote sensing of Greenland ice sheet using multispectral near-infrared and visible radiances, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S20, doi:10.1029/2007JD008742.

  3. Annual Greenland Accumulation Rates (2009-2012) from Airborne Snow Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Lora S.; Ivanoff, Alvaro; Alexander, Patrick M.; MacGregor, Joseph A.; Fettweis, Xavier; Panzer, Ben; Paden, John D.; Forster, Richard R.; Das, Indrani; McConnell, Joseph R.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Contemporary climate warming over the Arctic is accelerating mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet through increasing surface melt, emphasizing the need to closely monitor its surface mass balance in order to improve sea-level rise predictions. Snow accumulation is the largest component of the ice sheet's surface mass balance, but in situ observations thereof are inherently sparse and models are difficult to evaluate at large scales. Here, we quantify recent Greenland accumulation rates using ultra-wideband (2-6.5 gigahertz) airborne snow radar data collected as part of NASA's Operation IceBridge between 2009 and 2012. We use a semi-automated method to trace the observed radiostratigraphy and then derive annual net accumulation rates for 2009-2012. The uncertainty in these radar-derived accumulation rates is on average 14 percent. A comparison of the radarderived accumulation rates and contemporaneous ice cores shows that snow radar captures both the annual and longterm mean accumulation rate accurately. A comparison with outputs from a regional climate model (MAR - Modele Atmospherique Regional for Greenland and vicinity) shows that this model matches radar-derived accumulation rates in the ice sheet interior but produces higher values over southeastern Greenland. Our results demonstrate that snow radar can efficiently and accurately map patterns of snow accumulation across an ice sheet and that it is valuable for evaluating the accuracy of surface mass balance models.

  4. The extreme melt across the Greenland ice sheet in 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Hall, D. K.; Mote, T. L.; Tedesco, M.; Albert, M. R.; Keegan, K.; Shuman, C. A.; DiGirolamo, N. E.; Neumann, G.

    2012-10-01

    The discovery of the 2012 extreme melt event across almost the entire surface of the Greenland ice sheet is presented. Data from three different satellite sensors - including the Oceansat-2 scatterometer, the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, and the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder - are combined to obtain composite melt maps, representing the most complete melt conditions detectable across the ice sheet. Satellite observations reveal that melt occurred at or near the surface of the Greenland ice sheet across 98.6% of its entire extent on 12 July 2012, including the usually cold polar areas at high altitudes like Summit in the dry snow facies of the ice sheet. This melt event coincided with an anomalous ridge of warm air that became stagnant over Greenland. As seen in melt occurrences from multiple ice core records at Summit reported in the published literature, such a melt event is rare with the last significant one occurring in 1889 and the next previous one around seven centuries earlier in the Medieval Warm Period. Given its rarity, the 2012 extreme melt across Greenland provides an exceptional opportunity for new studies in broad interdisciplinary geophysical research.

  5. Climate change and forest fires synergistically drive widespread melt events of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keegan, Kaitlin M; Albert, Mary R; McConnell, Joseph R; Baker, Ian

    2014-06-03

    In July 2012, over 97% of the Greenland Ice Sheet experienced surface melt, the first widespread melt during the era of satellite remote sensing. Analysis of six Greenland shallow firn cores from the dry snow region confirms that the most recent prior widespread melt occurred in 1889. A firn core from the center of the ice sheet demonstrated that exceptionally warm temperatures combined with black carbon sediments from Northern Hemisphere forest fires reduced albedo below a critical threshold in the dry snow region, and caused the melting events in both 1889 and 2012. We use these data to project the frequency of widespread melt into the year 2100. Since Arctic temperatures and the frequency of forest fires are both expected to rise with climate change, our results suggest that widespread melt events on the Greenland Ice Sheet may begin to occur almost annually by the end of century. These events are likely to alter the surface mass balance of the ice sheet, leaving the surface susceptible to further melting.

  6. Spatiotemporal variability in surface energy balance across tundra, snow and ice in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Magnus; Stiegler, Christian; Abermann, Jakob

    2017-01-01

    The surface energy balance (SEB) is essential for understanding the coupled cryosphere–atmosphere system in the Arctic. In this study, we investigate the spatiotemporal variability in SEB across tundra, snow and ice. During the snow-free period, the main energy sink for ice sites is surface melt....... For tundra, energy is used for sensible and latent heat flux and soil heat flux leading to permafrost thaw. Longer snow-free period increases melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and glaciers and may promote tundra permafrost thaw. During winter, clouds have a warming effect across surface types whereas during...

  7. Modelling snow accumulation on Greenland in Eemian, glacial inception, and modern climates in a GCM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Punge

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Changing climate conditions on Greenland influence the snow accumulation rate and surface mass balance (SMB on the ice sheet and, ultimately, its shape. This can in turn affect local climate via orography and albedo variations and, potentially, remote areas via changes in ocean circulation triggered by melt water or calving from the ice sheet. Examining these interactions in the IPSL global model requires improving the representation of snow at the ice sheet surface. In this paper, we present a new snow scheme implemented in LMDZ, the atmospheric component of the IPSL coupled model. We analyse surface climate and SMB on the Greenland ice sheet under insolation and oceanic boundary conditions for modern, but also for two different past climates, the last glacial inception (115 kyr BP and the Eemian (126 kyr BP. While being limited by the low resolution of the general circulation model (GCM, present-day SMB is on the same order of magnitude as recent regional model findings. It is affected by a moist bias of the GCM in Western Greenland and a dry bias in the north-east. Under Eemian conditions, the SMB decreases largely, and melting affects areas in which the ice sheet surface is today at high altitude, including recent ice core drilling sites as NEEM. In contrast, glacial inception conditions lead to a higher mass balance overall due to the reduced melting in the colder summer climate. Compared to the widely applied positive degree-day (PDD parameterization of SMB, our direct modelling results suggest a weaker sensitivity of SMB to changing climatic forcing. For the Eemian climate, our model simulations using interannually varying monthly mean forcings for the ocean surface temperature and sea ice cover lead to significantly higher SMB in southern Greenland compared to simulations forced with climatological monthly means.

  8. Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Temperature, Melt, and Mass Loss: 2000-2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Williams, Richard S., Jr.; Luthcke, Scott B.; DiGirolamo, Nocolo

    2007-01-01

    Extensive melt on the Greenland Ice Sheet has been documented by a variety of ground and satellite measurements in recent years. If the well-documented warming continues in the Arctic, melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet will likely accelerate, contributing to sea-level rise. Modeling studies indicate that an annual or summer temperature rise of 1 C on the ice sheet will increase melt by 20-50% therefore, surface temperature is one of the most important ice-sheet parameters to study for analysis of changes in the mass balance of the ice-sheet. The Greenland Ice Sheet contains enough water to produce a rise in eustatic sea level of up to 7.0 m if the ice were to melt completely. However, even small changes (centimeters) in sea level would cause important economic and societal consequences in the world's major coastal cities thus it is extremely important to monitor changes in the ice-sheet surface temperature and to ultimately quantify these changes in terms of amount of sea-level rise. We have compiled a high-resolution, daily time series of surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet, using the I-km resolution, clear-sky land-surface temperature (LST) standard product from the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), from 2000 - 2006. We also use Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) data, averaged over 10-day periods, to measure change in mass of the ice sheet as it melt and snow accumulates. Surface temperature can be used to determine frequency of surface melt, timing of the start and the end of the melt season, and duration of melt. In conjunction with GRACE data, it can also be used to analyze timing of ice-sheet mass loss and gain.

  9. Empirical Retrieval of Surface Melt Magnitude from Coupled MODIS Optical and Thermal Measurements over the Greenland Ice Sheet during the 2001 Ablation Season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampkin, Derrick; Peng, Rui

    2008-08-22

    Accelerated ice flow near the equilibrium line of west-central Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) has been attributed to an increase in infiltrated surface melt water as a response to climate warming. The assessment of surface melting events must be more than the detection of melt onset or extent. Retrieval of surface melt magnitude is necessary to improve understanding of ice sheet flow and surface melt coupling. In this paper, we report on a new technique to quantify the magnitude of surface melt. Cloud-free dates of June 10, July 5, 7, 9, and 11, 2001 Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) daily reflectance Band 5 (1.230-1.250μm) and surface temperature images rescaled to 1km over western Greenland were used in the retrieval algorithm. An optical-thermal feature space partitioned as a function of melt magnitude was derived using a one-dimensional thermal snowmelt model (SNTHERM89). SNTHERM89 was forced by hourly meteorological data from the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net) at reference sites spanning dry snow, percolation, and wet snow zones in the Jakobshavn drainage basin in western GIS. Melt magnitude or effective melt (E-melt) was derived for satellite composite periods covering May, June, and July displaying low fractions (0-1%) at elevations greater than 2500m and fractions at or greater than 15% at elevations lower than 1000m assessed for only the upper 5 cm of the snow surface. Validation of E-melt involved comparison of intensity to dry and wet zones determined from QSCAT backscatter. Higher intensities (> 8%) were distributed in wet snow zones, while lower intensities were grouped in dry zones at a first order accuracy of ~ ±2%.

  10. A Stabilizing Feedback Between Cloud Radiative Effects and Greenland Surface Melt: Verification From Multi-year Automatic Weather Station Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zender, C. S.; Wang, W.; van As, D.

    2017-12-01

    Clouds have strong impacts on Greenland's surface melt through the interaction with the dry atmosphere and reflective surfaces. However, their effects are uncertain due to the lack of in situ observations. To better quantify cloud radiative effects (CRE) in Greenland, we analyze and interpret multi-year radiation measurements from 30 automatic weather stations encompassing a broad range of climatological and topographical conditions. During melt season, clouds warm surface over most of Greenland, meaning the longwave greenhouse effect outweighs the shortwave shading effect; on the other hand, the spatial variability of net (longwave and shortwave) CRE is dominated by shortwave CRE and in turn by surface albedo, which controls the potential absorption of solar radiation when clouds are absent. The net warming effect decreases with shortwave CRE from high to low altitudes and from north to south (Fig. 1). The spatial correlation between albedo and net CRE is strong (r=0.93, palbedo determines the net CRE seasonal trend, which decreases from May to July and increases afterwards. On an hourly timescale, we find two distinct radiative states in Greenland (Fig. 2). The clear state is characterized by clear-sky conditions or thin clouds, when albedo and solar zenith angle (SZA) weakly correlates with CRE. The cloudy state is characterized by opaque clouds, when the combination of albedo and SZA strongly correlates with CRE (r=0.85, palbedo and solar zenith angle, explains the majority of the CRE variation in spatial distribution, seasonal trend in the ablation zone, and in hourly variability in the cloudy radiative state. Clouds warm the brighter and colder surfaces of Greenland, enhance snow melt, and tend to lower the albedo. Clouds cool the darker and warmer surfaces, inhibiting snow melt, which increases albedo, and thus stabilizes surface melt. This stabilizing mechanism may also occur over sea ice, helping to forestall surface melt as the Arctic becomes dimmer.

  11. The PolarSEEDS project: communicating Greenland melting through visualization and sonification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, M.; Perl, J.; Saltz, I.; Ham, E.

    2013-12-01

    During fall of 2011 a group of faculty at the City College of New York from the Science and Art Divisions drafted a concept for a project about communicating results from his research concerning the melting of the Greenland ice sheet through 'unconventional' venues, such as Visual Arts and Music. The opportunity to build a team and perform a project came to reality when the City College of New York (CCNY) called for the City SEED call proposal (therefore the name POLARSEEDS). The call was looking to fund innovative interdisciplinary work that could create connections among different disciplines within CCNY. The faculty members of the project were affiliated with the Dept. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (Tedesco), the Music Dept. and the Sonic Arts Center (Perl) and Art Dept. (Saltz and Ham). The PolarSEEDS project involved also six students at graduate and master level from the three departments. The project culminated in an exhibition at CCNY in which soundscapes obtained from sounds recorded during fieldwork in Greenland were combined with sonifications of the outputs of a climate model used to study melting in Greenland to generate ambient sounds. At the exhibit, many sonifications of the model outputs were available at computer stations together with the explanation of the different approaches undertaken to generate them. Large aerial photos of supraglacial streams and lakes over Greenland were exhibited together with infographics addressing some of the causes and implications of melting. Videos showing either footage of melting features or the impact of albedo on melting (through ad hoc experiments carried out in laboratory and filmed for the exhibit) were also exhibited. Lastly, the visitors had the opportunity to play an interactive web game developed for the project in which they had to balance the amount of clouds, solar radiation, rain and snow to keep the Greenland ice sheet from melting completely and flood New York City. In my presentation, I will

  12. Snow crab allergy and asthma among Greenlandic workers – a pilot study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Hjort Bønløkke

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To study snow crab sensitization, occupational allergy and asthma in the snow crab industry in Greenland, as high rates have been found in Canada, but no reports have emerged from the same industry in Greenland. Study design. Pilot survey. Methods. Twenty workers (19 of Inuit and 1 of other origin in a snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio and Atlantic shrimp (Pandalus borealis processing plant in Greenland were assessed with skin prick tests (SPTs with common aeroallergens and specific allergens from snow crab and shrimp extracts, spirometry, blood sampling for total IgE and specific IgE determination. Eighteen workers contributed a questionnaire-based medical interview. Results. Positive skin prick test reactions were common to snow crab (40% and shrimp (20%. Specific IgE to snow crab were positive in 4 workers (21%. Two workers had elevated total IgE levels. Symptoms suggestive of asthma were common (45%. Work-related symptoms of skin rash, rhinitis, and/or conjunctivitis were reported by 50%, and symptoms from the lower airways by 39%. Combining history of work-related symptoms with results from specific SPTs and/or specific IgE determination suggested that 11 and 22% of workers suffered from probable and possible occupational asthma, respectively, whereas 22% had possible occupational dermatitis or rhinitis. Conclusions. Greenlander Inuit do not appear to be protected against sensitization to snow crab or shrimp when occupationally exposed to these. This pilot study suggests that occupational allergy and asthma may be as common a problem in Greenlandic workers as in Canadian.

  13. Pavement Snow Melting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lund, John W.

    2005-01-01

    The design of pavement snow melting systems is presented based on criteria established by ASHRAE. The heating requirements depends on rate of snow fall, air temperature, relative humidity and wind velocity. Piping materials are either metal or plastic, however, due to corrosion problems, cross-linked polyethylene pipe is now generally used instead of iron. Geothermal energy is supplied to systems through the use of heat pipes, directly from circulating pipes, through a heat exchanger or by allowing water to flow directly over the pavement, by using solar thermal storage. Examples of systems in New Jersey, Wyoming, Virginia, Japan, Argentina, Switzerland and Oregon are presented. Key words: pavement snow melting, geothermal heating, heat pipes, solar storage, Wyoming, Virginia, Japan, Argentina, Klamath Falls.

  14. Oceans Melting Greenland: Early Results from NASA's Ocean-Ice Mission in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fenty, Ian; Willis, Josh K.; Khazendar, Ala

    2016-01-01

    the continental shelf, and about the extent to which the ocean interacts with glaciers. Early results from NASA's five-year Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission, based on extensive hydrographic and bathymetric surveys, suggest that many glaciers terminate in deep water and are hence vulnerable to increased...... melting due to ocean-ice interaction. OMG will track ocean conditions and ice loss at glaciers around Greenland through the year 2020, providing critical information about ocean-driven Greenland ice mass loss in a warming climate....

  15. The 1988-2003 Greenland ice sheet melt extent using passive microwave satellite data and a regional climate model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fettweis, Xavier; Ypersele, Jean-Pascal van [Universite Catholique de Louvain, Institut d' Astronomie et de Geophysique de G. Lemaitre, Louvain-La-Neuve (Belgium); Gallee, Hubert [CNRS, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l' Environnement, Grenoble (France); Lefebre, Filip [Vito-IMS (Flemish Institute for Technological Research-Integral Environmental Studies), Mol (Belgium)

    2006-10-15

    Measurements from ETH-Camp and JAR1 AWS (West Greenland) as well as coupled atmosphere-snow regional climate simulations have highlighted flaws in the cross-polarized gradient ratio (XPGR) technique used to identify melt from passive microwave satellite data. It was found that dense clouds (causing notably rainfall) on the ice sheet severely perturb the XPGR melt signal. Therefore, the original XPGR melt detection algorithm has been adapted to better incorporate atmospheric variability over the ice sheet and an updated melt trend for the 1988-2003 period has been calculated. Compared to the original algorithm, the melt zone area increase is eight times higher (from 0.2 to 1.7% year{sup -1}). The increase is higher with the improved XPGR technique because rainfall also increased during this period. It is correlated to higher atmospheric temperatures. Finally, the model shows that the total ice sheet runoff is directly proportional to the melt extent surface detected by satellites. These results are important for the understanding of the effect of Greenland melting on the stability of the thermohaline circulation. (orig.)

  16. What controls the isotopic composition of Greenland surface snow?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. C. Steen-Larsen

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Water stable isotopes in Greenland ice core data provide key paleoclimatic information, and have been compared with precipitation isotopic composition simulated by isotopically enabled atmospheric models. However, post-depositional processes linked with snow metamorphism remain poorly documented. For this purpose, monitoring of the isotopic composition (δ18O, δD of near-surface water vapor, precipitation and samples of the top (0.5 cm snow surface has been conducted during two summers (2011–2012 at NEEM, NW Greenland. The samples also include a subset of 17O-excess measurements over 4 days, and the measurements span the 2012 Greenland heat wave. Our observations are consistent with calculations assuming isotopic equilibrium between surface snow and water vapor. We observe a strong correlation between near-surface vapor δ18O and air temperature (0.85 ± 0.11‰ °C−1 (R = 0.76 for 2012. The correlation with air temperature is not observed in precipitation data or surface snow data. Deuterium excess (d-excess is strongly anti-correlated with δ18O with a stronger slope for vapor than for precipitation and snow surface data. During nine 1–5-day periods between precipitation events, our data demonstrate parallel changes of δ18O and d-excess in surface snow and near-surface vapor. The changes in δ18O of the vapor are similar or larger than those of the snow δ18O. It is estimated using the CROCUS snow model that 6 to 20% of the surface snow mass is exchanged with the atmosphere. In our data, the sign of surface snow isotopic changes is not related to the sign or magnitude of sublimation or deposition. Comparisons with atmospheric models show that day-to-day variations in near-surface vapor isotopic composition are driven by synoptic variations and changes in air mass trajectories and distillation histories. We suggest that, in between precipitation events, changes in the surface snow isotopic composition are driven by these changes in near

  17. Research of Snow-Melt Process on a Heated Platform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasilyev Gregory P.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The article has shown the results of experimental researches of the snow-melt on a heated platform-near building heat-pump snow-melt platform. The near-building (yard heat pump platforms for snow melt with the area up to 10-15 m2 are a basis of the new ideology of organization of the street cleaning of Moscow from snow in the winter period which supposes the creation in the megalopolis of the «distributed snow-melt system» (DSMS using non-traditional energy sources. The results of natural experimental researches are presented for the estimation of efficiency of application in the climatic conditions of Moscow of heat pumps in the snow-melt systems. The researches were conducted on a model sample of the near-building heat-pump platform which uses the low-potential thermal energy of atmospheric air. The conducted researches have confirmed experimentally in the natural conditions the possibility and efficiency of using of atmospheric air as a source of low-potential thermal energy for evaporation of the snow-melt heat pump systems in the climatic conditions of Moscow. The results of laboratory researches of snow-melt process on a heated horizontal platform are presented. The researches have revealed a considerable dependence of efficiency of the snow-melt process on its piling mode (form-building and the organization of the process of its piling mode (form-building and the organization of the process of its (snow mass heat exchange with the surface of the heated platform. In the process of researches the effect of formation of an «ice dome» under the melting snow mass called by the fact that in case of the thickness of snow loaded on the platform more than 10 cm the water formed from the melting snow while the contact with the heating surface don’t spread on it, but soaks into the snow, wets it due to capillary effect and freezes. The formation of «ice dome» leads to a sharp increase of snow-melt period and decreases the operating

  18. Satellite-derived, melt-season surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet (2000-2005) and its relationship to mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, D.K.; Williams, R.S.; Casey, K.A.; DiGirolamo, N.E.; Wan, Z.

    2006-01-01

    Mean, clear-sky surface temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet was measured for each melt season from 2000 to 2005 using Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)–derived land-surface temperature (LST) data-product maps. During the period of most-active melt, the mean, clear-sky surface temperature of the ice sheet was highest in 2002 (−8.29 ± 5.29°C) and 2005 (−8.29 ± 5.43°C), compared to a 6-year mean of −9.04 ± 5.59°C, in agreement with recent work by other investigators showing unusually extensive melt in 2002 and 2005. Surface-temperature variability shows a correspondence with the dry-snow facies of the ice sheet; a reduction in area of the dry-snow facies would indicate a more-negative mass balance. Surface-temperature variability generally increased during the study period and is most pronounced in the 2005 melt season; this is consistent with surface instability caused by air-temperature fluctuations.

  19. Ultratrace analysis for organolead compounds in Greenland snow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lobinski, R.; Szpunar-Lobinska, J.; Adams, F.C.

    1994-01-01

    The degradation products of tetraalkyllead compounds used as antiknock additives are unique indicators of automotive environmental pollution by lead. Recent dramatic improvements in species-specific ultrasensitive analytical procedures enabled the identification and quantification of organolead compounds in ancient Greenland snow which is considered as the archives of northern hemispheric pollution records. Organolead species determined in fresh and ancient polar snow demonstrate unambiguously the global range of petrol-related pollution not only with ionic Pb 2+ but also with more toxic metalloorganic compounds. (authors). 9 refs., 5 figs

  20. Climatology of increased temperatures and melt at Swiss Camp, western slope of Greenland ice sheet, 1991-2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, K.; McGrath, D.

    2013-12-01

    Climate observations (1991-2012) will be discussed from the Swiss Camp (69deg 33‧53″N, 49deg 19‧51″W, 1176 m), located at the western slope of the Greenland ice sheet, 60 km inland from Ilulissat. The mean annual temperature of -12 C increased 3.6 C between 1991 and 2012 (1.7 C per decade) with large interannual variability in all seasons. The mean spring temperature increased from -16.0 C to -13.8 C, and the fall temperature increased from -12.4 C to -11.3 C in the same time. The winter temperature showed the largest increase of 6.5 C, whereas summer temperatures increased 3.0 C during the 21 years (1991 - 2012). Radiation has been monitored continuously at Swiss Camp since 1993. Net radiation of 50 W/ m2 was recorded in 2012, the warmest summer month on record. The entire annual snow cover melted at Swiss Camp, reducing the monthly albedo value to 0.4 with bare ice exposed. Interannual variability of snow accumulation ranged between 0.07 and 0.70 m water equivalent, whereas annual snow and ice ablation varied between +0.35 (net gain) and -1.8 m (net loss) for the time period 1991-2012. The equilibrium line altitude (ELA) is no longer located at Swiss Camp (1176 m elevation) with a net surface lowering of 9.5 m since 1991. Increasing summer air temperatures have resulted in an upward migration of both the percolation facies and ablation area of the Greenland ice sheet. The 0°C isothermal migrated upward at a rate of 35 m/a over the 1995-2012 period in West Greenland. There is a 50% probability of the mean annual dry snow line migrating above Summit by 2025, at which time Summit will experience routine melt on an annual basis. The surface mass balance observations similarly indicate that the ELA has migrated upwards at a rate of 44 m/a over the 1997-2011 period in West Greenland, resulting in a more than doubling of the ablation zone width during this period. Inter-annual variability of monthly mean albedo at the Swiss Camp (1993 - 2012). Albedo at 0.5 is

  1. Snow cover as a source of technogenic pollution of surface water during the snow melting period

    OpenAIRE

    Labuzova Olga; Noskova Tatyana; Lysenko Maria; Ovcharenko Elena; Papina Tatyana

    2016-01-01

    The study of pollutants in melt water of snow cover and snow disposal sites in the city of Barnaul showed that during the snow melting period the surface water is not subjected to significant technogenic impact according to a number of studied indices. The oils content is an exception: it can exceed MAC more than 20 times in river- water due to the melting of city disposal sites. Environmental damage due to an oils input into water resources during the snow melting period...

  2. Surface energy balance of seasonal snow cover for snow-melt ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This study describes time series analysis of snow-melt, radiation data and energy balance for a seasonal snow cover at Dhundi field station of SASE, which lies in Pir Panjal range of the. N–W Himalaya, for a winter season from 13 January to 12 April 2005. The analysis shows that mean snow surface temperature remains ...

  3. Snow cover as a source of technogenic pollution of surface water during the snow melting period

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Labuzova Olga

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The study of pollutants in melt water of snow cover and snow disposal sites in the city of Barnaul showed that during the snow melting period the surface water is not subjected to significant technogenic impact according to a number of studied indices. The oils content is an exception: it can exceed MAC more than 20 times in river- water due to the melting of city disposal sites. Environmental damage due to an oils input into water resources during the snow melting period can be more than 300000 thousand rubles.

  4. Optical Benson: Following the Impact of Melt Season Progression Using Landsat and Sentinel 2 - Snow Zone Formation Imaged

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahnestock, M. A.; Shuman, C. A.; Alley, K. E.

    2017-12-01

    Snow pit observations on a glaciologically-focussed surface traverse in Greenland allowed Benson [1962, SIPRE (now CRREL) Research Report 70] to define a series of snow zones based on the extent of post-depositional diagenesis of the snowpack. At high elevations, Benson found fine-grained "dry snow" where melt (at that time) was absent year-round, followed down-elevation by a "percolation zone" where surface melt penetrated the snowpack, then a "wet snow zone" where firn became saturated during the peak of the melt season, and finally "superimposed ice" and "bare ice" zones where refrozen surface melt and glacier ice were exposed in the melt season. These snow zones can be discriminated in winter synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery of the ice sheet (e.g. Fahnestock et al. 2001), but summer melt reduces radar backscatter and makes it difficult to follow the progression of diagenesis beyond the initial indications of surface melting. While some of the impacts of surface melt (especially bands of blue water-saturated firn) are observed from time to time in optical satellite imagery, it has only become possible to map effects of melt over the course of a summer season with the advent of large-data analysis tools such as Google Earth Engine and the inclusion of Landsat and Sentinel-2 data streams in these tools. A map of the maximum extent of this blue saturated zone through the 2016 melt season is shown in the figure. This image is a true color (RGB) composite, but each pixel in the image shows the color of the surface when the "blueness" of the pixel was at a maximum. This means each pixel can be from a different satellite image acquisition than adjacent pixels - but it also means that the maximum extent of the saturated firn (Benson's wet snow zone) is visible. Also visible are percolation, superimposed and bare ice zones. This analysis, using Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager data, was performed using Google Earth Engine to access and analyze the entire melt

  5. Insight into biogeochemical inputs and composition of Greenland Ice Sheet surface snow and glacial forefield river catchment environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Karen; Hagedorn, Birgit; Dieser, Markus; Christner, Brent; Choquette, Kyla; Sletten, Ronald; Lui, Lu; Junge, Karen

    2014-05-01

    The volume of freshwater transported from Greenland to surrounding marine waters has tended to increase annually over the past four decades as a result of warmer surface air temperatures (Bamber et al 2012, Hanna et al 2008). Ice sheet run off is estimated to make up approximately of third of this volume (Bamber et al 2012). However, the biogeochemical composition and seeding sources of the Greenland Ice Sheet supraglacial landscape is largely unknown. In this study, the structure and diversity of surface snow microbial assemblages from two regions of the western Greenland Ice Sheet ice-margin was investigated through the sequencing of small subunit rRNA genes. Furthermore, the origins of microbiota were investigated by examining correlations to molecular data obtained from marine, soil, freshwater and atmospheric environments and to geochemical analytes measured in the snow. Snow was found to contain a diverse assemblage of bacteria (Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria) and eukarya (Alveolata, Fungi, Stramenopiles and Viridiplantae). Phylotypes related to archaeal Thaumarchaeota and Euryarchaeota phyla were also identified. The structure of microbial assemblages was found to have strong similarities to communities sampled from marine and air environments, and sequences obtained from the South-West region, near Kangerlussuaq, which is bordered by an extensive periglacial expanse, had additional resemblances to soil originating communities. Strong correlations were found between bacterial beta diversity and Na+ and Cl- concentrations. These data suggest that surface snow from western regions of Greenland contain microbiota that are most likely derived from exogenous, wind transported sources. Downstream of the supraglacial environment, Greenland's rivers likely influence the ecology of localized estuary and marine systems. Here we characterize the geochemical and biotic composition of a glacial and glacial forefield fed river catchment in

  6. Experimental Investigation of Concrete Runway Snow Melting Utilizing Heat Pipe Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengchen Chen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A full scale snow melting system with heat pipe technology is built in this work, which avoids the negative effects on concrete structure and environment caused by traditional deicing chemicals. The snow melting, ice-freezing performance and temperature distribution characteristics of heat pipe concrete runway were discussed by the outdoor experiments. The results show that the temperature of the concrete pavement is greatly improved with the heat pipe system. The environment temperature and embedded depth of heat pipe play a dominant role among the decision variables of the snow melting system. Heat pipe snow melting pavement melts the snow completely and avoids freezing at any time when the environment temperature is below freezing point, which is secure enough for planes take-off and landing. Besides, the exportation and recovery of geothermal energy indicate that this system can run for a long time. This paper will be useful for the design and application of the heat pipe used in the runway snow melting.

  7. Experimental Investigation of Concrete Runway Snow Melting Utilizing Heat Pipe Technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fengchen; Su, Xin; Ye, Qing; Fu, Jianfeng

    2018-01-01

    A full scale snow melting system with heat pipe technology is built in this work, which avoids the negative effects on concrete structure and environment caused by traditional deicing chemicals. The snow melting, ice-freezing performance and temperature distribution characteristics of heat pipe concrete runway were discussed by the outdoor experiments. The results show that the temperature of the concrete pavement is greatly improved with the heat pipe system. The environment temperature and embedded depth of heat pipe play a dominant role among the decision variables of the snow melting system. Heat pipe snow melting pavement melts the snow completely and avoids freezing at any time when the environment temperature is below freezing point, which is secure enough for planes take-off and landing. Besides, the exportation and recovery of geothermal energy indicate that this system can run for a long time. This paper will be useful for the design and application of the heat pipe used in the runway snow melting.

  8. [Characteristics of mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere under the snow retention and snow melting control].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Gang; Wang, Ning; Ai, Jian-Chao; Zhang, Lei; Yang, Jing; Liu, Zi-Qi

    2013-02-01

    Jiapigou gold mine, located in the upper Songhua River, was once the largest mine in China due to gold output, where gold extraction with algamation was widely applied to extract gold resulting in severe mercury pollution to ambient environmental medium. In order to study the characteristics of mercury exchange flux between soil (snow) and atmosphere under the snow retention and snow melting control, sampling sites were selected in equal distances along the slope which is situated in the typical hill-valley terrain unit. Mercury exchange flux between soil (snow) and atmosphere was determined with the method of dynamic flux chamber and in all sampling sites the atmosphere concentration from 0 to 150 cm near to the earth in the vertical direction was measured. Furthermore, the impact factors including synchronous meteorology, the surface characteristics under the snow retention and snow melting control and the mercury concentration in vertical direction were also investigated. The results are as follows: During the period of snow retention and melting the air mercury tends to gather towards valley bottom along the slope and an obvious deposit tendency process was found from air to the earth's surface under the control of thermal inversion due to the underlying surface of cold source (snow surface). However, during the period of snow melting, mercury exchange flux between the soil and atmosphere on the surface of the earth with the snow being melted demonstrates alternative deposit and release processes. As for the earth with snow covered, the deposit level of mercury exchange flux between soil and atmosphere is lower than that during the period of snow retention. The relationship between mercury exchange flux and impact factors shows that in snow retention there is a remarkable negative linear correlation between mercury exchange flux and air mercury concentration as well as between the former and the air temperature. In addition, in snow melting mercury exchange

  9. Modelling snow accumulation and snow melt in a continuous hydrological model for real-time flood forecasting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanzel, Ph; Haberl, U; Nachtnebel, H P

    2008-01-01

    Hydrological models for flood forecasting in Alpine basins need accurate representation of snow accumulation and snow melt processes. A continuous, semi-distributed rainfall-runoff model with snow modelling procedures using only precipitation and temperature as input is presented. Simulation results from an application in an Alpine Danube tributary watershed are shown and evaluated with snow depth measurements and MODIS remote sensing snow cover information. Seasonal variations of runoff due to snow melt were simulated accurately. Evaluation of simulated snow depth and snow covered area showed strengths and limitations of the model and allowed an assessment of input data quality. MODIS snow cover images were found to be valuable sources of information for hydrological modelling in alpine areas, where ground observations are scarce.

  10. Modelling snow accumulation and snow melt in a continuous hydrological model for real-time flood forecasting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stanzel, Ph; Haberl, U; Nachtnebel, H P [Institute of Water Management, Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Muthgasse 18, 1190 Vienna (Austria)], E-mail: philipp.stanzel@boku.ac.at

    2008-11-01

    Hydrological models for flood forecasting in Alpine basins need accurate representation of snow accumulation and snow melt processes. A continuous, semi-distributed rainfall-runoff model with snow modelling procedures using only precipitation and temperature as input is presented. Simulation results from an application in an Alpine Danube tributary watershed are shown and evaluated with snow depth measurements and MODIS remote sensing snow cover information. Seasonal variations of runoff due to snow melt were simulated accurately. Evaluation of simulated snow depth and snow covered area showed strengths and limitations of the model and allowed an assessment of input data quality. MODIS snow cover images were found to be valuable sources of information for hydrological modelling in alpine areas, where ground observations are scarce.

  11. Searching for manganese pollution from MMT anti-knock gasoline additives in snow from central Greenland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veysseyre, A.; Velde, K. van de; Ferrari, C.; Boutron, C.

    1998-01-01

    Mn has been measured in snow core samples dated from 1967 to 1989 collected in central Greenland. Observed concentrations range from 16 to 236 pg g -1 . A large fraction of Mn in Greenland snow is found to originate from rock and soil dust. The different possible natural sources for 'excess' Mn above that contributed from rock and soil dust include volcanoes, natural vegetation fires and continental biogenic emissions. They could explain part of the observed excess. At least part of it is, however, probably related to anthropogenic inputs, especially from North America. Aside from industrial sources, MMT (methyl-cyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl) anti-knock gasoline additives are good candidates, but our data do not allow to clearly identify their influence. Unambiguous identification will require the direct determination of organo-Mn compounds in comprehensive series of Greenland snow samples with sub-seasonal resolution using highly sensitive speciation techniques. (Copyright (c) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  12. A Snow Density Dataset for Improving Surface Boundary Conditions in Greenland Ice Sheet Firn Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S. Fausto

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The surface snow density of glaciers and ice sheets is of fundamental importance in converting volume to mass in both altimetry and surface mass balance studies, yet it is often poorly constrained. Site-specific surface snow densities are typically derived from empirical relations based on temperature and wind speed. These parameterizations commonly calculate the average density of the top meter of snow, thereby systematically overestimating snow density at the actual surface. Therefore, constraining surface snow density to the top 0.1 m can improve boundary conditions in high-resolution firn-evolution modeling. We have compiled an extensive dataset of 200 point measurements of surface snow density from firn cores and snow pits on the Greenland ice sheet. We find that surface snow density within 0.1 m of the surface has an average value of 315 kg m−3 with a standard deviation of 44 kg m−3, and has an insignificant annual air temperature dependency. We demonstrate that two widely-used surface snow density parameterizations dependent on temperature systematically overestimate surface snow density over the Greenland ice sheet by 17–19%, and that using a constant density of 315 kg m−3 may give superior results when applied in surface mass budget modeling.

  13. NHM-SMAP: spatially and temporally high-resolution nonhydrostatic atmospheric model coupled with detailed snow process model for Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwano, Masashi; Aoki, Teruo; Hashimoto, Akihiro; Matoba, Sumito; Yamaguchi, Satoru; Tanikawa, Tomonori; Fujita, Koji; Tsushima, Akane; Iizuka, Yoshinori; Shimada, Rigen; Hori, Masahiro

    2018-02-01

    To improve surface mass balance (SMB) estimates for the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), we developed a 5 km resolution regional climate model combining the Japan Meteorological Agency Non-Hydrostatic atmospheric Model and the Snow Metamorphism and Albedo Process model (NHM-SMAP) with an output interval of 1 h, forced by the Japanese 55-year reanalysis (JRA-55). We used in situ data to evaluate NHM-SMAP in the GrIS during the 2011-2014 mass balance years. We investigated two options for the lower boundary conditions of the atmosphere: an offline configuration using snow, firn, and ice albedo, surface temperature data from JRA-55, and an online configuration using values from SMAP. The online configuration improved model performance in simulating 2 m air temperature, suggesting that the surface analysis provided by JRA-55 is inadequate for the GrIS and that SMAP results can better simulate physical conditions of snow/firn/ice. It also reproduced the measured features of the GrIS climate, diurnal variations, and even a strong mesoscale wind event. In particular, it successfully reproduced the temporal evolution of the GrIS surface melt area extent as well as the record melt event around 12 July 2012, at which time the simulated melt area extent reached 92.4 %. Sensitivity tests showed that the choice of calculation schemes for vertical water movement in snow and firn has an effect as great as 200 Gt year-1 in the GrIS-wide accumulated SMB estimates; a scheme based on the Richards equation provided the best performance.

  14. Greenland ice sheet melt from MODIS and associated atmospheric variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häkkinen, Sirpa; Hall, Dorothy K; Shuman, Christopher A; Worthen, Denise L; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E

    2014-03-16

    Daily June-July melt fraction variations over the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) (2000-2013) are associated with atmospheric blocking forming an omega-shape ridge over the GIS at 500 hPa height. Blocking activity with a range of time scales, from synoptic waves breaking poleward (days) to full-fledged blocks (≥5 days), brings warm subtropical air masses over the GIS controlling daily surface temperatures and melt. The temperature anomaly of these subtropical air mass intrusions is also important for melting. Based on the years with the greatest melt (2002 and 2012) during the MODIS era, the area-average temperature anomaly of 2 standard deviations above the 14 year June-July mean results in a melt fraction of 40% or more. Though the summer of 2007 had the most blocking days, atmospheric temperature anomalies were too small to instigate extreme melting. Short-term atmospheric blocking over Greenland contributes to melt episodesAssociated temperature anomalies are equally important for the meltDuration and strength of blocking events contribute to surface melt intensity.

  15. Seasonal variation in the input of atmospheric selenium to northwestern Greenland snow

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Khanghyun; Hong, Sang-Bum [Korea Polar Research Institute, 26 Songdomirae-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 406–840 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jeonghoon [Department of Science Education, Ewha womans University, 52 Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-750 (Korea, Republic of); Chung, Jiwoong; Hur, Soon-Do [Korea Polar Research Institute, 26 Songdomirae-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 406–840 (Korea, Republic of); Hong, Sungmin, E-mail: smhong@inha.ac.kr [Department of Ocean Sciences, Inha University, 100 Inharo, Nam-gu, Incheon 402-751 (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-09-01

    Oxygen isotope ratio (δ{sup 18}O) and concentrations of Al, Na{sup +}, methanesulfonic acid (MSA), SO{sub 4}{sup 2−}, and selenium (Se) in a continuous series of 70 snow samples from a 3.2-m snow pit at a site in northwestern Greenland were determined using ultraclean procedures. Well-defined depth profiles of δ{sup 18}O, Al, and sea-salt-Na{sup +} allowed the determination of chronology of the snow pit that spanned approximately 6 years from spring 2003 to summer 2009. Se concentrations were at a low pg/g level, ranging from 7.2 to 45 pg/g, and exhibited high variability with generally higher values during winter and spring and lower values during summer and fall. Very high crustal enrichment factors (EF{sub c}) of Se averaging approximately 26,600 for the entire time period indicate a small contribution from crust dust. High Se/MSA ratios are generally observed in the winter and spring snow layers, in which the Se concentrations were relatively high (> 20 pg/g). This suggests that a significant component of the Se present in the snow layers is of anthropogenic origin. During the summer season, however, high EF{sub c} values are accompanied with low Se/MSA, indicating an increased contribution of marine biogenic sources. Significant correlations between Se, Al, and non-sea-salt SO{sub 4}{sup 2−} highlight that significant inputs of Se to the snow are likely controlled by the seasonality in the transport efficiency of anthropogenic Se from the source regions to the site. Based on the seasonal changes in Se concentrations, Se/MSA, and Se/S ratios observed in the samples, the input of anthropogenic Se to the site appears to be governed by the long-range transportation of Se emitted from coal combustion in East Asian countries, especially in China. - Highlights: • The first comprehensive seasonal variation of Se in Greenland snow is presented. • Data exhibit pronounced seasonality in the fallout of Se to Greenland. • High Se/MSA ratios indicate a

  16. Seasonal variation in the input of atmospheric selenium to northwestern Greenland snow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Khanghyun; Hong, Sang-Bum; Lee, Jeonghoon; Chung, Jiwoong; Hur, Soon-Do; Hong, Sungmin

    2015-01-01

    Oxygen isotope ratio (δ 18 O) and concentrations of Al, Na + , methanesulfonic acid (MSA), SO 4 2− , and selenium (Se) in a continuous series of 70 snow samples from a 3.2-m snow pit at a site in northwestern Greenland were determined using ultraclean procedures. Well-defined depth profiles of δ 18 O, Al, and sea-salt-Na + allowed the determination of chronology of the snow pit that spanned approximately 6 years from spring 2003 to summer 2009. Se concentrations were at a low pg/g level, ranging from 7.2 to 45 pg/g, and exhibited high variability with generally higher values during winter and spring and lower values during summer and fall. Very high crustal enrichment factors (EF c ) of Se averaging approximately 26,600 for the entire time period indicate a small contribution from crust dust. High Se/MSA ratios are generally observed in the winter and spring snow layers, in which the Se concentrations were relatively high (> 20 pg/g). This suggests that a significant component of the Se present in the snow layers is of anthropogenic origin. During the summer season, however, high EF c values are accompanied with low Se/MSA, indicating an increased contribution of marine biogenic sources. Significant correlations between Se, Al, and non-sea-salt SO 4 2− highlight that significant inputs of Se to the snow are likely controlled by the seasonality in the transport efficiency of anthropogenic Se from the source regions to the site. Based on the seasonal changes in Se concentrations, Se/MSA, and Se/S ratios observed in the samples, the input of anthropogenic Se to the site appears to be governed by the long-range transportation of Se emitted from coal combustion in East Asian countries, especially in China. - Highlights: • The first comprehensive seasonal variation of Se in Greenland snow is presented. • Data exhibit pronounced seasonality in the fallout of Se to Greenland. • High Se/MSA ratios indicate a significant contribution from anthropogenic sources.

  17. Evaluation of a high-resolution regional climate simulation over Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lefebre, Filip [Universite catholique de Louvain, Institut d' Astronomie et de Geophysique G. Lemaitre, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Vito - Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Integral Environmental Studies, Mol (Belgium); Fettweis, Xavier; Ypersele, Jean-Pascal van; Marbaix, Philippe [Universite catholique de Louvain, Institut d' Astronomie et de Geophysique G. Lemaitre, Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Gallee, Hubert [Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de Geophysique de l' Environnement, Grenoble (France); Greuell, Wouter [Utrecht University, Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht (Netherlands); Calanca, Pierluigi [Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Zurich (Switzerland)

    2005-07-01

    A simulation of the 1991 summer has been performed over south Greenland with a coupled atmosphere-snow regional climate model (RCM) forced by the ECMWF re-analysis. The simulation is evaluated with in-situ coastal and ice-sheet atmospheric and glaciological observations. Modelled air temperature, specific humidity, wind speed and radiative fluxes are in good agreement with the available observations, although uncertainties in the radiative transfer scheme need further investigation to improve the model's performance. In the sub-surface snow-ice model, surface albedo is calculated from the simulated snow grain shape and size, snow depth, meltwater accumulation, cloudiness and ice albedo. The use of snow metamorphism processes allows a realistic modelling of the temporal variations in the surface albedo during both melting periods and accumulation events. Concerning the surface albedo, the main finding is that an accurate albedo simulation during the melting season strongly depends on a proper initialization of the surface conditions which mainly result from winter accumulation processes. Furthermore, in a sensitivity experiment with a constant 0.8 albedo over the whole ice sheet, the average amount of melt decreased by more than 60%, which highlights the importance of a correctly simulated surface albedo. The use of this coupled atmosphere-snow RCM offers new perspectives in the study of the Greenland surface mass balance due to the represented feedback between the surface climate and the surface albedo, which is the most sensitive parameter in energy-balance-based ablation calculations. (orig.)

  18. Experimental investigation of ice and snow melting process on pavement utilizing geothermal tail water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Huajun; Zhao Jun; Chen Zhihao

    2008-01-01

    Road ice and snow melting based on low temperature geothermal tail water is of significance to realize energy cascading utilization. A small scale ice and snow melting system is built in this work. Experiments of dynamic melting processes of crushed ice, solid ice, artificial snow and natural snow are conducted on concrete pavement. The results show that the melting process of ice and snow includes three phases: a starting period, a linear period and an accelerated period. The critical value of the snow free area ratio between the linear period and the accelerated period is about 0.6. The physical properties of ice and snow, linked with ambient conditions, have an obvious effect on the melting process. The difference of melting velocity and melting time between ice and snow is compared. To reduce energy consumption, the formation of ice on roads should be avoided if possible. The idling process is an effective pathway to improve the performance of melting systems. It is feasible to utilize geothermal tail water of about 40 deg. C for melting ice and snow on winter roads, and it is unnecessary to keep too high fluid temperatures during the practical design and applications. Besides, with the exception of solid ice, the density and porosity of snow and ice tend to be decreasing and increasing, respectively, as the ambient temperature decreases

  19. The Impact Of Snow Melt On Surface Runoff Of Sava River In Slovenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvat, A.; Brilly, M.; Vidmar, A.; Kobold, M.

    2009-04-01

    Snow is a type of precipitation in the form of crystalline water ice, consisting of a multitude of snowflakes that fall from clouds. Snow remains on the ground until it melts or sublimates. Spring snow melt is a major source of water supply to areas in temperate zones near mountains that catch and hold winter snow, especially those with a prolonged dry summer. In such places, water equivalent is of great interest to water managers wishing to predict spring runoff and the water supply of cities downstream. In temperate zone like in Slovenia the snow melts in the spring and contributes certain amount of water to surface flow. This amount of water can be great and can cause serious floods in case of fast snow melt. For this reason we tried to determine the influence of snow melt on the largest river basin in Slovenia - Sava River basin, on surface runoff. We would like to find out if snow melt in Slovenian Alps can cause spring floods and how serious it can be. First of all we studied the caracteristics of Sava River basin - geology, hydrology, clima, relief and snow conditions in details for each subbasin. Furtermore we focused on snow and described the snow phenomenom in Slovenia, detailed on Sava River basin. We collected all available data on snow - snow water equivalent and snow depth. Snow water equivalent is a much more useful measurement to hydrologists than snow depth, as the density of cool freshly fallen snow widely varies. New snow commonly has a density of between 5% and 15% of water. But unfortunately there is not a lot of available data of SWE available for Slovenia. Later on we compared the data of snow depth and river runoff for some of the 40 winter seasons. Finally we analyzed the use of satellite images for Slovenia to determine the snow cover for hydrology reason. We concluded that snow melt in Slovenia does not have a greater influence on Sava River flow. The snow cover in Alps can melt fast due to higher temperatures but the water distributes

  20. Greenland iceberg melt variability from high-resolution satellite observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. M. Enderlin

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Iceberg discharge from the Greenland Ice Sheet accounts for up to half of the freshwater flux to surrounding fjords and ocean basins, yet the spatial distribution of iceberg meltwater fluxes is poorly understood. One of the primary limitations for mapping iceberg meltwater fluxes, and changes over time, is the dearth of iceberg submarine melt rate estimates. Here we use a remote sensing approach to estimate submarine melt rates during 2011–2016 for 637 icebergs discharged from seven marine-terminating glaciers fringing the Greenland Ice Sheet. We find that spatial variations in iceberg melt rates generally follow expected patterns based on hydrographic observations, including a decrease in melt rate with latitude and an increase in melt rate with iceberg draft. However, we find no longitudinal variations in melt rates within individual fjords. We do not resolve coherent seasonal to interannual patterns in melt rates across all study sites, though we attribute a 4-fold melt rate increase from March to April 2011 near Jakobshavn Isbræ to fjord circulation changes induced by the seasonal onset of iceberg calving. Overall, our results suggest that remotely sensed iceberg melt rates can be used to characterize spatial and temporal variations in oceanic forcing near often inaccessible marine-terminating glaciers.

  1. Atmospheric river impacts on Greenland Ice Sheet surface melt and mass balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattingly, K.; Mote, T. L.

    2017-12-01

    Mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has accelerated during the early part of the 21st Century. Several episodes of widespread GrIS melt in recent years have coincided with intense poleward moisture transport by atmospheric rivers (ARs), suggesting that variability in the frequency and intensity of these events may be an important driver of the surface mass balance (SMB) of the GrIS. ARs may contribute to GrIS surface melt through the greenhouse effect of water vapor, the radiative effects of clouds, condensational latent heating within poleward-advected air masses, and the energy provided by liquid precipitation. However, ARs may also provide significant positive contributions to GrIS SMB through enhanced snow accumulation. Prior research on the role of ARs in Arctic climate has consisted of case studies of ARs associated with major GrIS melt events or examined the effects of poleward moisture flux on Arctic sea ice. In this study, a long-term (1979-2016) record of intense moisture transport events affecting Greenland is compiled using a conventional AR identification algorithm as well as a self-organizing map (SOM) classification applied to integrated water vapor transport (IVT) data from several atmospheric reanalysis datasets. An analysis of AR effects on GrIS melt and SMB is then performed with GrIS surface melt data from passive microwave satellite observations and the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR) regional climate model. Results show that meltwater production is above normal during and after AR impact days throughout the GrIS during all seasons, with surface melt enhanced most by strong (> 85th percentile IVT) and extreme (> 95th percentile IVT) ARs. This relationship holds at the seasonal scale, as the total amount of water vapor transported to the GrIS by ARs is significantly greater during above-normal melt seasons. ARs exert a more complex influence on SMB. Normal (< 85th percentile IVT) ARs generally do not have a substantial impact on

  2. Towards an assessment of the balance state of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boeggild, C.E.; Mayer, C.; Podlech, S.; Taurisano, A.; Nielsen, S.

    2004-07-01

    The climate of Europe is strongly influenced by heat transport by ocean currents flowing from equatorial regions towards the Arctic. During recent years, research has been increasingly focused on factors affecting this circulation, e.g. the freshwater budget of the Arctic that is influenced by glacial melt water from north and East Greenland outlet glaciers. Furthermore, the climate is affected by snow cover, which, apart from its contribution to the freshwater budget, provides feedback effects in that it reflects most of the solar radiation. Apart from Arctic sea-ice cover, the Greenland Ice Sheet is the largest permanent ice- and snow-covered area in the northern hemisphere, with an area of 1.67 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 2} and by far the largest storage of ice with a volume of 2.93 x 10{sup 6} km{sup 3}. Most of the mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet occurs in the marginal region of the ice sheet, which is also the area where the largest changes in albedo occur. The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) has for many years carried out research along the Greenland Ice Sheet margin to monitor changes of mass balance and melt conditions. (BA)

  3. Simulation of snow distribution and melt under cloudy conditions in an Alpine watershed

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.-Y. Li

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available An energy balance method and remote-sensing data were used to simulate snow distribution and melt in an alpine watershed in northwestern China within a complete snow accumulation-melt period. The spatial energy budgets were simulated using meteorological observations and a digital elevation model of the watershed. A linear interpolation method was used to estimate the daily snow cover area under cloudy conditions, using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS data. Hourly snow distribution and melt, snow cover extent and daily discharge were included in the simulated results. The root mean square error between the measured snow-water equivalent samplings and the simulated results is 3.2 cm. The Nash and Sutcliffe efficiency statistic (NSE between the measured and simulated discharges is 0.673, and the volume difference (Dv is 3.9 %. Using the method introduced in this article, modelling spatial snow distribution and melt runoff will become relatively convenient.

  4. Continuous Estimates of Surface Density and Annual Snow Accumulation with Multi-Channel Snow/Firn Penetrating Radar in the Percolation Zone, Western Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, T.; Marshall, H. P.; Bradford, J.; Hawley, R. L.; Osterberg, E. C.; McCarthy, F.; Lewis, G.; Graeter, K.

    2017-12-01

    A priority of ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB) prediction is ascertaining the surface density and annual snow accumulation. These forcing data can be supplied into firn compaction models and used to tune Regional Climate Models (RCM). RCMs do not accurately capture subtle changes in the snow accumulation gradient. Additionally, leading RCMs disagree among each other and with accumulation studies in regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) over large distances and temporal scales. RCMs tend to yield inconsistencies over GrIS because of sparse and outdated validation data in the reanalysis pool. Greenland Traverse for Accumulation and Climate Studies (GreenTrACS) implemented multi-channel 500 MHz Radar in multi-offset configuration throughout two traverse campaigns totaling greater than 3500 km along the western percolation zone of GrIS. The multi-channel radar has the capability of continuously estimating snow depth, average density, and annual snow accumulation, expressed at 95% confidence (+-) 0.15 m, (+-) 17 kgm-3, (+-) 0.04 m w.e. respectively, by examination of the primary reflection return from the previous year's summer surface.

  5. Levels of ammonium, sulfate, chloride, calcium, and sodium in snow and ice from southern Greenland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Busenberg, E.; Langway, C.C. Jr.

    1979-01-01

    Chemical analysis of surface snows and dated ice core samples from Dye 3, Greenland, suggests that the ammonium cation is a major constituent in all samples and that the annual ammonium levels present in the south Greenland samples have varied from 3.3 to 26.3 μg/kg between the seventeenth century and the present time. The annual range of 1974--1975 surface samples was between 3.8 and 8.8 μg/kg, while the mean was 5.7 +- 1.8 μ/kg. The recent large-scale uses of fixed nitrogen fertilizers and industrial pollution have apparently not affected the levels of ammonia reaching southern Greenland. The sodium and chloride present are predominantly derived from ocean spray, while more than 90% of the calcium is of continental origin. The levels of these three elements have not apparently been affected by human activity since the industrial revolution. Sulfate levels have increased dramatically since the industrial revolution, suggesting that sulfate of anthropogenic origin is the most important source of sulfate in modern snows from southern Greenland. The amount of the sulfuric acid neutralized by the ammonium cations was approximately 100% in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, dropping to approximately 20% in the 1974--1975 samples. These figures imply that there has been in increase in the acidity of precipitation in southern Greenland since the end of the eighteenth ce

  6. Future projections of the Greenland ice sheet energy balance driving the surface melt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Franco

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available In this study, simulations at 25 km resolution are performed over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, using the regional climate model MAR forced by four RCP scenarios from three CMIP5 global circulation models (GCMs, in order to investigate the projected changes of the surface energy balance (SEB components driving the surface melt. Analysis of 2000–2100 melt anomalies compared to melt results over 1980–1999 reveals an exponential relationship of the GrIS surface melt rate simulated by MAR to the near-surface air temperature (TAS anomalies, mainly due to the surface albedo positive feedback associated with the extension of bare ice areas in summer. On the GrIS margins, the future melt anomalies are preferentially driven by stronger sensible heat fluxes, induced by enhanced warm air advection over the ice sheet. Over the central dry snow zone, the surface albedo positive feedback induced by the increase in summer melt exceeds the negative feedback of heavier snowfall for TAS anomalies higher than 4 °C. In addition to the incoming longwave flux increase associated with the atmosphere warming, GCM-forced MAR simulations project an increase of the cloud cover decreasing the ratio of the incoming shortwave versus longwave radiation and dampening the albedo feedback. However, it should be noted that this trend in the cloud cover is contrary to that simulated by ERA-Interim–forced MAR for recent climate conditions, where the observed melt increase since the 1990s seems mainly to be a consequence of more anticyclonic atmospheric conditions. Finally, no significant change is projected in the length of the melt season, which highlights the importance of solar radiation absorbed by the ice sheet surface in the melt SEB.

  7. Meltwater-induced changes in the structure and behavior of Greenland's firn

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacFerrin, M. J.; Machguth, H.; van As, D.; Charalampidis, C.; Heilig, A.; Vandecrux, B.; Stevens, C.; Abdalati, W.

    2017-12-01

    As surface melt increases across the Greenland ice sheet in a warming climate, Greenland's accumulation zone has absorbed a progressively greater volume of water. In low-accumulation regions lacking perennial aquifers, this meltwater has refrozen into subsurface ice, which is now fundamentally altering the structure of near-surface firn layers. Here we present an extensive collection of firn cores, in situ radar, NASA IceBridge radar, thermistor string measurements, in situ FirnCover compaction data and regional climate model results to illustrate several distinct ways that Greenland's percolation zone is being fundamentally altered by increasing surface melt. The bulk density of the top 20 meters' firn in the wet-snow facies has increased by up to 40% in the past 50 years, due primarily to an up to six-fold increase in firn ice content. Firn compaction rates have changed both in their annual magnitude and have been delayed in their seasonal phase by up to three months, driven primarily by an increased release of latent heat as water refreezes at depth. When firn exceeds a threshold of excess melt in which seasonal snow can no longer accommodate summer melt, individual refrozen ice layers at depth have annealed together to form low-permeability ice slabs (LPISs). These multi-meter thick layers of ice perched over porous firn block percolation to depth and increase the size of the runoff zone. LPISs are a type of "hybrid facies" capable both of running water off the surface, while continuing to slowly compact porous firn at depth. Currently LPISs cover approximately 5% of Greenland's current accumulation zone, but we project them to extend across 15-50% of the accumulation zone by 2100 under different forcing scenarios. These observed changes in the structure and behavior of Greenland's firn have serious implications for future runoff of the ice sheet. Additionally, they challenge modern assumptions which we use to quantify the mass balance of the Greenland ice

  8. Central Asian supra-glacier snow melt enhanced by anthropogenic black carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmale, Julia; Flanner, Mark; Kang, Shichang; Sprenger, Michael; Farinotti, Daniel; Zhang, Qianggong; Guo, Junming; Li, Yang; Lawrence, Mark; Schwikowski, Margit

    2016-04-01

    In Central Asia, more than 60 % of the population depends on water stored in glaciers and mountain snow. Densely populated areas near lower-lying mountain ranges are particularly vulnerable and a recent study showed that the region might lose 50 % of its glacier mass by 2050. While temperature, precipitation and dynamic processes are key drivers of glacial change, deposition of light absorbing impurities such as mineral dust and black carbon can lead to accelerated melting through surface albedo reduction. Here, we discuss the origin of deposited mineral dust and black carbon and their impacts on albedo change and snow melt. 218 snow samples were taken on 4 glaciers, Abramov (Pamir), Suek, Glacier No. 354 and Golubin (Tien Shan), representing deposition between summer 2012 and 2014. They were analyzed for elemental carbon, mineral dust and iron among other parameters. We find the elemental carbon concentration to be at the higher end of the range reported for neighboring mountain ranges between 70 and 502 ng g-1 (interquartile range). To investigate the origin of the snow impurities, we used a Lagrangian particle dispersion model, LAGRANTO. Back trajectory ensembles of 40 members with varied starting points to capture the meteorological spread were released every 6 hours for the covered period at all sites. "Footprints" were calculated and combined with emission inventories to estimate the relative contribution of anthropogenic and natural BC to deposited aerosol on the glaciers. We find that more than 94 % of BC is of anthropogenic origin and the major source region is Central Asia followed by the Middle East. Further exploring the implications of mineral dust and BC deposition, we calculate the snow albedo reduction with the Snow-Ice-Aerosol-Radiative model (SNICAR). Even though mineral dust concentrations were up to a factor of 50 higher than BC concentrations, BC dominates the albedo reduction. Using these results we calculate the snow melt induced by

  9. A Snow Density Dataset for Improving Surface Boundary Conditions in Greenland Ice Sheet Firn Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    S. Fausto, Robert; E. Box, Jason; Vandecrux, Baptiste Robert Marcel

    2018-01-01

    The surface snow density of glaciers and ice sheets is of fundamental importance in converting volume to mass in both altimetry and surface mass balance studies, yet it is often poorly constrained. Site-specific surface snow densities are typically derived from empirical relations based...... on temperature and wind speed. These parameterizations commonly calculate the average density of the top meter of snow, thereby systematically overestimating snow density at the actual surface. Therefore, constraining surface snow density to the top 0.1 m can improve boundary conditions in high-resolution firn......-evolution modeling. We have compiled an extensive dataset of 200 point measurements of surface snow density from firn cores and snow pits on the Greenland ice sheet. We find that surface snow density within 0.1 m of the surface has an average value of 315 kg m−3 with a standard deviation of 44 kg m−3, and has...

  10. Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Characteristics Derived from Passive Microwave Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Greenland ice sheet melt extent data, acquired as part of the NASA Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA), is a daily (or every other day, prior...

  11. Black Carbon in Arctic Snow: Preliminary Results from Recent Field Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, S. G.; Grenfell, T. C.; Radionov, V. F.; Clarke, A. D.

    2007-12-01

    Annual snowpacks act to amplify variations in regional solar heating of the surface due to positive feedback processes associated with areal melting and precipitation. Small amounts of black carbon (BC) in the snow can reduce the albedo and modulate shortwave absorption and transmission affecting the onset of melt and heating of the snow pack. The effect of black carbon on the albedo of snow in the Arctic is estimated to be up to a few percent. The only prior survey of arctic snow was that of Clarke and Noone in 1983-84. We have begun a wide- area survey of the BC content of arctic snow in order to update and expand the 1983/84 survey. Samples of snow have been collected in mid to late spring when the entire winter snowpack was accessible. The samples have been melted and filtered, and the filters analyzed for absorptive impurities. To date, sites in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and in the Arctic Basin have been sampled. In March and April 2007 we also carried out a field program at four sites in northwestern Russia as part of the International Polar Year. Preliminary results based on visual comparison with the standard filters indicate that the snow cover in arctic North America and the Beaufort Sea have lower BC concentrations now than 20 years ago while levels in Greenland are about the same. Background levels of BC in Russia are approximately twice those in North America consistent with modeling predictions of Flanner et al., 2007. More accurate values of absorption will be obtained by measurement of spectral transmission of the filters, which will also allow the relative contributions of BC and soil dust to be determined.

  12. Snow Dunes: A Controlling Factor of Melt Pond Distribution on Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrich, Chris; Eicken, Hajo; Polashenski, Christopher M.; Sturm, Matthew; Harbeck, Jeremy P.; Perovich, Donald K.; Finnegan, David C.

    2012-01-01

    The location of snow dunes over the course of the ice-growth season 2007/08 was mapped on level landfast first-year sea ice near Barrow, Alaska. Landfast ice formed in mid-December and exhibited essentially homogeneous snow depths of 4-6 cm in mid-January; by early February distinct snow dunes were observed. Despite additional snowfall and wind redistribution throughout the season, the location of the dunes was fixed by March, and these locations were highly correlated with the distribution of meltwater ponds at the beginning of June. Our observations, including ground-based light detection and ranging system (lidar) measurements, show that melt ponds initially form in the interstices between snow dunes, and that the outline of the melt ponds is controlled by snow depth contours. The resulting preferential surface ablation of ponded ice creates the surface topography that later determines the melt pond evolution.

  13. Evaluation of the most suitable threshold value for modelling snow glacier melt through T- index approach: the case study of Forni Glacier (Italian Alps)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senese, Antonella; Maugeri, Maurizio; Vuillermoz, Elisa; Smiraglia, Claudio; Diolaiuti, Guglielmina

    2014-05-01

    , to assess the most suitable threshold, we firstly analyzed hourly MEB values to detect if ablation occurs and how long this phenomenon takes (number of hours per day). The largest part of the melting (97.7%) resulted occurring on days featuring at least 6 melting hours thus suggesting to consider their minimum average daily temperature value as a suitable threshold (268.1 K). Then we ran a simple T-index model applying different threshold values. The threshold which better reproduces snow melting results the value 268.1 K. Summarizing using a 5.0 K lower threshold value (with respect to the largely applied 273.15 K) permits the best reconstruction of glacier melt and it results in agreement with findings by van den Broeke et al. (2010) in Greenland ice sheet. Then probably the choice of a 268 K value as threshold for computing degree days amount could be generalized and applied not only on Greenland glaciers but also on Mid latitude and Alpine ones. This work was carried out under the umbrella of the SHARE Stelvio Project funded by the Lombardy Region and managed by FLA and EvK2-CNR Committee.

  14. Post-depositional enrichment of black soot in snow-pack and accelerated melting of Tibetan glaciers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Baiqing; Joswiak, Daniel R; Zhao Huabiao; Cao Junji; Liu Xianqin; He Jianqiao

    2012-01-01

    The post-depositional enrichment of black soot in snow-pack was investigated by measuring the redistribution of black soot along monthly snow-pits on a Tien Shan glacier. The one-year experiment revealed that black soot was greatly enriched, defined as the ratio of concentration to original snow concentration, in the unmelted snow-pack by at least an order of magnitude. Greatest soot enrichment was observed in the surface snow and the lower firn-pack within the melt season percolation zone. Black carbon (BC) concentrations as high as 400 ng g −1 in the summer surface snow indicate that soot can significantly contribute to glacier melt. BC concentrations reaching 3000 ng g −1 in the bottom portion of the firn pit are especially concerning given the expected equilibrium-line altitude (ELA) rise associated with future climatic warming, which would expose the dirty underlying firn and ice. Since most of the accumulation area on Tibetan glaciers is within the percolation zone where snow densification is characterized by melting and refreezing, the enrichment of black soot in the snow-pack is of foremost importance. Results suggest the effect of black soot on glacier melting may currently be underestimated. (letter)

  15. Radiation balances of melting snow covers at an open site in the Central Sierra Nevada, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aguado, E.

    1985-01-01

    The radiation balances of melting snow packs for three seasons at an open site at the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory near Soda Springs, California were examined. The snow covers were examples of below-normal, near-normal and much-above-normal water equivalents. Two of the snow covers melted under generally clear skies in late spring while the other melted under cloudier conditions and at a time when less extraterrestrial radiation was available. Moreover, the snow covers were of very different densities, thereby allowing examination of a possible relationship between that characteristic and albedo. No such relationship was observed. Despite the dissimilarities in the conditions under which melt occurred, the disposition of solar radiation was similar for the three melt seasons. Albedos and their rates of decline through the melt season were similar for the three seasons. Absorbed solar radiation and a cloudiness index were useful predictors for daily net radiation, accounting for 71% of the total variance. (author)

  16. Seasonal monitoring of melt and accumulation within the deep percolation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet and comparison with simulations of regional climate modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heilig, Achim; Eisen, Olaf; MacFerrin, Michael; Tedesco, Marco; Fettweis, Xavier

    2018-06-01

    Increasing melt over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) recorded over the past several years has resulted in significant changes of the percolation regime of the ice sheet. It remains unclear whether Greenland's percolation zone will act as a meltwater buffer in the near future through gradually filling all pore space or if near-surface refreezing causes the formation of impermeable layers, which provoke lateral runoff. Homogeneous ice layers within perennial firn, as well as near-surface ice layers of several meter thickness have been observed in firn cores. Because firn coring is a destructive method, deriving stratigraphic changes in firn and allocation of summer melt events is challenging. To overcome this deficit and provide continuous data for model evaluations on snow and firn density, temporal changes in liquid water content and depths of water infiltration, we installed an upward-looking radar system (upGPR) 3.4 m below the snow surface in May 2016 close to Camp Raven (66.4779° N, 46.2856° W) at 2120 m a.s.l. The radar is capable of quasi-continuously monitoring changes in snow and firn stratigraphy, which occur above the antennas. For summer 2016, we observed four major melt events, which routed liquid water into various depths beneath the surface. The last event in mid-August resulted in the deepest percolation down to about 2.3 m beneath the surface. Comparisons with simulations from the regional climate model MAR are in very good agreement in terms of seasonal changes in accumulation and timing of onset of melt. However, neither bulk density of near-surface layers nor the amounts of liquid water and percolation depths predicted by MAR correspond with upGPR data. Radar data and records of a nearby thermistor string, in contrast, matched very well for both timing and depth of temperature changes and observed water percolations. All four melt events transferred a cumulative mass of 56 kg m-2 into firn beneath the summer surface of 2015. We find that

  17. Greenland ice-sheet contribution to sea-level rise buffered by meltwater storage in firn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, J; Humphrey, N; Pfeffer, W T; Brown, J; Fettweis, X

    2012-11-08

    Surface melt on the Greenland ice sheet has shown increasing trends in areal extent and duration since the beginning of the satellite era. Records for melt were broken in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012. Much of the increased surface melt is occurring in the percolation zone, a region of the accumulation area that is perennially covered by snow and firn (partly compacted snow). The fate of melt water in the percolation zone is poorly constrained: some may travel away from its point of origin and eventually influence the ice sheet's flow dynamics and mass balance and the global sea level, whereas some may simply infiltrate into cold snow or firn and refreeze with none of these effects. Here we quantify the existing water storage capacity of the percolation zone of the Greenland ice sheet and show the potential for hundreds of gigatonnes of meltwater storage. We collected in situ observations of firn structure and meltwater retention along a roughly 85-kilometre-long transect of the melting accumulation area. Our data show that repeated infiltration events in which melt water penetrates deeply (more than 10 metres) eventually fill all pore space with water. As future surface melt intensifies under Arctic warming, a fraction of melt water that would otherwise contribute to sea-level rise will fill existing pore space of the percolation zone. We estimate the lower and upper bounds of this storage sink to be 322 ± 44 gigatonnes and  1,289(+388)(-252) gigatonnes, respectively. Furthermore, we find that decades are required to fill this pore space under a range of plausible future climate conditions. Hence, routing of surface melt water into filling the pore space of the firn column will delay expansion of the area contributing to sea-level rise, although once the pore space is filled it cannot quickly be regenerated.

  18. What color should snow algae be and what does it mean for glacier melt?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dial, R. J.; Ganey, G. Q.; Loso, M.; Burgess, A. B.; Skiles, M.

    2017-12-01

    Specialized microbes colonize glaciers and ice sheets worldwide and, like all organisms, they are unable to metabolize water in its solid form. It is well understood that net solar radiation controls melt in almost all snow and ice covered environments, and theoretical and empirical studies have documented the substantial reduction of albedo by these microbes both on ice and on snow, implicating a microbial role in glacier melt. If glacial microbiomes are limited by liquid water, and the albedo-reducing properties of individual cells enhance melt rates, then natural selection should favor those microbes that melt ice and snow crystals most efficiently. Here we: (1) argue that natural selection favors a red color on snow and a near-black color on ice based on instantaneous radiative forcing. (2) Review results of the first replicated, controlled field experiment to both quantify the impact of microbes on snowmelt in "red-snow" communities and demonstrate their water-limitation and (3) show the extent of snow-algae's spatial distribution and estimate their contribution to snowmelt across a large Alaskan icefield using remote sensing. On the 700 km2 of a 2,000 km2 maritime icefield in Alaska where red-snow was present, microbes increased snowmelt over 20% by volume, a percentage likely to increase as the climate warms and particulate pollution intensifies with important implications for models of sea level rise.

  19. Bathymetry and retreat of Southeast Greenland glaciers from Operation IceBridge and Ocean Melting Greenland data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, R.; Rignot, E. J.; Morlighem, M.; Bjork, A. A.; Mouginot, J.; Wood, M.

    2017-12-01

    Southeast Greenland has been one of the largest contributors to ice mass loss in Greenland in part because of significant changes in glacier dynamics. The leading hypothesis for the changes in glacier dynamics is that enhanced thermal forcing from the ocean has dislodged a number of glaciers from their anchoring positions and some of them retreated rapidly along a reverse bed. The glaciers response has been observed to vary significantly from one fjord to the next, but until now there was not enough data to understand or interpret these changes. In particular, there was no data on glacier bed topography and seafloor bathymetry in the fjords. Here we present the results of new fjord mapping by the NASA Ocean Melting Greenland mission combined with a recent high-resolution airborne gravity survey by NASA Operation IceBridge. We combine these data with a reconstruction of the bed using a mass conservation approach upstream extending into the glacial fjords for the first time. In the fjord and along the ice-ocean transition, we employ a 3D inversion of gravity data to infer the bed elevation along a set of 9 survey boxes spanning south of Helheim Glacier to the southern tip of Southeast Greenland. We combine the results with an analysis of the glacier front history since the 1930's and Conductivity Temperature Depth data obtained in the fjord by OMG in 2016. The data reveals bed elevations several 100-m deeper than previously thought, for almost all the glaciers, up to 500 m for some of them. For many glaciers, the bed profiles help to completely understand the history of retreat of the glaciers. For instance, glaciers stranded on sills have been stable; glaciers on a reverse slope have retreated rapidly; and glaciers with a normal slope have retreated slowly. The mapping also helps document the extent of the marine portion of the glacier basins. In many of the fjords, we document the presence of warm, salty Atlantic Water which fuels large melt rates. We employ

  20. Arctic Amplification and the Northward shift of a new Greenland melting record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Marco; Mote, Thomas; Fettweis, Xavier; Hanna, Edward; Booth, James; Jeyaratnam, Jeyavinoth; Datta, Rajashree; Briggs, Kate

    2016-04-01

    Large-scale atmospheric circulation controls the mass and energy balance of the Greenland ice sheet through its impact on radiative budget, runoff and accumulation. Using reanalysis data and the outputs of a regional climate model, here we show that the persistence of an exceptional atmospheric ridge, centred over the Arctic Ocean was responsible for a northward shift of surface melting records over Greenland, and for increased accumulation in the south during the summer of 2015. Concurrently, new records of mean monthly zonal winds at 500 hPa and of the maximum latitude of ridge peaks of the 5700±50 m isohypse over the Arctic were also set. An unprecedented (1948 - 2015) and sustained jet stream easterly flow promoted enhanced runoff, increased surface temperatures and decreased albedo in northern Greenland, while inhibiting melting in the south. The exceptional 2015 summer Arctic atmospheric conditions are consistent with the anticipated effects of Arctic Amplification, including slower zonal winds and increased jet stream wave amplitude. Properly addressing the impact of Arctic Amplification on surface runoff of the Greenland ice sheet is crucial for rigorously quantifying its contribution to current and future sea level rise, and the relative impact of freshwater discharge on the surrounding ocean.

  1. Variability of {sup 10}Be and {delta}{sup 18}O in snow pits from Greenland and a surface traverse from Antarctica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berggren, A.-M. [Dept. of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villav. 16, 752 36 Uppsala (Sweden); Aldahan, A., E-mail: ala.aldahan@geo.uu.se [Dept. of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villav. 16, 752 36 Uppsala (Sweden); Dept. of Geology, United Arab Emirates University, P.O. Box 17551 Al Ain (United Arab Emirates); Possnert, G. [Tandem Laboratory, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 529, 751 20 Uppsala (Sweden); Hansson, M. [Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); Steen-Larsen, H.C. [Centre for Ice and Climate, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries Vej, 30,2100 Copenhagen (Denmark); Sturevik Storm, A. [Dept. of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Villav. 16, 752 36 Uppsala (Sweden); Moerth, C.-M. [Dept. of Geology and Geochemistry, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm (Sweden); Murad, A. [Dept. of Geology, United Arab Emirates University, P.O. Box 17551 Al Ain (United Arab Emirates)

    2013-01-15

    To examine temporal variability of {sup 10}Be in glacial ice, we sampled snow to a depth of 160 cm at the NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling) drilling site in Greenland. The samples span three years between the summers of 2006 and 2009. At the same time, spatial variability of {sup 10}Be in glacial ice was explored through collection of the upper {approx}5 cm of surface snow in Antarctica during part of the Swedish-Japanese traverse from Svea to Syowa station during the austral summer in 2007-2008. The results of the Greenlandic {sup 10}Be snow suggested variable concentrations that apparently do not clearly reflect the seasonal change as indicated by the {delta}{sup 18}O data. The {sup 10}Be concentration variability most likely reflects also effects of aerosol loading and deposition pathways, possibly in combination with post-depositional processes. The Antarctic traverse data expose a negative correlation between {sup 10}Be and {delta}{sup 18}O, while there are weaker but still significant correlations to altitude and distance to the coast (approximated by the distance to the 70th latitude). These relationships indicate that geographical factors, mainly the proximity to the coast, may strongly affect {sup 10}Be concentrations in snow in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.

  2. Comparison of snow melt properties across multiple spatial scales and landscape units in interior sub-Arctic boreal Alaskan watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, K. E.; Cherry, J. E.; Hiemstra, C. A.; Bolton, W. R.

    2013-12-01

    Interior sub-Arctic Alaskan snow cover is rapidly changing and requires further study for correct parameterization in physically based models. This project undertook field studies during the 2013 snow melt season to capture snow depth, snow temperature profiles, and snow cover extent to compare with observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor at four different sites underlain by discontinuous permafrost. The 2013 melt season, which turned out to be the latest snow melt period on record, was monitored using manual field measurements (SWE, snow depth data collection), iButtons to record temperature of the snow pack, GoPro cameras to capture time lapse of the snow melt, and low level orthoimagery collected at ~1500 m using a Navion L17a plane mounted with a Nikon D3s camera. Sites were selected across a range of landscape conditions, including a north facing black spruce hill slope, a south facing birch forest, an open tundra site, and a high alpine meadow. Initial results from the adjacent north and south facing sites indicate a highly sensitive system where snow cover melts over just a few days, illustrating the importance of high resolution temporal data capture at these locations. Field observations, iButtons and GoPro cameras show that the MODIS data captures the melt conditions at the south and the north site with accuracy (2.5% and 6.5% snow cover fraction present on date of melt, respectively), but MODIS data for the north site is less variable around the melt period, owing to open conditions and sparse tree cover. However, due to the rapid melt rate trajectory, shifting the melt date estimate by a day results in a doubling of the snow cover fraction estimate observed by MODIS. This information can assist in approximating uncertainty associated with remote sensing data that is being used to populate hydrologic and snow models (the Sacramento Soil Moisture Accounting model, coupled with SNOW-17, and the Variable

  3. Isotope effect and deuterium excess parameter revolution in ice and snow melt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yin Guan; Ni Shijun; Fan Xiao; Wu Hao

    2003-01-01

    The change of water isotope composition actually is a integrated reaction depending on the change of environment. The ice and snow melt of different seasons in high mountain can obviously influence the change of isotope composition and deuterium excess parameter of surface flow and shallow groundwater. To know the isotopic fractionation caused by this special natural background, explore its forming and evolvement, is unusually important for estimating, the relationship between the environment, climate and water resources in an area. Taking the example of isotope composition of surface flow and shallow groundwater in Daocheng, Sichuan, this paper mainly introduced the changing law of isotope composition and deuterium excess parameter of surface flow and hot-spring on conditions of ice and snow melt with different seasons in high mountain; emphatically discussed the isotope effect and deuterium excess parameter revolution in the process of ice and snow melting and its reason. (authors)

  4. Simple models for the simulation of submarine melt for a Greenland glacial system model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckmann, Johanna; Perrette, Mahé; Ganopolski, Andrey

    2018-01-01

    Two hundred marine-terminating Greenland outlet glaciers deliver more than half of the annually accumulated ice into the ocean and have played an important role in the Greenland ice sheet mass loss observed since the mid-1990s. Submarine melt may play a crucial role in the mass balance and position of the grounding line of these outlet glaciers. As the ocean warms, it is expected that submarine melt will increase, potentially driving outlet glaciers retreat and contributing to sea level rise. Projections of the future contribution of outlet glaciers to sea level rise are hampered by the necessity to use models with extremely high resolution of the order of a few hundred meters. That requirement in not only demanded when modeling outlet glaciers as a stand alone model but also when coupling them with high-resolution 3-D ocean models. In addition, fjord bathymetry data are mostly missing or inaccurate (errors of several hundreds of meters), which questions the benefit of using computationally expensive 3-D models for future predictions. Here we propose an alternative approach built on the use of a computationally efficient simple model of submarine melt based on turbulent plume theory. We show that such a simple model is in reasonable agreement with several available modeling studies. We performed a suite of experiments to analyze sensitivity of these simple models to model parameters and climate characteristics. We found that the computationally cheap plume model demonstrates qualitatively similar behavior as 3-D general circulation models. To match results of the 3-D models in a quantitative manner, a scaling factor of the order of 1 is needed for the plume models. We applied this approach to model submarine melt for six representative Greenland glaciers and found that the application of a line plume can produce submarine melt compatible with observational data. Our results show that the line plume model is more appropriate than the cone plume model for simulating

  5. Development of road hydronic snow-ice melting system with solar energy and seasonal underground thermal energy storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao, Q.; Liu, Y.; Ma, C.Q.; Li, M.; Huang, Y.; Yu, M. [Jilin Univ., Changchun (China). Dept. of Thermal Energy Engineering; Liu, X.B. [Climate Master Inc., OK (United States)

    2008-07-01

    Snow and ice melting technologies that used thermal energy storage were explored. The study included analyses of solar heat slab, seasonal underground thermal energy storage, and embedded pipe technologies. Different road materials, roadbed construction methods, and underground rock and soil conditions were also discussed. New processes combining all 3 of the main technologies were also reviewed. Other thermal ice melting technologies included conductive concrete and asphalt; heating cables, and hydronic melting systems. Geothermal energy is increasingly being considered as a means of melting snow and ice from roads and other infrastructure. Researchers have also been focusing on simulating heat transfer in solar collectors and road-embedded pipes. Demonstration projects in Japan, Switzerland, and Poland are exploring the use of combined geothermal and solar energy processes to remove snow and ice from roads. Research on hydronic melting technologies is also being conducted in the United States. The study demonstrated that snow-ice melting energy storage systems will become an important and sustainable method of snow and ice removal in the future. The technology efficiently uses renewable energy sources, and provides a cost-effective means of replacing or reducing chemical melting agents. 33 refs., 1 fig.

  6. Climate Variability, Melt-Flow Acceleration, and Ice Quakes at the Western Slope of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, K.; Zwally, J. H.; Rial, J. A.; Behar, A.; Huff, R.

    2006-12-01

    The Greenland ice sheet experienced surface melt increase over the past 15 years with record melt years in 1987, 1991, 1998, 2002 and 2005. For the western part of the ice sheet the melt area increased by 30 percent (1979-2005). Monthly mean air temperatures increased in spring and fall by 0.23 deg. C per year since 1990, extending the length of melt and total ablation. Winter air temperatures increased by as much as 0.5 deg. C per year during the past 15 years. The equilibrium line altitude ranged between 400 and 1530 m above sea level at 70 deg. north along the western slope of the ice sheet for the past 15 years, equaling a horizontal distance of 100 km. The ELA has been below the Swiss Camp (1100 m elevation) in the nineties, and since 1997 moved above the Swiss Camp height. An increase in ELA leads to an increase in melt water run-off which has been verified by regional model studies (high-resolution re-analysis). Interannual variability of snow accumulation varies from 0.3 to 2.0 m, whereas snow and ice ablation ranges from 0 to 1.5 m water equivalent at Swiss Camp during 1990-2005. A GPS network (10 stations) monitors ice velocity, acceleration, and surface height change at high temporal resolution throughout the year. The network covers a range of 500 and 1500 m above sea level, close to the Ilulissat Icefjord World Heritage region. The ice sheet continued to accelerate during the height of the melt season with short-term velocity increases up to 100 percent, and vertical uplift rates of 0.5 m. There seems to be a good correlation between the change in ice velocity and total surface melt, suggesting that melt water penetrates to great depth through moulins and cracks, lubricating the bottom of the ice sheet. A new bore-hole video movie will be shown from a 110 m deep moulin close to Swiss Camp. A PASSCAL array of 10 portable, 3-component seismic stations deployed around Swiss Camp from May to August 2006 detected numerous microearthquakes within the ice

  7. Vulnerability of Southeast Greenland Glaciers to Warm Atlantic Water From Operation IceBridge and Ocean Melting Greenland Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, R.; Rignot, E.; Mouginot, J.; Wood, M.; Bjørk, A. A.; Morlighem, M.

    2018-03-01

    We employ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s Operation IceBridge high-resolution airborne gravity from 2016, NASA's Ocean Melting Greenland bathymetry from 2015, ice thickness from Operation IceBridge from 2010 to 2015, and BedMachine v3 to analyze 20 major southeast Greenland glaciers. The results reveal glacial fjords several hundreds of meters deeper than previously thought; the full extent of the marine-based portions of the glaciers; deep troughs enabling warm, salty Atlantic Water (AW) to reach the glacier fronts and melt them from below; and few shallow sills that limit the access of AW. The new oceanographic and topographic data help to fully resolve the complex pattern of historical ice front positions from the 1930s to 2017: glaciers exposed to AW and resting on retrograde beds have retreated rapidly, while glaciers perched on shallow sills or standing in colder waters or with major sills in the fjords have remained stable.

  8. The summer 2012 Greenland heat wave

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonne, Jean-Louis; Steen-Larsen, Hans Christian; Risi, Camille

    2015-01-01

    During 7–12 July 2012, extreme moist and warm conditions occurred over Greenland, leading to widespread surface melt. To investigate the physical processes during the atmospheric moisture transport of this event, we study the water vapor isotopic composition using surface in situ observations....... Simulations using Lagrangian moisture source diagnostic and water tagging in a regional model showed that Greenland was affected by an atmospheric river transporting moisture from the western subtropical North Atlantic Ocean, which is coherent with observations of snow pit impurities deposited at NEEM......-enabled atmospheric general circulation models (LMDz-iso and ECHAM5-wiso). LMDz-iso correctly captures the timing of propagation for this event identified in IASI data but depict too gradual variations when compared to surface data. Both models reproduce the surface meteorological and isotopic values during the event...

  9. Improving Surface Mass Balance Over Ice Sheets and Snow Depth on Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Lora Suzanne; Box, Jason; Kurtz, Nathan

    2013-01-01

    Surface mass balance (SMB) over ice sheets and snow on sea ice (SOSI) are important components of the cryosphere. Large knowledge gaps remain in scientists' abilities to monitor SMB and SOSI, including insufficient measurements and difficulties with satellite retrievals. On ice sheets, snow accumulation is the sole mass gain to SMB, and meltwater runoff can be the dominant single loss factor in extremely warm years such as 2012. SOSI affects the growth and melt cycle of the Earth's polar sea ice cover. The summer of 2012 saw the largest satellite-recorded melt area over the Greenland ice sheet and the smallest satellite-recorded Arctic sea ice extent, making this meeting both timely and relevant.

  10. Spatial variation in energy exchange across coastal environments in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lund, M.; Abermann, J.; Citterio, M.; Hansen, B. U.; Larsen, S. H.; Stiegler, C.; Sørensen, L. L.; van As, D.

    2015-12-01

    The surface energy partitioning in Arctic terrestrial and marine areas is a crucial process, regulating snow, glacier ice and sea ice melt, and permafrost thaw, as well as modulating Earth's climate on both local, regional, and eventually, global scales. The Arctic region has warmed approximately twice as much as the global average, due to a number of feedback mechanisms related to energy partitioning, most importantly the snow and ice-albedo feedback. However, direct measurements of surface energy budgets in the Arctic are scarce, especially for the cold and dark winter period and over transects going from the ice sheet and glaciers to the sea. This study aims to describe annual cycles of the surface energy budget from various surface types in Arctic Greenland; e.g. glacier, snow, wet and dry tundra and sea ice, based on data from a number of measurement locations across coastal Greenland related to the Greenland Ecosystem Monitoring (GEM) program, including Station Nord/Kronprins Christians Land, Zackenberg/Daneborg, Disko, Qaanaq, Nuuk/Kobbefjord and Upernaviarsuk. Based on the available time series, we will analyze the sensitivity of the energy balance partitioning to variations in meteorological conditions (temperature, cloudiness, precipitation). Such analysis would allow for a quantification of the spatial variation in the energy exchange in aforementioned Arctic environments. Furthermore, this study will identify uncertainties and knowledge gaps in Arctic energy budgets and related climate feedback effects.

  11. Snow melting system with electric heating using photovoltaic power generation; Solar yusetsuko

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sasaki, M; Fujita, S; Kaga, T; Koyama, N [Hachinohe Institute of Technology, Aomori (Japan)

    1996-10-27

    This paper clarifies the solar characteristics in Hachinohe district, to investigate a possibility of the snow melting system with electric heating using solar energy. Power demand for snow melting, power generated by the photovoltaic (PV) array, area of PV array, and working conditions of the system, as to temperature, precipitation and snowfall, were investigated. The percentage of sunshine is 44% in Hachinohe district, which has more fortunate natural condition for utilizing solar radiation compared with that of 20% in Aomori prefecture. The intensity of solar radiation in winter from December to March is around 500 W/m{sup 2} in average, which is equivalent to the quantity of solar radiation, around 2 kWh/m{sup 2} a day. When assuming that snow on the road surface is frozen at the snowfall under the air temperature below -3{degree}C, the occurrence frequency is 50% during January and February in Hachinohe district, which means one frozen day for two days and is equivalent to the occurrence frequency of frozen days, 34% in average during winter. The electric application ratio is 0.34 at the maximum in winter. That is, days of 34% for one month are required for snow melting. 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  12. Quantifying the surface energy fluxes in South Greenland during the 2012 high melt episodes using in-situ observations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert S. Fausto

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Two high melt episodes occurred on the Greenland ice sheet in July 2012, during which nearly the entire ice sheet surface experienced melting. Observations from an automatic weather station (AWS in the lower ablation area in South Greenland reveal the largest daily melt rates (up to 28 cm d-1 ice equivalent ever recorded on the ice sheet. The two melt episodes lasted 6 days, equivalent to 6% of the June-August melt period, but contributed 14 % to the total annual ablation of 8.5 m ice equivalent. We employ a surface energy balance model driven by AWS data to quantify the relative importance of the energy budget components contributing to melt through the melt season. During the days with largest daily melt rates, surface turbulent heat input peaked at 552 Wm-2, 77 % of the surface melt energy, which is otherwise typically dominated by absorbed solar radiation. We find that rain contributed ca. 7 % to melt during these episodes.

  13. Measurement of the Spectral Absorption of Liquid Water in Melting Snow With an Imaging Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Robert O.; Dozier, Jeff

    1995-01-01

    Melting of the snowpack is a critical parameter that drives aspects of the hydrology in regions of the Earth where snow accumulates seasonally. New techniques for measurement of snow melt over regional scales offer the potential to improve monitoring and modeling of snow-driven hydrological processes. In this paper we present the results of measuring the spectral absorption of liquid water in a melting snowpack with the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS). AVIRIS data were acquired over Mammoth Mountain, in east central California on 21 May 1994 at 18:35 UTC. The air temperature at 2926 m on Mammoth Mountain at site A was measured at 15-minute intervals during the day preceding the AVIRIS data acquisition. At this elevation. the air temperature did not drop below freezing the night of the May 20 and had risen to 6 degrees Celsius by the time of the overflight on May 21. These temperature conditions support the presence of melting snow at the surface as the AVIRIS data were acquired.

  14. Current and future darkening of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Marco; Stroeve, Julienne; Fettweis, Xavier; Warren, Stephen; Doherty, Sarah; Noble, Erik; Alexander, Patrick

    2015-04-01

    Surface melting over the Greenland ice sheet (GIS) promotes snow grains growth, reducing albedo and further enhancing melting through the increased amount of absorbed solar radiation. Using a combination of remote sensing data and outputs of a regional climate model, we show that albedo over the GIS decreased significantly from 1996 to 2012. Further, we show that most of this darkening can be accounted for by enhanced snow grain growth and the expansion of areas where bare ice is exposed, both of which are driven by increases in snow warming. An analysis of the impact of light-absorbing impurities on albedo trends detected from spaceborne measurements was inconclusive because the estimated impact for concentrations of impurities of order of magnitude found in Greenland is within the albedo uncertainty retrievable from space-based instruments. However, neither models nor observations show an increase in pollutants (black carbon and associated organics) in the atmosphere over the GIS in this time period. Additionally, we could not identify trends in the number of fires over North America and Russia, assumed to be among the sources of soot for Greenland. We did find that a 'dark band' of tilted ice plays a crucial role in decreasing albedo along the west margin, and there is some indication that dust deposition to the GIS may be decreasing albedo in this region but this is not conclusive. In addition to looking at the direct impact of impurities on albedo, we estimated the impact of impurities on albedo via their influence on grain growth and found it is relatively small (~ 1- 2 %), though more sophisticated analysis needs to be carried out. Projections obtained under different warming scenarios consistently point to a continued darkening, with anomalies in albedo driven solely by the effects of climate warming of as much as -0.12 along the west margin of the GIS by the end of this century (with respect to year 2000). Projected darkening is likely underestimated

  15. Sediment transport during the snow melt period in a Mediterranean high mountain catchment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvera, B.; Lana-Renault, N.; Garcia-Ruiz, J. M.

    2009-07-01

    Transport of suspended sediment and solutes during the snow melt period (May-June, 2004) in the Izas catchment (Central Pyrenees) was studied to obtain a sediment balance and to assess the annual importance of sediment transport. The results showed that most sediment was exported in the form of solutes (75,6% of the total); 24.4% was exported as suspended sediment and no bed load was recorded. Sediment transport during the snow melt period represented 42.7% of the annual sediment yield. (Author) 7 refs.

  16. Sediment transport during the snow melt period in a Mediterranean high mountain catchment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alvera, B.; Lana-Renault, N.; Garcia-Ruiz, J. M.

    2009-01-01

    Transport of suspended sediment and solutes during the snow melt period (May-June, 2004) in the Izas catchment (Central Pyrenees) was studied to obtain a sediment balance and to assess the annual importance of sediment transport. The results showed that most sediment was exported in the form of solutes (75,6% of the total); 24.4% was exported as suspended sediment and no bed load was recorded. Sediment transport during the snow melt period represented 42.7% of the annual sediment yield. (Author) 7 refs.

  17. Study of critical free-area ratio during the snow-melting process on pavement using low-temperature heating fluids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Huajun [School of Energy and Environment Engineering, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin 300401 (China); Chen, Zhihao [Faculty of Engineering, Yokohama National University, Hodogaya, Yokohama 240-8501 (Japan)

    2009-01-15

    Critical free-area ratio (CFR) is an interesting phenomenon during the snow-melting process on pavement using low-temperature heating fluids such as geothermal tail water and industrial waste water. This paper is performed to further investigate the mechanism of CFR and its influencing factors. A simplified theoretical model is presented to describe the heat and mass transfer process on pavement. Especially the variation of thermal properties and the capillary effect of snow layer are considered. Numerical computation shows that the above theoretical model is effective for the prediction of CFR during the snow-melting process. Furthermore, the mechanism of CFR is clarified in detail. CFR is independent of the layout of hydronic pipes, the fluid temperature, the idling time, and weather conditions. It is both the non-uniform temperature distribution and complicated porous structure of snow layer that lead to the occurrence of CFR. Besides, the influences of operation parameters including the fluid temperature, the idling time, the pipe spacing and buried depths on snow melting are analyzed, which are helpful for the next optimal design of snow-melting system. (author)

  18. Study of critical free-area ratio during the snow-melting process on pavement using low-temperature heating fluids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang Huajun [School of Energy and Environment Engineering, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin 300401 (China)], E-mail: huajunwang@126.com; Chen Zhihao [Faculty of Engineering, Yokohama National University, Hodogaya, Yokohama 240-8501 (Japan)

    2009-01-15

    Critical free-area ratio (CFR) is an interesting phenomenon during the snow-melting process on pavement using low-temperature heating fluids such as geothermal tail water and industrial waste water. This paper is performed to further investigate the mechanism of CFR and its influencing factors. A simplified theoretical model is presented to describe the heat and mass transfer process on pavement. Especially the variation of thermal properties and the capillary effect of snow layer are considered. Numerical computation shows that the above theoretical model is effective for the prediction of CFR during the snow-melting process. Furthermore, the mechanism of CFR is clarified in detail. CFR is independent of the layout of hydronic pipes, the fluid temperature, the idling time, and weather conditions. It is both the non-uniform temperature distribution and complicated porous structure of snow layer that lead to the occurrence of CFR. Besides, the influences of operation parameters including the fluid temperature, the idling time, the pipe spacing and buried depths on snow melting are analyzed, which are helpful for the next optimal design of snow-melting system.

  19. Study of critical free-area ratio during the snow-melting process on pavement using low-temperature heating fluids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Huajun; Chen Zhihao

    2009-01-01

    Critical free-area ratio (CFR) is an interesting phenomenon during the snow-melting process on pavement using low-temperature heating fluids such as geothermal tail water and industrial waste water. This paper is performed to further investigate the mechanism of CFR and its influencing factors. A simplified theoretical model is presented to describe the heat and mass transfer process on pavement. Especially the variation of thermal properties and the capillary effect of snow layer are considered. Numerical computation shows that the above theoretical model is effective for the prediction of CFR during the snow-melting process. Furthermore, the mechanism of CFR is clarified in detail. CFR is independent of the layout of hydronic pipes, the fluid temperature, the idling time, and weather conditions. It is both the non-uniform temperature distribution and complicated porous structure of snow layer that lead to the occurrence of CFR. Besides, the influences of operation parameters including the fluid temperature, the idling time, the pipe spacing and buried depths on snow melting are analyzed, which are helpful for the next optimal design of snow-melting system

  20. How Greenland melts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van den Broeke M.R.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Satellite altimetry and gravimetry show that the Greenland ice sheet has been losing volume and mass since the beginning of this century. However, from these short time series of direct measurements we cannot infer what the causes of the mass loss are, i.e. ice dynamics or surface processes, or that maybe the ice sheet returns to normal after a period of volume increase and mass gain. By modelling and observing the individual components of the ice sheet mass balance, i.e. snowfall, meltwater runoff and iceberg production, we are able to identify the processes that led to the recent mass loss. We conclude that the Greenland ice sheet is significantly out of balance. Acceleration of outlet glaciers and increased runoff have contributed equally to recent Greenland mass loss. The potential for mass loss by surface processes, however, was three times greater than actually observed, due to refreezing and enhanced snowfall.

  1. Comparison on the heat requirements of a four-span greenhouse with a melting snow system and a single-span greenhouse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Furuno, S.; Sase, S.; Ishii, M.

    2004-01-01

    The heat requirements were measured and compared between a four-span greenhouse with a melting snow system and a typical single-span greenhouse with no melting snow system. Generally, single-span greenhouses require no melting snow system because snow drops off naturally from the roofs by gravity. The results for the four-span greenhouse showed that the provided heat by a heater for melting snow increased with an increase in snowfall, and there was a high correlation between them. The heat requirement per unit floor area of the four-span greenhouse was slightly less than that of the single-span greenhouse. This suggests that the decrease in heat requirement for internal air because of the larger floor/surface area ratio of the four-span greenhouse was more than the increase in heat requirement for melting snow. The measured heat requirement of the four-span greenhouse with the melting snow system was equal to the estimated heat load based on a common calculation procedure. On the other hand, that of the single-span greenhouse was slightly smaller than the estimated heat load. These suggest that the estimated heat load based on the common calculation procedure was slightly overestimated and larger than the actual heat requirement excluding the heat for the melting snow in snowy area. This is likely due to the fact that the parameters in the common calculation procedure were determined under the condition of larger net radiation than that in snowy area

  2. A Meteorological Experiment in the Melting Zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oerlemans, J.; Vugts, H.F.

    1993-01-01

    Preliminary results are described from a glaciometeorological experiment carried out in the margin (melting zone) of the Greenland ice sheet in the summers of 1990 and 1991. This work was initiated within the framework of a Dutch research program on land ice and sea level change. Seven

  3. Testing Snow Melt Algorithms in High Relief Topography Using Calibrated Enhanced-Resolution Brightness Temperatures, Hunza River Basin, Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramage, J. M.; Brodzik, M. J.; Hardman, M.; Troy, T. J.

    2017-12-01

    Snow is a vital part of the terrestrial hydrological cycle, a crucial resource for people and ecosystems. In mountainous regions snow is extensive, variable, and challenging to document. Snow melt timing and duration are important factors affecting the transfer of snow mass to soil moisture and runoff. Passive microwave brightness temperature (Tb) changes at 36 and 18 GHz are a sensitive way to detect snow melt onset due to their sensitivity to the abrupt change in emissivity. They are widely used on large icefields and high latitude watersheds. The coarse resolution ( 25 km) of historically available data has precluded effective use in high relief, heterogeneous regions, and gaps between swaths also create temporal data gaps at lower latitudes. New enhanced resolution data products generated from a scatterometer image reconstruction for radiometer (rSIR) technique are available at the original frequencies. We use these Calibrated Enhanced-resolution Brightness (CETB) Temperatures Earth System Data Records (ESDR) to evaluate existing snow melt detection algorithms that have been used in other environments, including the cross polarized gradient ratio (XPGR) and the diurnal amplitude variations (DAV) approaches. We use the 36/37 GHz (3.125 km resolution) and 18/19 GHz (6.25 km resolution) vertically and horizontally polarized datasets from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) and Advanced Microwave Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) and evaluate them for use in this high relief environment. The new data are used to assess glacier and snow melt records in the Hunza River Basin [area 13,000 sq. km, located at 36N, 74E], a tributary to the Upper Indus Basin, Pakistan. We compare the melt timing results visually and quantitatively to the corresponding EASE-Grid 2.0 25-km dataset, SRTM topography, and surface temperatures from station and reanalysis data. The new dataset is coarser than the topography, but is able to differentiate signals of melt/refreeze timing for

  4. Enhanced Surface Warming and Accelerated Snow Melt in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau Induced by Absorbing Aerosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, William K.; Kim, Maeng-Ki; Kim, Kyu-Myong; Lee, Woo-Seop

    2010-01-01

    Numerical experiments with the NASA finite-volume general circulation model show that heating of the atmosphere by dust and black carbon can lead to widespread enhanced warming over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and accelerated snow melt in the western TP and Himalayas. During the boreal spring, a thick aerosol layer, composed mainly of dust transported from adjacent deserts and black carbon from local emissions, builds up over the Indo-Gangetic Plain, against the foothills of the Himalaya and the TP. The aerosol layer, which extends from the surface to high elevation (approx.5 km), heats the mid-troposphere by absorbing solar radiation. The heating produces an atmospheric dynamical feedback the so-called elevated-heat-pump (EHP) effect, which increases moisture, cloudiness, and deep convection over northern India, as well as enhancing the rate of snow melt in the Himalayas and TP. The accelerated melting of snow is mostly confined to the western TP, first slowly in early April and then rapidly from early to mid-May. The snow cover remains reduced from mid-May through early June. The accelerated snow melt is accompanied by similar phases of enhanced warming of the atmosphere-land system of the TP, with the atmospheric warming leading the surface warming by several days. Surface energy balance analysis shows that the short-wave and long-wave surface radiative fluxes strongly offset each other, and are largely regulated by the changes in cloudiness and moisture over the TP. The slow melting phase in April is initiated by an effective transfer of sensible heat from a warmer atmosphere to land. The rapid melting phase in May is due to an evaporation-snow-land feedback coupled to an increase in atmospheric moisture over the TP induced by the EHP effect.

  5. Enhanced surface warming and accelerated snow melt in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau induced by absorbing aerosols

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lau, William K M; Kim, Maeng-Ki; Lee, Woo-Seop; Kim, Kyu-Myong

    2010-01-01

    Numerical experiments with the NASA finite-volume general circulation model show that heating of the atmosphere by dust and black carbon can lead to widespread enhanced warming over the Tibetan Plateau (TP) and accelerated snow melt in the western TP and Himalayas. During the boreal spring, a thick aerosol layer, composed mainly of dust transported from adjacent deserts and black carbon from local emissions, builds up over the Indo-Gangetic Plain, against the foothills of the Himalaya and the TP. The aerosol layer, which extends from the surface to high elevation (∼5 km), heats the mid-troposphere by absorbing solar radiation. The heating produces an atmospheric dynamical feedback-the so-called elevated-heat-pump (EHP) effect, which increases moisture, cloudiness, and deep convection over northern India, as well as enhancing the rate of snow melt in the Himalayas and TP. The accelerated melting of snow is mostly confined to the western TP, first slowly in early April and then rapidly from early to mid-May. The snow cover remains reduced from mid-May through early June. The accelerated snow melt is accompanied by similar phases of enhanced warming of the atmosphere-land system of the TP, with the atmospheric warming leading the surface warming by several days. Surface energy balance analysis shows that the short-wave and long-wave surface radiative fluxes strongly offset each other, and are largely regulated by the changes in cloudiness and moisture over the TP. The slow melting phase in April is initiated by an effective transfer of sensible heat from a warmer atmosphere to land. The rapid melting phase in May is due to an evaporation-snow-land feedback coupled to an increase in atmospheric moisture over the TP induced by the EHP effect.

  6. Potential genotoxic effects of melted snow from an urban area revealed by the Allium cepa test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blagojević, Jelena; Stamenković, Gorana; Vujosević, Mladen

    2009-09-01

    The presence of well-known atmospheric pollutants is regularly screened for in large towns but knowledge about the effects of mixtures of different pollutants and especially their genotoxic potential is largely missing. Since falling snow collects pollutants from the air, melted snow samples could be suitable for evaluating potential genotoxicity. For this purpose the Allium cepa anaphase-telophase test was used to analyse melted snow samples from Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia. Samples of snow were taken at two sites, characterized by differences in pollution intensity, in three successive years. At the more polluted site the analyses showed a very high degree of both toxicity and genotoxicity in the first year of the study corresponding to the effects of the known mutagen used as the positive control. At the other site the situation was much better but not without warning signals. The results showed that standard analyses for the presence of certain contaminants in the air do not give an accurate picture of the possible consequences of urban air pollution because the genotoxic potential remains hidden. The A. cepa test has been demonstrated to be very convenient for evaluation of air pollution through analyses of melted snow samples.

  7. Inter-annual Variations in Snow/Firn Density over the Greenland Ice Sheet by Combining GRACE gravimetry and Envisat Altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, X.; Shum, C. K.; Guo, J.; Howat, I.; Jezek, K. C.; Luo, Z.; Zhou, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Satellite altimetry has been used to monitor elevation and volume change of polar ice sheets since the 1990s. In order to derive mass change from the measured volume change, different density assumptions are commonly used in the research community, which may cause discrepancies on accurately estimating ice sheets mass balance. In this study, we investigate the inter-annual anomalies of mass change from GRACE gravimetry and elevation change from Envisat altimetry during years 2003-2009, with the objective of determining inter-annual variations of snow/firn density over the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). High positive correlations (0.6 or higher) between these two inter-annual anomalies at are found over 93% of the GrIS, which suggests that both techniques detect the same geophysical process at the inter-annual timescale. Interpreting the two anomalies in terms of near surface density variations, over 80% of the GrIS, the inter-annual variation in average density is between the densities of snow and pure ice. In particular, at the Summit of Central Greenland, we validate the satellite data estimated density with the in situ data available from 75 snow pits and 9 ice cores. This study provides constraints on the currently applied density assumptions for the GrIS.

  8. A coupled melt-freeze temperature index approach in a one-layer model to predict bulk volumetric liquid water content dynamics in snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avanzi, Francesco; Yamaguchi, Satoru; Hirashima, Hiroyuki; De Michele, Carlo

    2016-04-01

    Liquid water in snow rules runoff dynamics and wet snow avalanches release. Moreover, it affects snow viscosity and snow albedo. As a result, measuring and modeling liquid water dynamics in snow have important implications for many scientific applications. However, measurements are usually challenging, while modeling is difficult due to an overlap of mechanical, thermal and hydraulic processes. Here, we evaluate the use of a simple one-layer one-dimensional model to predict hourly time-series of bulk volumetric liquid water content in seasonal snow. The model considers both a simple temperature-index approach (melt only) and a coupled melt-freeze temperature-index approach that is able to reconstruct melt-freeze dynamics. Performance of this approach is evaluated at three sites in Japan. These sites (Nagaoka, Shinjo and Sapporo) present multi-year time-series of snow and meteorological data, vertical profiles of snow physical properties and snow melt lysimeters data. These data-sets are an interesting opportunity to test this application in different climatic conditions, as sites span a wide latitudinal range and are subjected to different snow conditions during the season. When melt-freeze dynamics are included in the model, results show that median absolute differences between observations and predictions of bulk volumetric liquid water content are consistently lower than 1 vol%. Moreover, the model is able to predict an observed dry condition of the snowpack in 80% of observed cases at a non-calibration site, where parameters from calibration sites are transferred. Overall, the analysis show that a coupled melt-freeze temperature-index approach may be a valid solution to predict average wetness conditions of a snow cover at local scale.

  9. Run-off of strontium with melting snow in spring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quenild, C.; Tveten, U.

    1986-09-01

    When assessing the consequences of atmospheric releases caused by a large reactor accident, one usually finds that the major contributions to the dose are via nutrition and from exposure to radiation from radioactive materials deposited on ground. The experiment described is concerned with run-off from agricultural surface which has been contaminated with strontiom while covered with snow. Migration experiments show a significant difference between summer and winter conditions. Roughly 54% of the strontium with which the experimental area was contaminated, ran off with the melt-water. Under winter conditions, portions of the contaminant will flow with the melt-water without coming in contact with the soil

  10. Surface-atmosphere decoupling limits accumulation at Summit, Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkelhammer, Max; Noone, David C; Steen-Larsen, Hans Christian; Bailey, Adriana; Cox, Christopher J; O'Neill, Michael S; Schneider, David; Steffen, Konrad; White, James W C

    2016-04-01

    Despite rapid melting in the coastal regions of the Greenland Ice Sheet, a significant area (~40%) of the ice sheet rarely experiences surface melting. In these regions, the controls on annual accumulation are poorly constrained owing to surface conditions (for example, surface clouds, blowing snow, and surface inversions), which render moisture flux estimates from myriad approaches (that is, eddy covariance, remote sensing, and direct observations) highly uncertain. Accumulation is partially determined by the temperature dependence of saturation vapor pressure, which influences the maximum humidity of air parcels reaching the ice sheet interior. However, independent proxies for surface temperature and accumulation from ice cores show that the response of accumulation to temperature is variable and not generally consistent with a purely thermodynamic control. Using three years of stable water vapor isotope profiles from a high altitude site on the Greenland Ice Sheet, we show that as the boundary layer becomes increasingly stable, a decoupling between the ice sheet and atmosphere occurs. The limited interaction between the ice sheet surface and free tropospheric air reduces the capacity for surface condensation to achieve the rate set by the humidity of the air parcels reaching interior Greenland. The isolation of the surface also acts to recycle sublimated moisture by recondensing it onto fog particles, which returns the moisture back to the surface through gravitational settling. The observations highlight a unique mechanism by which ice sheet mass is conserved, which has implications for understanding both past and future changes in accumulation rate and the isotopic signal in ice cores from Greenland.

  11. Satellite-derived submarine melt rates and mass balance (2011-2015) for Greenland's largest remaining ice tongues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Nat; Straneo, Fiammetta; Heimbach, Patrick

    2017-12-01

    Ice-shelf-like floating extensions at the termini of Greenland glaciers are undergoing rapid changes with potential implications for the stability of upstream glaciers and the ice sheet as a whole. While submarine melting is recognized as a major contributor to mass loss, the spatial distribution of submarine melting and its contribution to the total mass balance of these floating extensions is incompletely known and understood. Here, we use high-resolution WorldView satellite imagery collected between 2011 and 2015 to infer the magnitude and spatial variability of melt rates under Greenland's largest remaining ice tongues - Nioghalvfjerdsbræ (79 North Glacier, 79N), Ryder Glacier (RG), and Petermann Glacier (PG). Submarine melt rates under the ice tongues vary considerably, exceeding 50 m a-1 near the grounding zone and decaying rapidly downstream. Channels, likely originating from upstream subglacial channels, give rise to large melt variations across the ice tongues. We compare the total melt rates to the influx of ice to the ice tongue to assess their contribution to the current mass balance. At Petermann Glacier and Ryder Glacier, we find that the combined submarine and aerial melt approximately balances the ice flux from the grounded ice sheet. At Nioghalvfjerdsbræ the total melt flux (14.2 ± 0.96 km3 a-1 w.e., water equivalent) exceeds the inflow of ice (10.2 ± 0.59 km3 a-1 w.e.), indicating present thinning of the ice tongue.

  12. Performances of the snow accumulation melting model SAMM: results in the Northern Apennines test area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagomarsino, Daniela; Martelloni, Gianluca; Segoni, Samuele; Catani, Filippo; Fanti, Riccardo

    2013-04-01

    In this work we propose a snow accumulation-melting model (SAMM) to forecast the snowpack height and we compare the results with a simple temperature index model and an improved version of the latter.For this purpose we used rainfall, temperature and snowpack thickness 5-years data series from 7 weather stations in the Northern Apennines (Emilia Romagna Region, Italy). SAMM is based on two modules modelling the snow accumulation and the snowmelt processes. Each module is composed by two equations: a mass conservation equation is solved to model snowpack thickness and an empirical equation is used for the snow density. The processes linked to the accumulation/depletion of the snowpack (e.g. compression of the snowpack due to newly fallen snow and effects of rainfall) are modelled identifying limiting and inhibitory factors according to a kinetic approach. The model depends on 13 empirical parameters, whose optimal values were defined with an optimization algorithm (simplex flexible) using calibration measures of snowpack thickness. From an operational point of view, SAMM uses as input data only temperature and rainfall measurements, bringing the additional advantage of a relatively easy implementation. In order to verify the improvement of SAMM with respect to a temperature-index model, the latter was applied considering, for the amount of snow melt, the following equation: M = fm(T-T0), where M is hourly melt, fm is the melting factor and T0 is a threshold temperature. In this case the calculation of the depth of the snowpack requires the use of 3 parameters: fm, T0 and ?0 (the mean density of the snowpack). We also performed a simulation by replacing the SAMM melting module with the above equation and leaving unchanged the accumulation module: in this way we obtained a model with 9 parameters. The simulations results suggest that any further extension of the simple temperature index model brings some improvements with a consequent decrease of the mean error

  13. Elements and inorganic ions as source tracers in recent Greenland snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Alexandra M.; Shafer, Martin M.; Dibb, Jack E.; Polashenski, Chris M.; Schauer, James J.

    2017-09-01

    Atmospheric transport of aerosols leads to deposition of impurities in snow, even in areas of the Arctic as remote as Greenland. Major ions (e.g. Na+, Ca2+, NH4+, K+, SO42-) are frequently used as tracers for common aerosol sources (e.g. sea spray, dust, biomass burning, anthropogenic emissions). Trace element data can supplement tracer ion data by providing additional information about sources. Although many studies have considered either trace elements or major ions, few have reported both. This study determined total and water-soluble concentrations of 31 elements (Al, As, Ca, Cd, Ce, Co, Cr, Dy, Eu, Fe, Gd, K, La, Mg, Mn, Na, Nb, Nd, Pb, Pr, S, Sb, Si, Sm, Sn, Sr, Ti, V, U, Y, Zn) in shallow snow pits at 22 sampling sites in Greenland, along a transect from Summit Station to sites in the northwest. Black carbon (BC) and inorganic ions were measured in colocated samples. Sodium, which is typically used as a tracer of sea spray, did not appear to have any non-marine sources. The rare earth elements, alkaline earth elements (Mg, Ca, Sr), and other crustal elements (Fe, Si, Ti, V) were not enriched above crustal abundances relative to Al, indicating that these elements are primarily dust sourced. Calculated ratios of non-sea salt Ca (nssCa) to estimated dust mass affirm the use of nssCa as a dust tracer, but suggest up to 50% uncertainty in that estimate in the absence of other crustal element data. Crustal enrichment factors indicated that As, Cd, Pb, non-sea-salt S, Sb, Sn, and Zn were enriched in these samples, likely by anthropogenic sources. Principal component analysis indicated more than one crustal factor, and a variety of factors related to anthropogenically enriched elements. Analysis of trace elements alongside major tracer ions does not change interpretation of ion-based source attribution for sources that are well-characterized by ions, but is valuable for assessing uncertainty in source attribution and identifying sources not represented by major ions.

  14. Snowmelt on the Greenland Ice Sheet as Derived From Passive Microwave Satellite Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdalati, Waleed; Steffen, Konrad

    1997-01-01

    The melt extent of the snow on the Greenland ice sheet is of considerable importance to the ice sheet's mass and energy balance, as well as Arctic and global climates. By comparing passive microwave satellite data to field observations, variations in melt extent have been detected by establishing melt thresholds in the cross-polarized gradient ratio (XPGR). The XPGR, defined as the normalized difference between the 19-GHz horizontal channel and the 37-GHz vertical channel of the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I), exploits the different effects of snow wetness on different frequencies and polarizations and establishes a distinct melt signal. Using this XPGR melt signal, seasonal and interannual variations in snowmelt extent of the ice sheet are studied. The melt is found to be most extensive on the western side of the ice sheet and peaks in late July. Moreover, there is a notable increasing trend in melt area between the years 1979 and 1991 of 4.4% per year, which came to an abrupt halt in 1992 after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. A similar trend is observed in the temperatures at six coastal stations. The relationship between the warming trend and increasing melt trend between 1979 and 1991 suggests that a 1 C temperature rise corresponds to an increase in melt area of 73000 sq km, which in general exceeds one standard deviation of the natural melt area variability.

  15. Snow, ice and solar radiation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.

    2009-01-01

    The snow-covered ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland reflect most of the incoming solar radiation. The reflectivity, commonly called the albedo, of snow on these ice sheets has been observed to vary in space and time. In this thesis, temporal and spatial changes in snow albedo is found to depend

  16. Modulation of Sea Ice Melt Onset and Retreat in the Laptev Sea by the Timing of Snow Retreat in the West Siberian Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, A. D.; Stroeve, J.; Serreze, M. C.; Rajagopalan, B.; Horvath, S.

    2017-12-01

    As much of the Arctic Ocean transitions to ice-free conditions in summer, efforts have increased to improve seasonal forecasts of not only sea ice extent, but also the timing of melt onset and retreat. This research investigates the potential of regional terrestrial snow retreat in spring as a predictor for subsequent sea ice melt onset and retreat in Arctic seas. One pathway involves earlier snow retreat enhancing atmospheric moisture content, which increases downwelling longwave radiation over sea ice cover downstream. Another pathway involves manipulation of jet stream behavior, which may affect the sea ice pack via both dynamic and thermodynamic processes. Although several possible connections between snow and sea ice regions are identified using a mutual information criterion, the physical mechanisms linking snow retreat and sea ice phenology are most clearly exemplified by variability of snow retreat in the West Siberian Plain impacting melt onset and sea ice retreat in the Laptev Sea. The detrended time series of snow retreat in the West Siberian Plain explains 26% of the detrended variance in Laptev Sea melt onset (29% for sea ice retreat). With modest predictive skill and an average time lag of 53 (88) days between snow retreat and sea ice melt onset (retreat), West Siberian Plains snow retreat is useful for refining seasonal sea ice predictions in the Laptev Sea.

  17. New Technology and Experimental Study on Snow-Melting Heated Pavement System in Tunnel Portal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinxing Lai

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, with the rapid growth of economy and sharp rise of motor vehicles in China, the pavement skid resistance in tunnel portals has become increasingly important in cold region. However, the deicing salt, snow removal with machine, and other antiskid measures adopted by highway maintenance division have many limitations. To improve the treatment effect, we proposed a new snow-melting approach employing electric heat tracing, in which heating cables are installed in the structural layer of road. Through the field experiment, laboratory experiment, and numerical investigation, structure type, heating power, and preheating time of the flexible pavement heating system in tunnel portal were systematically analyzed, and advantages of electric heat tracing technology in improving the pavement skid resistance in tunnel portal were also presented. Therefore, such new technology, which offers new snow-melting methods for tunnel portal, bridge, mountainous area, and large longitudinal slope in cold region, has promising prospect for extensive application.

  18. Deltas, freshwater discharge, and waves along the Young Sound, NE Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kroon, Aart; Abermann, Jakob; Bendixen, Mette

    2017-01-01

    , and bathymetry), fluvial discharges and associated sediment load, and processes by waves and currents. Main factors steering the Arctic fluvial discharges into the Young Sound are the snow and ice melt and precipitation in the catchment, and extreme events like glacier lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Waves......A wide range of delta morphologies occurs along the fringes of the Young Sound in Northeast Greenland due to spatial heterogeneity of delta regimes. In general, the delta regime is related to catchment and basin characteristics (geology, topography, drainage pattern, sediment availability...... are subordinate and only rework fringes of the delta plain forming sandy bars if the exposure and fetch are optimal. Spatial gradients and variability in driving forces (snow and precipitation) and catchment characteristics (amount of glacier coverage, sediment characteristics) as well as the strong and local...

  19. Joint Science Education Project: Learning about polar science in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foshee Reed, Lynn

    2014-05-01

    The Joint Science Education Project (JSEP) is a successful summer science and culture opportunity in which students and teachers from the United States, Denmark, and Greenland come together to learn about the research conducted in Greenland and the logistics involved in supporting the research. They conduct experiments first-hand and participate in inquiry-based educational activities alongside scientists and graduate students at a variety of locations in and around Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, and on the top of the ice sheet at Summit Station. The Joint Committee, a high-level forum involving the Greenlandic, Danish and U.S. governments, established the Joint Science Education Project in 2007, as a collaborative diplomatic effort during the International Polar Year to: • Educate and inspire the next generation of polar scientists; • Build strong networks of students and teachers among the three countries; and • Provide an opportunity to practice language and communication skills Since its inception, JSEP has had 82 student and 22 teacher participants and has involved numerous scientists and field researchers. The JSEP format has evolved over the years into its current state, which consists of two field-based subprograms on site in Greenland: the Greenland-led Kangerlussuaq Science Field School and the U.S.-led Arctic Science Education Week. All travel, transportation, accommodations, and meals are provided to the participants at no cost. During the 2013 Kangerlussuaq Science Field School, students and teachers gathered data in a biodiversity study, created and set geo- and EarthCaches, calculated glacial discharge at a melt-water stream and river, examined microbes and tested for chemical differences in a variety of lakes, measured ablation at the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet, and learned about fossils, plants, animals, minerals and rocks of Greenland. In addition, the students planned and led cultural nights, sharing food, games, stories, and traditions of

  20. Glaciologist studies Greenland snow conditions and helps calibrate CryoSat instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-08-01

    GREENLAND—On a typically frigid mid-July day at Summit Station, almost smack in the middle of Greenland, with the temperature hovering around -10°C, Elizabeth Morris and John Sweeny were bundled up against the cold atop their black Ski-Doo snowmobiles, which Morris described as being similar to motorcycles on ski tracks. They drove the vehicles—without yet attaching three wooden sleds that would be pulled during their summer scientific traverse across part of central Greenland—on a practice spin along the perimeter of Summit's groomed, approximately 4600-meter × 60-meter snow runway. One of the longest runways in the world, it lies atop 3.2 kilometers of ice, with the horizon stretching in every direction. Morris, a glaciologist who is a senior associate at the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, United Kingdom, and Sweeny, her polar guide, were taking advantage of an unexpected extra day at Summit, a scientific research station sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), before the traverse began. They hoped that the socked-in visibility just a few hours earlier that morning, 16 July, would not be repeated the following day so that a U.S. Air National Guard 109th Airlift Wing C-130 cargo plane would be cleared to fly to Summit from Kangerlussuaq on Greenland's west coast with needed supplies. Morris and Sweeny would load up each sled with about 270 kilograms of gear.

  1. On the exchange of sensible and latent heat between the atmosphere and melting snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoy, Paul C.; Peitzsch, Erich H.; Wood, David J. A.; Rottinghaus, Daniel; Wohlfahrtd, Georg; Goulden, Michael; Ward, Helen

    2018-01-01

    The snow energy balance is difficult to measure during the snowmelt period, yet critical for predictions of water yield in regions characterized by snow cover. Robust simplifications of the snowmelt energy balance can aid our understanding of water resources in a changing climate. Research to date has demonstrated that the net turbulent flux (FT) between a melting snowpack and the atmosphere is negligible if the sum of atmospheric vapor pressure (ea) and temperature (Ta) equals a constant, but it is unclear how frequently this situation holds across different sites. Here, we quantified the contribution of FT to the snowpack energy balance during 59 snowmelt periods across 11 sites in the FLUXNET2015 database with a detailed analysis of snowmelt in subarctic tundra near Abisko, Sweden. At the Abisko site we investigated the frequency of occurrences during which sensible heat flux (H) and latent heat flux (λE) are of (approximately) equal but opposite sign, and if the sum of these terms, FT, is therefore negligible during the snowmelt period. H approximately equaled -λE for less than 50% of the melt period and FT was infrequently a trivial term in the snowmelt energy balance at Abisko. The reason is that the relationship between observed ea and Ta is roughly orthogonal to the “line of equality” at which H equals -λE as warmer Ta during the melt period usually resulted in greater ea. This relationship holds both within melt periods at individual sites and across different sites in the FLUXNET2015 database, where FTcomprised less than 20% of the energy available to melt snow, Qm, in 44% of the snowmelt periods studied here. FT/Qm was significantly related to the mean ea during the melt period, but not mean Ta, and FT tended to be near 0 W m−2 when ea averaged ca. 0.5 kPa. FT may become an increasingly important term in the snowmelt energy balance across many global regions as warmer temperatures are projected to cause snow

  2. Assessing the Climate Change Impact on Snow-Glacier Melting Dominated Basins in the Greater Himalaya Region Using a Distributed Glacio-Hydrologic Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wi, S.; Yang, Y. C. E.; Khalil, A.

    2014-12-01

    Glacier and snow melting is main source of water supply making a large contribution to streamflow of major river basins in the Greater Himalaya region including the Syr Darya, the Amu Darya, the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra basins. Due to the critical role of glacier and snow melting as water supply for both food production and hydropower generation in the region (especially during the low flow season), it is important to evaluate the vulnerability of snow and glacier melting streamflow to different climate conditions. In this study, a distributed glacio-hydrologic model with high resolution climate input is developed and calibrated that explicitly simulates all major hydrological processes and the glacier and snow dynamics for area further discretized by elevation bands. The distributed modeling structure and the glacier and snow modules provide a better understanding about how temperature and precipitation alterations are likely to affect current glacier ice reserves. Climate stress test is used to explore changes in the total streamflow change, snow/glacier melting contribution and glacier accumulation and ablation under a variety of different temperature and precipitation conditions. The latest future climate projections provided from the World Climate Research Programme's Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) is used to inform the possibility of different climate conditions.

  3. New Technology and Experimental Study on Snow-Melting Heated Pavement System in Tunnel Portal

    OpenAIRE

    Lai, Jinxing; Qiu, Junling; Chen, Jianxun; Fan, Haobo; Wang, Ke

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, with the rapid growth of economy and sharp rise of motor vehicles in China, the pavement skid resistance in tunnel portals has become increasingly important in cold region. However, the deicing salt, snow removal with machine, and other antiskid measures adopted by highway maintenance division have many limitations. To improve the treatment effect, we proposed a new snow-melting approach employing electric heat tracing, in which heating cables are installed in the structural ...

  4. Modelling the climate and surface mass balance of polar ice sheets using RACMO2 - Part 1: Greenland (1958-2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noël, Brice; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Melchior van Wessem, J.; van Meijgaard, Erik; van As, Dirk; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Lhermitte, Stef; Kuipers Munneke, Peter; Smeets, C. J. P. Paul; van Ulft, Lambertus H.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.

    2018-03-01

    We evaluate modelled Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) near-surface climate, surface energy balance (SEB) and surface mass balance (SMB) from the updated regional climate model RACMO2 (1958-2016). The new model version, referred to as RACMO2.3p2, incorporates updated glacier outlines, topography and ice albedo fields. Parameters in the cloud scheme governing the conversion of cloud condensate into precipitation have been tuned to correct inland snowfall underestimation: snow properties are modified to reduce drifting snow and melt production in the ice sheet percolation zone. The ice albedo prescribed in the updated model is lower at the ice sheet margins, increasing ice melt locally. RACMO2.3p2 shows good agreement compared to in situ meteorological data and point SEB/SMB measurements, and better resolves the spatial patterns and temporal variability of SMB compared with the previous model version, notably in the north-east, south-east and along the K-transect in south-western Greenland. This new model version provides updated, high-resolution gridded fields of the GrIS present-day climate and SMB, and will be used for projections of the GrIS climate and SMB in response to a future climate scenario in a forthcoming study.

  5. Greenland inland ice melt-off: Analysis of global gravity data from the GRACE satellites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Andersen, Ole Baltazar; Svendsen, Peter L.

    2011-01-01

    This paper gives an introductory analysis of gravity data from the GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) twin satellites. The data consist of gravity data in the form of 10-day maximum values of 1◦ by 1◦ equivalent water height (EWH) in meters starting at 29 July 2002 and ending at 25...... August 2010. Results focussing on Greenland show statistically significant mass loss interpreted as inland ice melt-off to the SE and NW with an acceleration in the melt-off occurring to the NW and a possible deceleration to the SE. Also, there are strong indications of a transition taking place...

  6. Measurement of snow interception and canopy effects on snow accumulation and melt in a mountainous maritime climate, Oregon, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storck, Pascal; Lettenmaier, Dennis P.; Bolton, Susan M.

    2002-11-01

    The results of a 3 year field study to observe the processes controlling snow interception by forest canopies and under canopy snow accumulation and ablation in mountain maritime climates are reported. The field study was further intended to provide data to develop and test models of forest canopy effects on beneath-canopy snowpack accumulation and melt and the plot and stand scales. Weighing lysimeters, cut-tree experiments, and manual snow surveys were deployed at a site in the Umpqua National Forest, Oregon (elevation 1200 m). A unique design for a weighing lysimeter was employed that allowed continuous measurements of snowpack evolution beneath a forest canopy to be taken at a scale unaffected by variability in canopy throughfall. Continuous observations of snowpack evolution in large clearings were made coincidentally with the canopy measurements. Large differences in snow accumulation and ablation were observed at sites beneath the forest canopy and in large clearings. These differences were not well described by simple relationships between the sites. Over the study period, approximately 60% of snowfall was intercepted by the canopy (up to a maximum of about 40 mm water equivalent). Instantaneous sublimation rates exceeded 0.5 mm per hour for short periods. However, apparent average sublimation from the intercepted snow was less than 1 mm per day and totaled approximately 100 mm per winter season. Approximately 72 and 28% of the remaining intercepted snow was removed as meltwater drip and large snow masses, respectively. Observed differences in snow interception rate and maximum snow interception capacity between Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), white fir (Abies concolor), ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) were minimal.

  7. Snow cover volumes dynamic monitoring during melting season using high topographic accuracy approach for a Lebanese high plateau witness sinkhole

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abou Chakra, Charbel; Somma, Janine; Elali, Taha; Drapeau, Laurent

    2017-04-01

    Climate change and its negative impact on water resource is well described. For countries like Lebanon, undergoing major population's rise and already decreasing precipitations issues, effective water resources management is crucial. Their continuous and systematic monitoring overs long period of time is therefore an important activity to investigate drought risk scenarios for the Lebanese territory. Snow cover on Lebanese mountains is the most important water resources reserve. Consequently, systematic observation of snow cover dynamic plays a major role in order to support hydrologic research with accurate data on snow cover volumes over the melting season. For the last 20 years few studies have been conducted for Lebanese snow cover. They were focusing on estimating the snow cover surface using remote sensing and terrestrial measurement without obtaining accurate maps for the sampled locations. Indeed, estimations of both snow cover area and volumes are difficult due to snow accumulation very high variability and Lebanese mountains chains slopes topographic heterogeneity. Therefore, the snow cover relief measurement in its three-dimensional aspect and its Digital Elevation Model computation is essential to estimate snow cover volume. Despite the need to cover the all lebanese territory, we favored experimental terrestrial topographic site approaches due to high resolution satellite imagery cost, its limited accessibility and its acquisition restrictions. It is also most challenging to modelise snow cover at national scale. We therefore, selected a representative witness sinkhole located at Ouyoun el Siman to undertake systematic and continuous observations based on topographic approach using a total station. After four years of continuous observations, we acknowledged the relation between snow melt rate, date of total melting and neighboring springs discharges. Consequently, we are able to forecast, early in the season, dates of total snowmelt and springs low

  8. Estimation of snow and glacier melt contribution to Liddar stream in a mountainous catchment, western Himalaya: an isotopic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeelani, Gh; Shah, Rouf A; Jacob, Noble; Deshpande, Rajendrakumar D

    2017-03-01

    Snow- and glacier-dominated catchments in the Himalayas are important sources of fresh water to more than one billion people. However, the contribution of snowmelt and glacier melt to stream flow remains largely unquantified in most parts of the Himalayas. We used environmental isotopes and geochemical tracers to determine the source water and flow paths of stream flow draining the snow- and glacier-dominated mountainous catchment of the western Himalaya. The study suggested that the stream flow in the spring season is dominated by the snowmelt released from low altitudes and becomes isotopically depleted as the melt season progressed. The tracer-based mixing models suggested that snowmelt contributed a significant proportion (5-66 %) to stream flow throughout the year with the maximum contribution in spring and summer seasons (from March to July). In 2013 a large and persistent snowpack contributed significantly (∼51 %) to stream flow in autumn (September and October) as well. The average annual contribution of glacier melt to stream flow is little (5 %). However, the monthly contribution of glacier melt to stream flow reaches up to 19 % in September during years of less persistent snow pack.

  9. Thermal tracing of retained meltwater in the lower accumulation area of the Southwestern Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Charalampidis, Charalampos; Van As, Dirk; Colgan, William T.

    2016-01-01

    We present in situ firn temperatures from the extreme 2012 melt season in the southwestern lower accumulation area of the Greenland ice sheet. The upper 2.5 m of snow and firn was temperate during the melt season, when vertical meltwater percolation was inefficient due to a similar to 5.5 m thick...... no indication of meltwater percolation below 9 m depth or complete filling of pore volume above, firn at 10 and 15 m depth was respectively 4.2-4.5 ºC and 1.7 ºC higher than in a conductivity-only simulation. Even though meltwater percolation in 2012 was inefficient, firn between 2 and 15 m depth the following...

  10. Variation of rock-forming metals in sub-annual increments of modern Greenland snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinkley, T.K.

    1992-01-01

    Modern snowpack from central south Greenland was sampled in sub-seasonal increments and analysed for a suite of major, minor and trace rock-forming metals (K, Rb, Cs, Ca, Sr, Ba). There is a sharp seasonal concentration maximum for all six metals that comes in summer, later than mid-June. Metal concentrations in all other parts of the year's snowpack are up to 10 or more times smaller. The concentration maximum is preceded by low values in autumn-winter, very low values in early-mid-spring, and moderate-to-high values in late spring early summer; this pattern is seen consistently in three separate time stratigraphic intervals representing the same seasonal periods, spanning the time interval 1981-1984. The absolute concentration values of the snow strata representing the low-concentration portion of the year, autumn-winter-spring, may vary substantially from year to year, by a factor of two, or more. The finding that all rock-forming metals are at a sharp concentration maximum in late summer contrasts with the interpretations of several other studies in high-latitude northern regions. Those studies have reported a broad maximum of continental dust-associated metals in late winter and spring. However samples of the other studies have mostly come from regions farther to the north, and the analyses have emphasized industrial pollutant metals rather than the matched rock-forming suite of the present study. The metals measured were chosen to give information about the origin and identity of the rock and soil dusts, and sea salts, present as impurities in the snow. Metal ratios indicate that the dusts in the snowpacks are of continental origin and from ferromagnesian rocks. Source rock types for dusts in central south Greenland snow contrast with the felsic rock dusts of the Sierra Nevada, CA, annual snowpacks, and with the very felsic rock dusts in large south central Alaskan mountain glaciers. Samples in which masses of sea salt are much larger than those of rock dusts

  11. Chemical composition of arctic snow: concentration levels and regional distribution of major elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Caritat, Patrice; Hall, Gwendy; Gìslason, Sigurdur; Belsey, William; Braun, Marlene; Goloubeva, Natalia I; Olsen, Hans Kristian; Scheie, Jon Ove; Vaive, Judy E

    2005-01-05

    At the end of the northern winter 1996/1997, 21 snow samples were collected from 17 arctic localities in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Svalbard, Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Iceland. Major element concentrations of the filtered (0.45 mum) melted snow indicate that most samples are consistent with a diluted seawater composition. Deviations from this behaviour indicate additional SO(4)(2-) and Cl(-) relative to seawater, suggesting a minor contribution from (probably local) coal combustion emissions (Alaska, Finland, Sweden, Svalbard). The samples with the highest Na and Cl(-) content (Canada, Russia) also have higher Na/SO(4)(2-) and Cl(-)/SO(4)(2-) ratios than seawater, suggesting a slight contamination from (probably local) deicing activities. Local soil or rock dust inputs in the snow are indicated by 'excess' Ca contents (Alaska, Svalbard, Greenland, Sweden). No overall relationship was found between pH (range: 4.6-6.1) and total or non-seasalt SO(4)(2-) (NSS), suggesting that acidification due to long-range transport of SO(2) pollution is not operating on an arctic-wide scale. In a few samples (Alaska, Finland, Sweden, Svalbard), a significant proportion (>50%) of SO(4)(2-) is non-marine in origin. Sources for this non-marine SO(4)(2-) need not all be found in long-range atmospheric transport and more likely sources are local industry (Finland, Sweden), road traffic (Alaska) or minor snow-scooting traffic (one Svalbard locality). A few samples from northern Europe show a relatively weak trend of decreasing pH with increasing NO(3)(-).

  12. Unexpected Patterns in Snow and Dirt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerson, Bruce J.

    2018-01-01

    For more than 30 years, Albert A. Bartlett published "Thermal patterns in the snow" in this journal. These are patterns produced by heat sources underneath the snow. Bartlett's articles encouraged me to pay attention to patterns in snow and to understanding them. At winter's end the last snow becomes dirty and is heaped into piles. This snow comes from the final clearing of sidewalks and driveways. The patterns observed in these piles defied my intuition. This melting snow develops edges where dirt accumulates, in contrast to ice cubes, which lose sharp edges and become more spherical upon melting. Furthermore, dirt absorbs more radiation than snow and yet doesn't melt and round the sharp edges of snow, where dirt accumulates.

  13. Clouds enhance Greenland ice sheet mass loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Tricht, Kristof; Gorodetskaya, Irina V.; L'Ecuyer, Tristan; Lenaerts, Jan T. M.; Lhermitte, Stef; Noel, Brice; Turner, David D.; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; van Lipzig, Nicole P. M.

    2015-04-01

    Clouds have a profound influence on both the Arctic and global climate, while they still represent one of the key uncertainties in climate models, limiting the fidelity of future climate projections. The potentially important role of thin liquid-containing clouds over Greenland in enhancing ice sheet melt has recently gained interest, yet current research is spatially and temporally limited, focusing on particular events, and their large scale impact on the surface mass balance remains unknown. We used a combination of satellite remote sensing (CloudSat - CALIPSO), ground-based observations and climate model (RACMO) data to show that liquid-containing clouds warm the Greenland ice sheet 94% of the time. High surface reflectivity (albedo) for shortwave radiation reduces the cloud shortwave cooling effect on the absorbed fluxes, while not influencing the absorption of longwave radiation. Cloud warming over the ice sheet therefore dominates year-round. Only when albedo values drop below ~0.6 in the coastal areas during summer, the cooling effect starts to overcome the warming effect. The year-round excess of energy due to the presence of liquid-containing clouds has an extensive influence on the mass balance of the ice sheet. Simulations using the SNOWPACK snow model showed not only a strong influence of these liquid-containing clouds on melt increase, but also on the increased sublimation mass loss. Simulations with the Community Earth System Climate Model for the end of the 21st century (2080-2099) show that Greenland clouds contain more liquid water path and less ice water path. This implies that cloud radiative forcing will be further enhanced in the future. Our results therefore urge the need for improving cloud microphysics in climate models, to improve future projections of ice sheet mass balance and global sea level rise.

  14. Inorganic carbon addition stimulates snow algae primary productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, T. L.; Havig, J. R.

    2017-12-01

    Earth has experienced glacial/interglacial oscillations throughout its history. Today over 15 million square kilometers (5.8 million square miles) of Earth's land surface is covered in ice including glaciers, ice caps, and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, most of which are retreating as a consequence of increased atmospheric CO2. Glaciers are teeming with life and supraglacial snow and ice surfaces are often red due to blooms of photoautotrophic algae. Recent evidence suggests the red pigmentation, secondary carotenoids produced in part to thrive under high irradiation, lowers albedo and accelerates melt. However, there are relatively few studies that report the productivity of snow algae communities and the parameters that constrain their growth on snow and ice surfaces. Here, we demonstrate that snow algae primary productivity can be stimulated by the addition of inorganic carbon. We found an increase in light-dependent carbon assimilation in snow algae microcosms amended with increasing amounts of inorganic carbon. Our snow algae communities were dominated by typical cosmopolitan snow algae species recovered from Alpine and Arctic environments. The climate feedbacks necessary to enter and exit glacial/interglacial oscillations are poorly understood. Evidence and models agree that global Snowball events are accompanied by changes in atmospheric CO2 with increasing CO2 necessary for entering periods of interglacial time. Our results demonstrate a positive feedback between increased CO2 and snow algal productivity and presumably growth. With the recent call for bio-albedo effects to be considered in climate models, our results underscore the need for robust climate models to include feedbacks between supraglacial primary productivity, albedo, and atmospheric CO2.

  15. Heat sources for glacial ice melt in a West Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord: The role of subglacial freshwater discharge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendtsen, Jørgen; Mortensen, John; Lennert, Kunuk

    2015-01-01

    The melting of tidewater outlet glaciers from the Greenland Ice Sheet contributes significantly to global sea level rise. Accelerated mass loss is related to melt-processes in front of calving glaciers, yet the role of ocean heat transports is poorly understood. Here we present the first direct...... of the area near the glacier showed that ice melt was mainly due to ocean heat transport and that direct plume-associated melt was only important in periods with high meltwater discharge rates of ~100 m3 s−1. Ocean mixing outside of the plume area was thus the primary heat source for melting glacier ice....

  16. Nitrate Deposition to Surface Snow at Summit, Greenland, Following the 9 November 2000 Solar Proton Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duderstadt, Katharine A.; Dibb, Jack E.; Schwadron, Nathan A.; Spence, Harlan E.; Jackman, Charles Herbert; Randall, Cora E.; Solomon, Stanley C.; Mills, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    This study considers whether spurious peaks in nitrate ions in snow sampled at Summit, Greenland from August 2000 to August 2002 are related to solar proton events. After identifying tropospheric sources of nitrate on the basis of correlations with sulfate, ammonium, sodium, and calcium, we use the three-dimensional global Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) to examine unaccounted for nitrate spikes. Model calculations confirm that solar proton events significantly impact HOx, NOx, and O3 levels in the mesosphere and stratosphere during the weeks and months following the major 9 November 2000 solar proton event. However, SPE-enhanced NOy calculated within the atmospheric column is too small to account for the observed nitrate ion peaks in surface snow. Instead, our WACCM results suggest that nitrate spikes not readily accounted for by measurement correlations are likely of anthropogenic origin. These results, consistent with other recent studies, imply that nitrate spikes in ice cores are not suitable proxies for individual SPEs and motivate the need to identify alternative proxies.

  17. Snow farming: conserving snow over the summer season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünewald, Thomas; Wolfsperger, Fabian; Lehning, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Summer storage of snow for tourism has seen an increasing interest in the last years. Covering large snow piles with materials such as sawdust enables more than two-thirds of the initial snow volume to be conserved. We present detailed mass balance measurements of two sawdust-covered snow piles obtained by terrestrial laser scanning during summer 2015. Results indicate that 74 and 63 % of the snow volume remained over the summer for piles in Davos, Switzerland and Martell, Italy. If snow mass is considered instead of volume, the values increase to 83 and 72 %. The difference is attributed to settling and densification of the snow. Additionally, we adapted the one-dimensional, physically based snow cover model SNOWPACK to perform simulations of the sawdust-covered snow piles. Model results and measurements agreed extremely well at the point scale. Moreover, we analysed the contribution of the different terms of the surface energy balance to snow ablation for a pile covered with a 40 cm thick sawdust layer and a pile without insulation. Short-wave radiation was the dominant source of energy for both scenarios, but the moist sawdust caused strong cooling by long-wave emission and negative sensible and latent heat fluxes. This cooling effect reduces the energy available for melt by up to a factor of 12. As a result only 9 % of the net short-wave energy remained available for melt. Finally, sensitivity studies of the parameters thickness of the sawdust layer, air temperature, precipitation and wind speed were performed. We show that sawdust thickness has a tremendous effect on snow loss. Higher air temperatures and wind speeds increase snow ablation but less significantly. No significant effect of additional precipitation could be found as the sawdust remained wet during the entire summer with the measured quantity of rain. Setting precipitation amounts to zero, however, strongly increased melt. Overall, the 40 cm sawdust provides sufficient protection for mid

  18. Local Variability in Firn Layering and Compaction Rates Using GPR Data, Depth-Density Profiles, and In-Situ Reflectors in the Dry Snow Zone Near Summit Station, Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lines, A.; Elliott, J.; Ray, L.; Albert, M. R.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland ice sheet is critical to evaluating its response to a changing climate. A key factor in translating satellite and airborne elevation measurements of the ice sheet to SMB is understanding natural variability of firn layer depth and the relative compaction rate of these layers. A site near Summit Station, Greenland was chosen to investigate the variation in layering across a 100m by 100m grid using a 900 MHz and a 2.6 GHz ground penetrating radar (GPR) antenna. These radargrams were ground truthed by taking depth density profiles of five 2m snow pits and five 5m firn cores within the 100m by 100m grid. Combining these measurements with the accumulation data from the nearby ICECAPS weekly bamboo forest measurements, it's possible to see how the snow deposition from individual storm events can vary over a small area. Five metal reflectors were also placed on the surface of the snow in the bounds of the grid to serve as reference reflectors for similar measurements that will be taken in the 2018 field season at Summit Station. This will assist in understanding how one year of accumulation in the dry snow zone impacts compaction and how this rate can vary over a small area.

  19. Snow Drift Management: Summit Station Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-01

    management Snow surveys Transport analysis Winds -- Speed 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 18. NUMBER OF PAGES 19a. NAME OF...that about 25% of the estimated snow that the wind transports to Summit each winter is deposited and forms drifts, mostly in close proxim- ity to...the structures. This analysis demonstrates that weather data ( wind speed and direction) and a transport analysis can aid in estimating the vol- ume of

  20. Antarctic snow and global climate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Granberg, H.B.

    2001-01-01

    Global circulation models (GCM) indicate that global warming will be most pronounced at polar regions and high latitudes, causing concern about the stability of the Antarctic ice cap. A project entitled the Seasonal Snow in Antarctica examined the properties of the near surface snow to determine the current conditions that influence snow cover development. The goal was to assess the response of the snow cover in Queen Maud Land (QML) to an increased atmospheric carbon dioxide content. The Antarctic snow cover in QML was examined as part of the FINNARP expeditions in 1999 and 2000 which examined the processes that influence the snow cover. Its energy and mass balance were also assessed by examining the near surface snow strata in shallow (1-2 m) pits and by taking measurements of environmental variables. This made it possible to determine if the glacier is in danger of melting at this northerly location in the Antarctic. The study also made it possible to determine which variables need to change and by how much, for significant melting to occur. It was shown that the Antarctic anticyclone creates particular conditions that protect the snow cover from melting. The anticyclone brings dry air from the stratosphere during most of the year and is exempt from the water vapour feedback. It was concluded that even a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide will not produce major snow melt runoff. 8 refs

  1. Challenges for Greenland-wide mass balance from Cryosat-2 radar-altimetry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Forsberg, René; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg

    As the Greenland ice sheet warms, a change in the structure of the upper snow/firn occurs. This change further induces changes in the reflective properties of the firn seen from satellite radar altimetry. If not identified as changes in the reflective properties of the firn, these may be interpre......As the Greenland ice sheet warms, a change in the structure of the upper snow/firn occurs. This change further induces changes in the reflective properties of the firn seen from satellite radar altimetry. If not identified as changes in the reflective properties of the firn, these may...... be interpreted as actual surface elevation changes seen from the satellite radar altimetry (Nilsson et al., 2015).Here, we investigate how to correct the elevation change observed from the ESA Cryosat-2 radar altimetry mission to derive elevation change of the air/snow interface of the Greenland ice sheet....... The elevation change of this “real” physical surface is crucial, if the goal is to derive Greenland mass balance as done for LiDAR missions.The investigations look into waveform parameters to correct for the observed bias between Radar and LiDAR observations when using Croysat-2 level-2 data. Based...

  2. Highly temporally resolved response to seasonal surface melt of the Zachariae and 79N outlet glaciers in Northeast Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rathmann, N. M.; Hvidberg, C. S.; Solgaard, A. M.

    2017-01-01

    The seasonal response to surface melting of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream outlets, Zachariae and 79N, is investigated using new highly temporally resolved surface velocity maps for 2016 combined with numerical modelling. The seasonal speed-up at 79N of 0.15km/yr is suggested to be driven by ...

  3. Deriving Snow Cover Metrics for Alaska from MODIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuck Lindsay

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS daily snow cover products provide an opportunity for determining snow onset and melt dates across broad geographic regions; however, cloud cover and polar darkness are limiting factors at higher latitudes. This study presents snow onset and melt dates for Alaska, portions of western Canada and the Russian Far East derived from Terra MODIS snow cover daily 500 m grid data (MOD10A1 and evaluates our method for filling data gaps caused by clouds or polar darkness. Pixels classified as cloud or no data were reclassified by: spatial filtering using neighboring pixel values; temporal filtering using pixel values for days before/after cloud cover; and snow-cycle filtering based on a time series assessment of a pixel’s position within snow accumulation, cover or melt periods. During the 2012 snow year, these gap-filling methods reduced cloud pixels from 27.7% to 3.1%. A total of 12 metrics (e.g., date of first and last snow, date of persistent snow cover and periods of intermittence for each pixel were calculated by snow year. A comparison of MODIS-derived snow onset and melt dates with in situ observations from 244 weather stations generally showed an early bias in MODIS-derived dates and an effect of increasing cloudiness exacerbating bias. Our results show that mean regional duration of seasonal snow cover is 179–311 days/year and that snow cover is often intermittent, with 41% of the area experiencing ≥2 snow-covered periods during a snow season. Other regional-scale patterns in the timing of snow onset and melt are evident in the yearly 500 m gridded products publically available at http://static.gina.alaska.edu/NPS_products/MODIS_snow/.

  4. Assimilation of snow cover and snow depth into a snow model to estimate snow water equivalent and snowmelt runoff in a Himalayan catchment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. E. Stigter

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Snow is an important component of water storage in the Himalayas. Previous snowmelt studies in the Himalayas have predominantly relied on remotely sensed snow cover. However, snow cover data provide no direct information on the actual amount of water stored in a snowpack, i.e., the snow water equivalent (SWE. Therefore, in this study remotely sensed snow cover was combined with in situ observations and a modified version of the seNorge snow model to estimate (climate sensitivity of SWE and snowmelt runoff in the Langtang catchment in Nepal. Snow cover data from Landsat 8 and the MOD10A2 snow cover product were validated with in situ snow cover observations provided by surface temperature and snow depth measurements resulting in classification accuracies of 85.7 and 83.1 % respectively. Optimal model parameter values were obtained through data assimilation of MOD10A2 snow maps and snow depth measurements using an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF. Independent validations of simulated snow depth and snow cover with observations show improvement after data assimilation compared to simulations without data assimilation. The approach of modeling snow depth in a Kalman filter framework allows for data-constrained estimation of snow depth rather than snow cover alone, and this has great potential for future studies in complex terrain, especially in the Himalayas. Climate sensitivity tests with the optimized snow model revealed that snowmelt runoff increases in winter and the early melt season (December to May and decreases during the late melt season (June to September as a result of the earlier onset of snowmelt due to increasing temperature. At high elevation a decrease in SWE due to higher air temperature is (partly compensated by an increase in precipitation, which emphasizes the need for accurate predictions on the changes in the spatial distribution of precipitation along with changes in temperature.

  5. Albedo decline on Greenland's Mittivakkat Gletscher in a warming climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mernild, Sebastian H; Malmros, Jeppe K.; Yde, Jacob Clement

    2015-01-01

    Albedo is one of the parameters that govern energy availability for snow and ice surface ablation, and subsequently the surface mass balance conditions of temperate glaciers and ice caps (GIC). Here, we document snow and ice albedo changes for Mittivakkat Gletscher (MG) in Southeast Greenland (20...

  6. Interannual variability of dust-mass loading and composition of dust deposited on snow cover in the San Juan Mountains, CO, USA: Insights into effects on snow melt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldstein, H. L.; Reynolds, R. L.; Derry, J.; Kokaly, R. F.; Moskowitz, B. M.

    2017-12-01

    Dust deposited on snow cover (DOS) in the American West can enhance snow-melt rates and advance the timing of melting, which together can result in earlier-than-normal runoff and overall smaller late-season water supplies. Understanding DOS properties and how they affect the absorption of solar radiation can lead to improved snow-melt models by accounting for important dust components. Here, we report on the interannual variability of DOS-mass loading, particle size, organic matter, and iron mineralogy, and their correspondences to laboratory-measured reflectance of samples from the Swamp Angel Study Plot in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado, USA. Samples were collected near the end of spring in water year 2009 (WY09) and from WY11-WY16, when dust layers deposited throughout the year had merged into one layer at the snow surface. Dust-mass loading on snow ranged 2-64 g/m2, mostly as particles with median sizes of 13-33 micrometers. Average reflectance values of DOS varied little across total (0.4 to 2.50 µm) and visible (0.4 to 0.7 µm) wavelengths at 0.30-0.45 and 0.19-0.27, respectively. Reflectance values lacked correspondence to particle-size. Total reflectance values inversely corresponded to concentrations of (1) organic matter content (4-20 weight %; r2 = 0.71) that included forms of black carbon and locally derived material such as pollen, and (2) magnetite (0.05 to 0.13 weight %; r2 = 0.44). Magnetite may be a surrogate for related dark, light-absorbing minerals. Concentrations of crystalline ferric oxide minerals (hematite+goethite) based on magnetic properties at room-temperature did not show inverse association to visible reflectance values. These ferric oxide measures, however, did not account for the amounts of nano-sized ferric oxides known to exist in these samples. Quantification of such nano-sized particles is required to evaluate their possible effects on visible reflectance. Nonetheless, our results emphasize that reflectance values of year

  7. Geochemical response of a calcareous fen to road salt contamination during snow melt and precipitation events: Kampoosa Bog, Stockbridge, MA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhodes, A. L.; Guswa, A. J.

    2008-12-01

    Kampoosa Bog is the largest and most diverse calcareous lake-basin fen remaining in Massachusetts, and it is one of the state's elite Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The ground water chemistry of the fen has been greatly altered by road salt runoff (NaCl) from the Massachusetts Turnpike, which crosses the northern margin of the wetland complex. Ground water samples collected at different depths within the wetland, measurements of exchangeable Na from an eight-meter core, and hydraulic conductivity measurements suggest that ground water flow and contamination is largely a near- surface phenomenon. Detailed sampling of surface and ground waters during three spring snow melt events and one precipitation event characterizes the geochemical response of the wetland to hydrologic events. Overall, Na:Cl ratios for surface and ground water samples are less than one, and sodium and chloride imbalances suggest that 20-30% of sodium from rock salt is stored on cation exchange sites on organic material. Na:Cl ratios greater than one for fen ground water sampled during Snow Melt 2007 suggest that sodium can be released from cation exchange sites back to ground water under dilute conditions. The total mass of Na and Cl exported from the wetland is greatest under conditions of high discharge. The flux of dissolved salts at the outlet of the fen during Snow Melt 2005 accounts for ~ 24% Na and ~ 32% Cl of rock salt added to the Massachusetts Turnpike during 2004-2005. Estimates of annual fluxes of Na and Cl are on par with the amount of road salt applied, and sodium and chloride concentrations in shallow groundwater have decreased since 2002. The months of March, April and May are the primary months for salt export, accounting for more than half of the annual salt flux in 2005. Concerning the annual net export of sodium and chloride, large rain events may be more important with removing dissolved salts from the fen than snow melt because snow melt also is a time when

  8. Resilience to Changing Snow Depth in a Shrubland Ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loik, M. E.

    2008-12-01

    Snowfall is the dominant hydrologic input for high elevations and latitudes of the arid- and semi-arid western United States. Sierra Nevada snowpack provides numerous important services for California, but is vulnerable to anthropogenic forcing of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. GCM and RCM scenarios envision reduced snowpack and earlier melt under a warmer climate, but how will these changes affect soil and plant water relations and ecosystem processes? And, how resilient will this ecosystem be to short- and long-term forcing of snow depth and melt timing? To address these questions, our experiments utilize large- scale, long-term roadside snow fences to manipulate snow depth and melt timing in eastern California, USA. Interannual snow depth averages 1344 mm with a CV of 48% (April 1, 1928-2008). Snow fences altered snow melt timing by up to 18 days in high-snowfall years, and affected short-term soil moisture pulses less in low- than medium- or high-snowfall years. Sublimation in this arid location accounted for about 2 mol m- 2 of water loss from the snowpack in 2005. Plant water potential increased after the ENSO winter of 2005 and stayed relatively constant for the following three years, even after the low snowfall of winter 2007. Over the long-term, changes in snow depth and melt timing have impacted cover or biomass of Achnatherum thurberianum, Elymus elemoides, and Purshia tridentata. Growth of adult conifers (Pinus jeffreyi and Pi. contorta) was not equally sensitive to snow depth. Thus, complex interactions between snow depth, soil water inputs, physiological processes, and population patterns help drive the resilience of this ecosystem to changes in snow depth and melt timing.

  9. Investigating the impact of temporal and spatial variation in spring snow melt on summer soil respiration

    Science.gov (United States)

    John, G. P.; Papuga, S. A.; Wright, C. L.; Nelson, K.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.

    2010-12-01

    While soil respiration - the flux of carbon dioxide from the soil surface to the atmosphere - is the second largest terrestrial carbon flux, it is the least well constrained component of the terrestrial carbon cycle. This is in part because of its high variability in space and time that can become amplified under certain environmental conditions. Under current climate change scenarios, both summer and winter precipitation are expected to be altered in terrestrial ecosystems of the southwestern US. Precipitation magnitude and intensity influence soil moisture, which is a key control on ecosystem-scale respiration rates. Therefore understanding how changes in snow and rainfall translate to changes in soil moisture is critical to understanding climate change impacts on soil respiration processes. Our study took place within the footprint of a semiarid mixed-conifer flux measurement system on Mount Bigelow just north of Tucson, AZ. We analyzed images from three understory phenology cameras (pheno-cams) to identify areas that represented early and late snowmelt. Within the field of view of each of the three pheno-cams we established three early-melt and three late-melt soil respiration measurement “sites”. To understand the persistence of snowmelt conditions on summer soil respiration, we measured soil respiration, soil moisture, and soil temperature at all six sites on four days representing different summer periods (i.e. pre-monsoon, early monsoon, mid-monsoon, and late monsoon). Throughout the entire study period, at both early- and late-melt sites soil respiration was strongly correlated with amount of soil moisture, and was less responsive to temperature. Soil respiration generally increased throughout the rainy season, peaking by mid-monsoon at both early- and late-melt sites. Interestingly, early-melt sites were wetter than late-melt sites following rainfall occurring in the pre- and early monsoon. However, following rainfall occurring in the mid- to late

  10. Supraglacial Lakes in the Percolation Zone of the Western Greenland Ice Sheet: Formation and Development using Operation IceBridge Snow Radar and ATM (2009-2014)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, C.; Howat, I. M.; de la Peña, S.

    2015-12-01

    Surface meltwater lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet have appeared at higher elevations, extending well into the percolation zone, under recent warming, with the largest expansion occurring in the western Greenland Ice Sheet. The conditions that allow lakes to form atop firn are poorly constrained, but the formation of new lakes imply changes in the permeability of the firn at high elevations, promoting meltwater runoff. We explore the formation and evolution of new surface lakes in this region above 1500 meters, using a combination of satellite imagery and repeat Snow (2-6.5 GHz) radar echograms and LIDAR measurements from NASA's Operation IceBridge of 2009-2014. We identify conditions for surface lake formation at their farthest inland extent and suggest behaviors of persistence and lake drainage are due to differences in regional ice dynamics.

  11. Pb isotopes during crustal melting and magma mingling - A cautionary tale from the Miki Fjord macrodike, central east Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Waight, Tod Earle; Lesher, Charles

    2010-01-01

    Pb isotopic data are presented for hybrid rocks formed by mingling between mantle-derived tholeiitic magma of the Eocene Miki Fjord macrodike (East Greenland) and melt derived from the adjacent Precambrian basement. Bulk mixing and AFC processes between end-members readily identified in the field...... grain boundaries during disequilibrium melting of the host rock by the mafic magma. The crustal melt involved in magma interactions was therefore heterogeneous with respect to Pb isotopes on a metre-scale. These results illustrate the difficulties inherent in interpreting isotopic variations...... in contaminated mafic magmas even when the end-members are well constrained by field relations. We show that the Pb isotopic composition of the crustal contaminants and contamination trajectories for the Miki Fjord hybrid magmatic lithologies are markedly different from regional basement gneisses and contaminated...

  12. Greenland Ice Shelves and Ice Tongues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reeh, Niels

    2017-01-01

    literature and physical properties are reviewed. There exists a difference between: (1) Floating glaciers in northern Greenland (>77°N) which experience bottom melting as their dominant ablation mechanism and calve relatively thin, but large (km-sized) tabular icebergs (‘ice islands’), and (2) Grounded...... glaciers further south (iceberg calving provides the dominant ablation mechanism. The relatively smaller iceberg discharge in northern Greenland is closely related to the occurrence of extended floating glacier sections, allowing bottom melting estimated at up to 10 m year−1 for locations...

  13. Amplified melt and flow of the Greenland ice sheet driven by late-summer cyclonic rainfall

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Doyle, Samuel H.; Hubbard, Alun; van de Wal, Roderik S.W.

    2015-01-01

    and meteorological variables from the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet during a week of warm, wet cyclonic weather in late August and early September 2011. We find that extreme surface runoff from melt and rainfall led to a widespread acceleration in ice flow that extended 140 km into the ice-sheet interior....... We suggest that the late-season timing was critical in promoting rapid runoff across an extensive bare ice surface that overwhelmed a subglacial hydrological system in transition to a less-efficient winter mode. Reanalysis data reveal that similar cyclonic weather conditions prevailed across southern...

  14. Quantifying Local Ablation Rates for the Greenland Ice Sheet Using Terrestrial LIDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kershner, C. M.; Pitcher, L. H.; LeWinter, A.; Finnegan, D. C.; Overstreet, B. T.; Miège, C.; Cooper, M. G.; Smith, L. C.; Rennermalm, A. K.

    2016-12-01

    Quantifying accurate ice surface ablation or melt rates for the Greenland Ice Sheet is important for calibrating and validating surface mass balance models and constraining sea level rise estimates. Common practice is to monitor surface ablation at defined points by manually measuring ice surface lowering in relation to stakes inserted into the ice / snow. However, this method does not account for the effects of local topography, solar zenith angle, and local variations in ice surface albedo/impurities on ablation rates. To directly address these uncertainties, we use a commercially available terrestrial LIDAR scanner (TLS) to monitor daily melt rates in the ablation zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet for 7 consecutive days in July 2016. Each survey is registered to previous scans using retroreflective cylinders and is georeferenced using static GPS measurements. Bulk ablation will be calculated using multi-temporal differential LIDAR techniques, and difficulties in referencing scans and collecting high quality surveys in this dynamic environment will be discussed, as well as areas for future research. We conclude that this novel application of TLS technology provides a spatially accurate, higher fidelity measurements of ablation across a larger area with less interpolation and less time spent than using traditional manual point based methods alone. Furthermore, this sets the stage for direct calibration, validation and cross-comparison with existing airborne (e.g. NASA's Airborne Topographic Mapper - ATM - onboard Operation IceBridge and NASA's Land, Vegetation & Ice Sensor - LVIS) and forthcoming spaceborne sensors (e.g. NASA's ICESat-2).

  15. On the importance of the albedo parameterization for the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in EC-Earth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. M. Helsen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The albedo of the surface of ice sheets changes as a function of time due to the effects of deposition of new snow, ageing of dry snow, bare ice exposure, melting and run-off. Currently, the calculation of the albedo of ice sheets is highly parameterized within the earth system model EC-Earth by taking a constant value for areas with thick perennial snow cover. This is an important reason why the surface mass balance (SMB of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS is poorly resolved in the model. The purpose of this study is to improve the SMB forcing of the GrIS by evaluating different parameter settings within a snow albedo scheme. By allowing ice-sheet albedo to vary as a function of wet and dry conditions, the spatial distribution of albedo and melt rate improves. Nevertheless, the spatial distribution of SMB in EC-Earth is not significantly improved. As a reason for this, we identify omissions in the current snow albedo scheme, such as separate treatment of snow and ice and the effect of refreezing. The resulting SMB is downscaled from the lower-resolution global climate model topography to the higher-resolution ice-sheet topography of the GrIS, such that the influence of these different SMB climatologies on the long-term evolution of the GrIS is tested by ice-sheet model simulations. From these ice-sheet simulations we conclude that an albedo scheme with a short response time of decaying albedo during wet conditions performs best with respect to long-term simulated ice-sheet volume. This results in an optimized albedo parameterization that can be used in future EC-Earth simulations with an interactive ice-sheet component.

  16. Soil-Snow-Vegetation Interactions at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gacitua, Guisella

    -term eects on the ecosystem function and dynamics. At the Zackenberg Research Station in Northeast Greenland ecosystem processes are routinely monitored through a comprehensive monitoring program. This PhD project investigates and discusses the interactions between climate, the physical components...

  17. Snow nitrate photolysis in polar regions and the mid-latitudes: Impact on boundary layer chemistry and implications for ice core records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zatko, Maria C.

    The formation and recycling of nitrogen oxides (NOx=NO+NO 2) associated with snow nitrate photolysis has important implications for air quality and the preservation of nitrate in ice core records. This dissertation examines snow nitrate photolysis in polar and mid-latitude regions using field and laboratory based observations combined with snow chemistry column models and a global chemical transport model to explore the impacts of snow nitrate photolysis on boundary layer chemistry and the preservation of nitrate in polar ice cores. Chapter 1 describes how a global chemical transport model is used to calculate the photolysis-driven flux and redistribution of nitrogen across Antarctica, and Chapter 2 presents similar work for Greenland. Snow-sourced NOx is most dependent on the quantum yield for nitrate photolysis as well as the concentration of photolabile nitrate and light-absorbing impurities (e.g., black carbon, dust, organics) in snow. Model-calculated fluxes of snow-sourced NOx are similar in magnitude in Antarctica (0.5--7.8x108 molec cm-2 s -1) and Greenland (0.1--6.4x108 molec cm-2 s-1) because both nitrate and light-absorbing impurity concentrations in snow are higher (by factors of 2 and 10, respectively) in Greenland. Snow nitrate photolysis influences boundary layer chemistry and ice-core nitrate preservation less in Greenland compared to Antarctica largely due to Greenland's proximity to NOx-source regions. Chapter 3 describes how a snow chemistry column model combined with chemistry and optical measurements from the Uintah Basin Winter Ozone Study (UBWOS) 2014 is used to calculate snow-sourced NOx in eastern Utah. Daily-averaged fluxes of snow-sourced NOx (2.9x10 7--1.3x108 molec cm-2 s-1) are similar in magnitude to polar snow-sourced NO x fluxes, but are only minor components of the Uintah Basin boundary layer NOx budget and can be neglected when developing ozone reduction strategies for the region. Chapter 4 presents chemical and optical

  18. Changes in Snow Albedo Resulting from Snow Darkening Caused by Black Carbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engels, J.; Kloster, S.; Bourgeois, Q.

    2014-12-01

    We investigate the potential impact of snow darkening caused by pre-industrial and present-day black carbon (BC) emissions on snow albedo and subsequently climate. To assess this impact, we implemented the effect of snow darkening caused by BC emitted from natural as well as anthropogenic sources into the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Earth System Model (MPI-M ESM). Considerable amounts of BC are emitted e.g. from fires and are transported through the atmosphere for several days before being removed by rain or snow precipitation in snow covered regions. Already very small quantities of BC reduce the snow reflectance significantly, with consequences for snow melting and snow spatial coverage. We implemented the snow albedo reduction caused by BC contamination and snow aging in the one layer land surface component (JSBACH) of the atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM6, developed at MPI-M. For this we used the single-layer simulator of the SNow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiation (SNICAR-Online (Flanner et al., 2007); http://snow.engin.umich.edu) model to derive snow albedo values for BC in snow concentrations ranging between 0 and 1500 ng(BC)/g(snow) for different snow grain sizes for the visible (0.3 - 0.7 μm) and near infrared range (0.7 - 1.5 μm). As snow grains grow over time, we assign different snow ages to different snow grain sizes (50, 150, 500, and 1000 μm). Here, a radius of 50 μm corresponds to new snow, whereas a radius of 1000 μm corresponds to old snow. The deposition rates of BC on snow are prescribed from previous ECHAM6-HAM simulations for two time periods, pre-industrial (1880-1889) and present-day (2000-2009), respectively. We perform a sensitivity study regarding the scavenging of BC by snow melt. To evaluate the newly implemented albedo scheme we will compare the modeled black carbon in snow concentrations to observed ones. Moreover, we will show the impact of the BC contamination and snow aging on the simulated snow albedo. The

  19. Evidence of local and regional freshening of Northeast Greenland coastal waters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sejr, Mikael K.; Stedmon, Colin A; Bendtsen, Jørgen

    2017-01-01

    The supply of freshwater to fjord systems in Greenland is increasing as a result of climate change-induced acceleration in ice sheet melt. However, insight into the marine implications of the melt water is impaired by lack of observations demonstrating the fate of freshwater along the Greenland...... coast and providing evaluation basis for ocean models. Here we present 13 years of summer measurements along a 120 km transect in Young Sound, Northeast Greenland and show that sub-surface coastal waters are decreasing in salinity with an average rate of 0.12 ± 0.05 per year. This is the first...... observational evidence of a significant freshening on decadal scale of the waters surrounding the ice sheet and comes from a region where ice sheet melt has been less significant. It implies that ice sheet dynamics in Northeast Greenland could be of key importance as freshwater is retained in southward flowing...

  20. Mercury in Arctic snow: Quantifying the kinetics of photochemical oxidation and reduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mann, E.A. [Department of Environmental Science, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS (Canada); Environmental Science Programme, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John' s, NL (Canada); Mallory, M.L. [Department of Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS (Canada); Ziegler, S.E. [Environmental Science Programme, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John' s, NL (Canada); Tordon, R. [Environment Canada, Dartmouth, NS (Canada); O' Driscoll, N.J., E-mail: nelson.odriscoll@acadiau.ca [Department of Environmental Science, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS (Canada)

    2015-03-15

    Controlled experiments were performed with frozen and melted Arctic snow to quantify relationships between mercury photoreaction kinetics, ultra violet (UV) radiation intensity, and snow ion concentrations. Frozen (− 10 °C) and melted (4 °C) snow samples from three Arctic sites were exposed to UV (280–400 nm) radiation (1.26–5.78 W · m{sup −2}), and a parabolic relationship was found between reduction rate constants in frozen and melted snow with increasing UV intensity. Total photoreduced mercury in frozen and melted snow increased linearly with greater UV intensity. Snow with the highest concentrations of chloride and iron had larger photoreduction and photooxidation rate constants, while also having the lowest Hg(0) production. Our results indicate that the amount of mercury photoreduction (loss from snow) is the highest at high UV radiation intensities, while the fastest rates of mercury photoreduction occurred at both low and high intensities. This suggests that, assuming all else is equal, earlier Arctic snow melt periods (when UV intensities are less intense) may result in less mercury loss to the atmosphere by photoreduction and flux, since less Hg(0) is photoproduced at lower UV intensities, thereby resulting in potentially greater mercury transport to aquatic systems with snowmelt. - Highlights: • Mercury photochemical kinetics were studied in frozen and melted Arctic snow. • UV-induced photoreduction and photooxidation rate constants were quantified. • Chloride ion, iron, and DOC influence mercury photoreactions in snow. • Frozen and melted snow have different mercury photoreduction characteristics. • Kinetic information provided can be used to model mercury fate in the Arctic.

  1. Mercury in Arctic snow: Quantifying the kinetics of photochemical oxidation and reduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mann, E.A.; Mallory, M.L.; Ziegler, S.E.; Tordon, R.; O'Driscoll, N.J.

    2015-01-01

    Controlled experiments were performed with frozen and melted Arctic snow to quantify relationships between mercury photoreaction kinetics, ultra violet (UV) radiation intensity, and snow ion concentrations. Frozen (− 10 °C) and melted (4 °C) snow samples from three Arctic sites were exposed to UV (280–400 nm) radiation (1.26–5.78 W · m −2 ), and a parabolic relationship was found between reduction rate constants in frozen and melted snow with increasing UV intensity. Total photoreduced mercury in frozen and melted snow increased linearly with greater UV intensity. Snow with the highest concentrations of chloride and iron had larger photoreduction and photooxidation rate constants, while also having the lowest Hg(0) production. Our results indicate that the amount of mercury photoreduction (loss from snow) is the highest at high UV radiation intensities, while the fastest rates of mercury photoreduction occurred at both low and high intensities. This suggests that, assuming all else is equal, earlier Arctic snow melt periods (when UV intensities are less intense) may result in less mercury loss to the atmosphere by photoreduction and flux, since less Hg(0) is photoproduced at lower UV intensities, thereby resulting in potentially greater mercury transport to aquatic systems with snowmelt. - Highlights: • Mercury photochemical kinetics were studied in frozen and melted Arctic snow. • UV-induced photoreduction and photooxidation rate constants were quantified. • Chloride ion, iron, and DOC influence mercury photoreactions in snow. • Frozen and melted snow have different mercury photoreduction characteristics. • Kinetic information provided can be used to model mercury fate in the Arctic

  2. Spatial Variability of accumulation across the Western Greenland Ice Sheet Percolation Zone from ground-penetrating-radar and shallow firn cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, G.; Osterberg, E. C.; Hawley, R. L.; Marshall, H. P.; Birkel, S. D.; Meehan, T. G.; Graeter, K.; Overly, T. B.; McCarthy, F.

    2017-12-01

    The mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in a warming climate is of critical interest to scientists and the general public in the context of future sea-level rise. Increased melting in the GrIS percolation zone over the past several decades has led to increased mass loss at lower elevations due to recent warming. Uncertainties in mass balance are especially large in regions with sparse and/or outdated in situ measurements. This study is the first to calculate in situ accumulation over a large region of western Greenland since the Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment campaign during the 1990s. Here we analyze 5000 km of 400 MHz ground penetrating radar data and sixteen 25-33 m-long firn cores in the western GrIS percolation zone to determine snow accumulation over the past 50 years. The cores and radar data were collected as part of the 2016-2017 Greenland Traverse for Accumulation and Climate Studies (GreenTrACS). With the cores and radar profiles we capture spatial accumulation gradients between 1850-2500 m a.s.l and up to Summit Station. We calculate accumulation rates and use them to validate five widely used regional climate models and to compare with IceBridge snow and accumulation radars. Our results indicate that while the models capture most regional spatial climate patterns, they lack the small-scale spatial variability captured by in situ measurements. Additionally, we evaluate temporal trends in accumulation at ice core locations and throughout the traverse. Finally, we use empirical orthogonal function and correlation analyses to investigate the principal drivers of radar-derived accumulation rates across the western GrIS percolation zone, including major North Atlantic climate modes such as the North Atlantic Oscillation, Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and Greenland Blocking Index.

  3. Snow effects on alpine vegetation in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Kun; Zhang, Li; Qiu, Yubao; Ji, Lei; Tian, Feng; Wang, Cuizhen; Wang, Zhiyong

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the relationships between snow and vegetation is important for interpretation of the responses of alpine ecosystems to climate changes. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is regarded as an ideal area due to its undisturbed features with low population and relatively high snow cover. We used 500 m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) datasets during 2001–2010 to examine the snow–vegetation relationships, specifically, (1) the influence of snow melting date on vegetation green-up date and (2) the effects of snow cover duration on vegetation greenness. The results showed that the alpine vegetation responded strongly to snow phenology (i.e., snow melting date and snow cover duration) over large areas of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Snow melting date and vegetation green-up date were significantly correlated (p growth was influenced by different seasonal snow cover durations (SCDs) in different regions. Generally, the December–February and March–May SCDs played a significantly role in vegetation growth, both positively and negatively, depending on different water source regions. Snow's positive impact on vegetation was larger than the negative impact.

  4. Spectral albedo of seasonal snow during intensive melt period at Sodankylä, beyond the Arctic Circle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Meinander

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We have measured spectral albedo, as well as ancillary parameters, of seasonal European Arctic snow at Sodankylä, Finland (67°22' N, 26°39' E. The springtime intensive melt period was observed during the Snow Reflectance Transition Experiment (SNORTEX in April 2009. The upwelling and downwelling spectral irradiance, measured at 290–550 nm with a double monochromator spectroradiometer, revealed albedo values of ~0.5–0.7 for the ultraviolet and visible range, both under clear sky and variable cloudiness. During the most intensive snowmelt period of four days, albedo decreased from 0.65 to 0.45 at 330 nm, and from 0.72 to 0.53 at 450 nm. In the literature, the UV and VIS albedo for clean snow are ~0.97–0.99, consistent with the extremely small absorption coefficient of ice in this spectral region. Our low albedo values were supported by two independent simultaneous broadband albedo measurements, and simulated albedo data. We explain the low albedo values to be due to (i large snow grain sizes up to ~3 mm in diameter; (ii meltwater surrounding the grains and increasing the effective grain size; (iii absorption caused by impurities in the snow, with concentration of elemental carbon (black carbon in snow of 87 ppb, and organic carbon 2894 ppb, at the time of albedo measurements. The high concentrations of carbon, detected by the thermal–optical method, were due to air masses originating from the Kola Peninsula, Russia, where mining and refining industries are located.

  5. A Distributed Snow Evolution Modeling System (SnowModel)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liston, G. E.; Elder, K.

    2004-12-01

    A spatially distributed snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) has been specifically designed to be applicable over a wide range of snow landscapes, climates, and conditions. To reach this goal, SnowModel is composed of four sub-models: MicroMet defines the meteorological forcing conditions, EnBal calculates surface energy exchanges, SnowMass simulates snow depth and water-equivalent evolution, and SnowTran-3D accounts for snow redistribution by wind. While other distributed snow models exist, SnowModel is unique in that it includes a well-tested blowing-snow sub-model (SnowTran-3D) for application in windy arctic, alpine, and prairie environments where snowdrifts are common. These environments comprise 68% of the seasonally snow-covered Northern Hemisphere land surface. SnowModel also accounts for snow processes occurring in forested environments (e.g., canopy interception related processes). SnowModel is designed to simulate snow-related physical processes occurring at spatial scales of 5-m and greater, and temporal scales of 1-hour and greater. These include: accumulation from precipitation; wind redistribution and sublimation; loading, unloading, and sublimation within forest canopies; snow-density evolution; and snowpack ripening and melt. To enhance its wide applicability, SnowModel includes the physical calculations required to simulate snow evolution within each of the global snow classes defined by Sturm et al. (1995), e.g., tundra, taiga, alpine, prairie, maritime, and ephemeral snow covers. The three, 25-km by 25-km, Cold Land Processes Experiment (CLPX) mesoscale study areas (MSAs: Fraser, North Park, and Rabbit Ears) are used as SnowModel simulation examples to highlight model strengths, weaknesses, and features in forested, semi-forested, alpine, and shrubland environments.

  6. An integrated modeling system for estimating glacier and snow melt driven streamflow from remote sensing and earth system data products in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M. E.; Racoviteanu, A. E.; Tarboton, D. G.; Gupta, A. Sen; Nigro, J.; Policelli, F.; Habib, S.; Tokay, M.; Shrestha, M. S.; Bajracharya, S.; Hummel, P.; Gray, M.; Duda, P.; Zaitchik, B.; Mahat, V.; Artan, G.; Tokar, S.

    2014-11-01

    Quantification of the contribution of the hydrologic components (snow, ice and rain) to river discharge in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is important for decision-making in water sensitive sectors, and for water resources management and flood risk reduction. In this area, access to and monitoring of the glaciers and their melt outflow is challenging due to difficult access, thus modeling based on remote sensing offers the potential for providing information to improve water resources management and decision making. This paper describes an integrated modeling system developed using downscaled NASA satellite based and earth system data products coupled with in-situ hydrologic data to assess the contribution of snow and glaciers to the flows of the rivers in the HKH region. Snow and glacier melt was estimated using the Utah Energy Balance (UEB) model, further enhanced to accommodate glacier ice melt over clean and debris-covered tongues, then meltwater was input into the USGS Geospatial Stream Flow Model (GeoSFM). The two model components were integrated into Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Nonpoint Sources modeling framework (BASINS) as a user-friendly open source system and was made available to countries in high Asia. Here we present a case study from the Langtang Khola watershed in the monsoon-influenced Nepal Himalaya, used to validate our energy balance approach and to test the applicability of our modeling system. The snow and glacier melt model predicts that for the eight years used for model evaluation (October 2003-September 2010), the total surface water input over the basin was 9.43 m, originating as 62% from glacier melt, 30% from snowmelt and 8% from rainfall. Measured streamflow for those years were 5.02 m, reflecting a runoff coefficient of 0.53. GeoSFM simulated streamflow was 5.31 m indicating reasonable correspondence between measured and model confirming the capability of the integrated system to provide a quantification of

  7. An Integrated Modeling System for Estimating Glacier and Snow Melt Driven Streamflow from Remote Sensing and Earth System Data Products in the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, M. E.; Racoviteanu, A. E.; Tarboton, D. G.; Sen Gupta, A.; Nigro, J.; Policelli, F.; Habib, S.; Tokay, M.; Shrestha, M. S.; Bajracharya, S.

    2014-01-01

    Quantification of the contribution of the hydrologic components (snow, ice and rain) to river discharge in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is important for decision-making in water sensitive sectors, and for water resources management and flood risk reduction. In this area, access to and monitoring of the glaciers and their melt outflow is challenging due to difficult access, thus modeling based on remote sensing offers the potential for providing information to improve water resources management and decision making. This paper describes an integrated modeling system developed using downscaled NASA satellite based and earth system data products coupled with in-situ hydrologic data to assess the contribution of snow and glaciers to the flows of the rivers in the HKH region. Snow and glacier melt was estimated using the Utah Energy Balance (UEB) model, further enhanced to accommodate glacier ice melt over clean and debris-covered tongues, then meltwater was input into the USGS Geospatial Stream Flow Model (Geo- SFM). The two model components were integrated into Better Assessment Science Integrating point and Nonpoint Sources modeling framework (BASINS) as a user-friendly open source system and was made available to countries in high Asia. Here we present a case study from the Langtang Khola watershed in the monsoon-influenced Nepal Himalaya, used to validate our energy balance approach and to test the applicability of our modeling system. The snow and glacier melt model predicts that for the eight years used for model evaluation (October 2003-September 2010), the total surface water input over the basin was 9.43 m, originating as 62% from glacier melt, 30% from snowmelt and 8% from rainfall. Measured streamflow for those years were 5.02 m, reflecting a runoff coefficient of 0.53. GeoSFM simulated streamflow was 5.31 m indicating reasonable correspondence between measured and model confirming the capability of the integrated system to provide a quantification

  8. Application of the MODIS “snow cover” product for identification of the snow cover pattern in Gis-Baikal region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. A. Istomina

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Validation of remote sensing data MODIS «snow cover» in the period from September to May 2000/01, 2007/08, 2008/09 is realized on the base of weather stations data. Good repeatability of weather stations data and snow cover data is shown (more than 80% when snow depth is exceeds 2 cm. The minimum accuracy is in May and October for the variety of snowfall winters. Remote sensing data give possibility to extend the dot information of hydrometeorological stations network on the spatial snow distribution to the mountainous area of Predbajkalje where ground-based observations are absent. According to remote sensing earlier appearance and later melting of snow in mountain areas were identified. The plains and basins areas are characterized by later appearance and earlier melting of snow.

  9. Numerical simulation of extreme snowmelt observed at the SIGMA-A site, northwest Greenland, during summer 2012

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Niwano

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The surface energy balance (SEB from 30 June to 14 July 2012 at site SIGMA (Snow Impurity and Glacial Microbe effects on abrupt warming in the Arctic-A, (78°03' N, 67°38' W; 1490 m a.s.l. on the northwest Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS was investigated by using in situ atmospheric and snow measurements as well as numerical modeling with a one-dimensional multi-layered physical snowpack model called SMAP (Snow Metamorphism and Albedo Process. At SIGMA-A, remarkable near-surface snowmelt and continuous heavy rainfall (accumulated precipitation between 10 and 14 July was estimated to be 100 mm were observed after 10 July 2012. Application of the SMAP model to the GrIS snowpack was evaluated based on the snow temperature profile, snow surface temperature, surface snow grain size, and shortwave albedo, all of which the model simulated reasonably well. Above all, the fact that the SMAP model successfully reproduced frequently observed rapid increases in snow albedo under cloudy conditions highlights the advantage of the physically based snow albedo model (PBSAM incorporated in the SMAP model. Using such data and model, we estimated the SEB at SIGMA-A from 30 June to 14 July 2012. Radiation-related fluxes were obtained from in situ measurements, whereas other fluxes were calculated with the SMAP model. By examining the components of the SEB, we determined that low-level clouds accompanied by a significant temperature increase played an important role in the melt event observed at SIGMA-A. These conditions induced a remarkable surface heating via cloud radiative forcing in the polar region.

  10. Estimation of Melt Ponds over Arctic Sea Ice using MODIS Surface Reflectance Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Y.; Cheng, X.; Liu, J.

    2017-12-01

    Melt ponds over Arctic sea ice is one of the main factors affecting variability of surface albedo, increasing absorption of solar radiation and further melting of snow and ice. In recent years, a large number of melt ponds have been observed during the melt season in Arctic. Moreover, some studies have suggested that late spring to mid summer melt ponds information promises to improve the prediction skill of seasonal Arctic sea ice minimum. In the study, we extract the melt pond fraction over Arctic sea ice since 2000 using three bands MODIS weekly surface reflectance data by considering the difference of spectral reflectance in ponds, ice and open water. The preliminary comparison shows our derived Arctic-wide melt ponds are in good agreement with that derived by the University of Hamburg, especially at the pond distribution. We analyze seasonal evolution, interannual variability and trend of the melt ponds, as well as the changes of onset and re-freezing. The melt pond fraction shows an asymmetrical growth and decay pattern. The observed melt ponds fraction is almost within 25% in early May and increases rapidly in June and July with a high fraction of more than 40% in the east of Greenland and Beaufort Sea. A significant increasing trend in the melt pond fraction is observed for the period of 2000-2017. The relationship between melt pond fraction and sea ice extent will be also discussed. Key Words: melt ponds, sea ice, Arctic

  11. How robust are in situ observations for validating satellite-derived albedo over the dark zone of the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, J.; Hubbard, A., II; Irvine-Fynn, T. D.; Doyle, S. H.; Cook, J.; Stibal, M.; Smith, L. C.; Box, J. E.

    2017-12-01

    Calibration and validation of satellite-derived ice sheet albedo data require high-quality, in situ measurements commonly acquired by up and down facing pyranometers mounted on automated weather stations (AWS). However, direct comparison between ground and satellite-derived albedo can only be justified when the measured surface is homogeneous at the length-scale of both satellite pixel and in situ footprint. We used digital imagery acquired by an unmanned aerial vehicle to evaluate point-to-pixel albedo comparisons across the western, ablating margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Our results reveal that in situ measurements overestimate albedo by up to 0.10 at the end of the melt season because the ground footprints of AWS-mounted pyranometers are insufficient to capture the spatial heterogeneity of the ice surface as it progressively ablates and darkens. Statistical analysis of 21 AWS across the entire Greenland Ice Sheet reveals that almost half suffer from this bias, including some AWS located within the wet snow zone.

  12. Sublimation From Snow in Northern Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomeroy, J. W.

    2002-12-01

    Sublimation from snow is an often neglected component of water and energy balances. Research under the Mackenzie GEWEX Study has attempted to understand the snow and atmospheric processes controlling sublimation and to estimate the magnitude of sublimation in high latitude catchments. Eddy correlation units were used to measure vertical water vapour fluxes from a high latitude boreal forest, snow-covered tundra and shrub-covered tundra in Wolf Creek Research Basin, near Whitehorse Yukon, Territory Canada. Over Jan-Apr. water vapour fluxes from the forest canopy amounted to 18.3 mm, a significant loss from winter snowfall of 54 mm. Most of this loss occurred when the canopy was snow-covered. The weight of snow measured on a suspended, weighed tree indicates that this flux is dominated by sublimation of intercepted snow. In the melt period (April), water vapour fluxes were uniformly small ranging from 0.21 mm/day on the tundra slope, 0.23 mm/day for the forest and 0.27 mm/day for the shrub-tundra. During the melt period the forest and shrub canopies was snow-free and roots were frozen, so the primary source of water vapour from all sites was the surface snow.

  13. A characterization of Greenland Ice Sheet surface melt and runoff in contemporary reanalyses and a regional climate model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard eCullather

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available For the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS, large-scale melt area has increased in recent years and is detectable via remote sensing, but its relation to runoff is not known. Historical, modeled melt area and runoff from Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA-Replay, the Interim Re-Analysis of the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ERA-I, the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR, the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR, and the Arctic System Reanalysis (ASR are examined. These sources compare favorably with satellite-derived estimates of surface melt area for the period 2000-2012. Spatially, the models markedly disagree on the number of melt days in the interior of the southern part of the ice sheet, and on the extent of persistent melt areas in the northeastern GrIS. Temporally, the models agree on the mean seasonality of daily surface melt and on the timing of large-scale melt events in 2012. In contrast, the models disagree on the amount, seasonality, spatial distribution, and temporal variability of runoff. As compared to global reanalyses, time series from MAR indicate a lower correlation between runoff and melt area (r2 = 0.805. Runoff in MAR is much larger in the second half of the melt season for all drainage basins, while the ASR indicates larger runoff in the first half of the year. This difference in seasonality for the MAR and to an extent for the ASR provide a hysteresis in the relation between runoff and melt area, which is not found in the other models. The comparison points to a need for reliable observations of surface runoff.

  14. The Airborne Snow Observatory: fusion of scanning lidar, imaging spectrometer, and physically-based modeling for mapping snow water equivalent and snow albedo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snow cover and its melt dominate regional climate and water resources in many of the world’s mountainous regions. Snowmelt timing and magnitude in mountains tend to be controlled by absorption of solar radiation and snow water equivalent, respectively, and yet both of these are very poorly known ev...

  15. Chinese mineral dust and anthropogenic aerosol inter-continental transport: a Greenland perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bory, A.; Abouchami, W.; Galer, S.; Svensson, A.; Biscaye, P.

    2012-04-01

    Impurities contained in snow and ice layers in Greenland provide a record of the history of atmospheric dustiness and pollution in the Northern Hemisphere. The source of the particles deposited onto the ice cap may be investigated using specific intrinsic tracers. Provenance discrimination may then provide valuable constraints for the validation of atmospheric transport models as well as for the monitoring of natural and anthropogenic aerosols emissions at a global scale. Clay mineralogy combined with the strontium and neodymium isotope composition of the insoluble particles extracted from recent snow deposits at NorthGRIP (75.1°N, 042.3°W), for instance, enabled us to demonstrate that the Taklimakan desert of North-western China was the main source of mineral dust reaching central Greenland at present [Bory et al., EPSL, 2002 ; GRL, 2003a]. Here we report the lead isotopic signature of these snow-pit samples, covering the 1989-1995 and 1998-2001 time periods. Unradiogenic lead isotopic composition of our Greenland samples, compared to Asian dust isotopic fingerprints, implies that most of the insoluble lead reaching the ice cap is of anthropogenic origin. Lead isotopes reveal likely contributions from European/Canadian and, to a lesser extent, US sources, as well as a marked overprinted signature typical of Chinese anthropogenic lead sources. The relative contribution of the latter appears to have been increasing steadily over the last decade of the 20th century. Quantitative estimates suggest that, in addition to providing most of the dust, China may have already become the most important supplier of anthropogenic lead deposited in Greenland by the turn of the 20th to the 21st century. The close timing between dust and anthropogenic particles deposition onto the ice cap provides new insights for our understanding of Chinese aerosols transport to Greenland.

  16. Hypsometric Amplification of Greenland Ice Sheet Meltwater Release

    Science.gov (United States)

    van As, D.; Hasholt, B.; Mikkelsen, A. B.; Holtegaard Nielsen, M.; Box, J.; Claesson Liljedahl, L.; Lindback, K.; Pitcher, L. H.

    2017-12-01

    Proglacial discharge monitoring provides valuable insights in Greenland ice sheet meltwater release. We use a 2006-2016 discharge time series from the Watson River draining 12000 km2 of the ice sheet in southwest Greenland to investigate the large variability in catchment-total meltwater production. An observationally-constrained reconstruction of past discharge shows that meltwater release has on average increased by a factor of 1.5 since 2003 compared to the 1949-2002 period, and that interannual variability has disproportionally increased by a factor of 2.1, suggesting that melt amplifiers are at play. We derive a hypsometric amplification factor of 1.6, which is the result of the exponential melt area increase with rising temperature. Peak meltwater discharge events such as during the July 2012 flooding are due to this and other melt amplifiers, but also require intense melting over a period exceeding the multi-day transit time for high-elevation meltwater to pass through the glacial drainage system.

  17. A NEW HIGH-RESOLUTION ELEVATION MODEL OF GREENLAND DERIVED FROM TANDEM-X

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Wessel

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we present for the first time the new digital elevation model (DEM for Greenland produced by the TanDEM-X (TerraSAR add-on for digital elevation measurement mission. The new, full coverage DEM of Greenland has a resolution of 0.4 arc seconds corresponding to 12 m. It is composed of more than 7.000 interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR DEM scenes. X-Band SAR penetrates the snow and ice pack by several meters depending on the structures within the snow, the acquisition parameters, and the dielectricity constant of the medium. Hence, the resulting SAR measurements do not represent the surface but the elevation of the mean phase center of the backscattered signal. Special adaptations on the nominal TanDEM-X DEM generation are conducted to maintain these characteristics and not to raise or even deform the DEM to surface reference data. For the block adjustment, only on the outer coastal regions ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite elevations as ground control points (GCPs are used where mostly rock and surface scattering predominates. Comparisons with ICESat data and snow facies are performed. In the inner ice and snow pack, the final X-Band InSAR DEM of Greenland lies up to 10 m below the ICESat measurements. At the outer coastal regions it corresponds well with the GCPs. The resulting DEM is outstanding due to its resolution, accuracy and full coverage. It provides a high resolution dataset as basis for research on climate change in the arctic.

  18. Isotopic Characterization of Snow, Ice and Glacial Melt in the Western Himalayas, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rai, S. P.; Kumar, B.; Arora, M.; Singh, R. D. [National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, 247 667 (India)

    2013-07-15

    Precipitation and glacial melt samples were collected at the snout of the Gangotri Glacier, popularly known as Gaumukh, located in the western Himalayas, India. Snow and ice samples were collected from different sites of the Gangotri Glacier. The local meteoric water line (LMWL) developed for the ablation period (May to October) is {delta}{sup 2}H = 8.2 {delta}{sup 18}O + 17.1 (r{sup 2} = 0.99), which shows a slightly higher slope and intercept than GMWL. This may be due to local summer connective precipitation occurring under dry climatic conditions and mountainous region moisture recycling with the south-west monsoon. The meltwater line, {delta}{sup 2}H =9.4 {delta}{sup 18}O + 37.5 (r{sup 2}= 0.96), having a significantly higher slope and intercept than the GMWL and LMWL. The main reasons for the higher slope and intercept of meltwater line may be due to the recycling of local vapour with moisture derived from the Western disturbance moisture whose source is the Mediterranean sea. The high d-exess values of snow, ice and meltwater indicate that the source of moisture is the Western disturbances. (author)

  19. Snow accretion on overhead wires

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakamoto, Y. [Meteorological Research Inst. for Technology Co. Ltd., Tokyo (Japan); Tachizaki, S.; Sudo, N. [Tohoku Electric Power Co. Ltd., Miyagi (Japan)

    2005-07-01

    Wet snow accretion can cause extensive damage to transmission systems. This paper reviewed some of the difficulties faced by researchers in the study of wet snow accretion on overhead lines in Japan. The study of snow accretion phenomena is complicated by the range of phase changes in water. Snowflakes produced in an upper atmospheric layer with a temperature below freezing do not melt when they go through a lower atmospheric layer with a temperature above freezing, but are in a mixed state of solid and liquid due to the latent heat of melting. The complicated properties of water make studies of snow accretion difficult, as well as the fact that snow changes its physical properties rapidly, due to the effects of ambient temperature, rainfall, and solar radiation. The adhesive forces that cause snow accretion include freezing; bonding through freezing; sintering; condensation and freezing of vapor in the air; mechanical intertwining of snowflakes; capillary action due to liquids; coherent forces between ice particles and water formed through the metamorphosis of snowflakes. In addition to these complexities, differences in laboratory room environments and natural snow environments can also pose difficulties for researchers. Equations describing the relationship between the density of accreted snow and the meteorological parameters involved were presented, as well as empirical equations which suggested that snow accretion efficiency has a dependency on air temperature. An empirical model for estimating snow loads in Japan was outlined, as well as various experiments observing show shedding. Correlations for wet snow accretion included precipitation intensity; duration of precipitation; air temperature; wind speed and wind direction in relation to the overhead line. Issues concerning topography and wet snow accretion were reviewed. It was concluded that studies of snow accretion will benefit by the collection of data in each matrix of the relevant parameters. 12 refs

  20. Increasing runoff and sediment load from the Greenland ice sheet at kangerlussuaq (Sonder Stromfjord) in a 30-year perspective, 1979-2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Liston, Glen [COLORADO STATE UNIV.; Hasholt, Bent [UNIV OF COPENGAGEN; Steffen, Konrad [UNIV OF COLORADO; Van Den Broeke, Michiel [UTRECHT UNIV; Mcgrath, Daniel [UNIV OF COLORADO; Yde, Jacob [UNIV OF AARHUS

    2009-01-01

    This observation and modeling study provides insights into runoff and sediment load exiting the Watson River drainage basin, Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland during a 30 year period (1978/79-2007/08) when the climate experienced increasing temperatures and precipitation. The 30-year simulations quantify the terrestrial freshwater and sediment output from part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and the land between the GrIS and the ocean, in the context of global warming and increasing GrIS surface melt. We used a snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) to simulate the winter accumulation and summer ablation processes, including runoff and surface mass balance (SMB), of the Greenland ice sheet. Observed sediment concentrations were related to observed runoff, producing a sediment-load time series. To a large extent, the SMB fluctuations could be explained by changes in net precipitation (precipitation minus evaporation and sublimation), with 8 out of 30 years having negative SMB, mainly because of relatively low annual net precipitation. The overall trend in net precipitation and runoff increased significantly, while 5MB increased insignificantly throughout the simulation period, leading to enhanced precipitation of 0.59 km{sup 3} w.eq. (or 60%), runoff of 0.43 km{sup 3} w.eq (or 54%), and SMB of 0.16 km3 w.eq. (or 86%). Runoff rose on average from 0.80 km{sup 3} w.eq. in 1978/79 to 1.23 km{sup 3} w.eq. in 2007/08. The percentage of catchment oudet runoff explained by runoff from the GrIS decreased on average {approx} 10%, indicating that catchment runoff throughout the simulation period was influenced more by precipitation and snowmelt events, and less by runoff from the GrIS. Average variations in the increasing Kangerlussuaq runoff from 1978/79 through 2007/08 seem to follow the overall variations in satellite-derived GrIS surface melt, where 64% of the variations in simulated runoff were explained by regional melt conditions on the GrIS. Throughout the simulation

  1. Storing snow for the next winter: Two case studies on the application of snow farming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünewald, Thomas; Wolfsperger, Fabian

    2016-04-01

    Snow farming is the conservation of snow during the warm half-year. This means that large piles of snow are formed in spring in order to be conserved over the summer season. Well-insulating materials such as chipped wood are added as surface cover to reduce melting. The aim of snow farming is to provide a "snow guaranty" for autumn or early winter - this means that a specific amount of snow will definitively be available, independent of the weather conditions. The conserved snow can then be used as basis for the preparation of winter sports grounds such as cross-country tracks or ski runs. This helps in the organization of early winter season sport events such as World Cup races or to provide appropriate training conditions for athletes. We present a study on two snow farming projects, one in Davos (Switzerland) and one in the Martell valley of South Tyrol. At both places snow farming has been used for several years. For the summer season 2015, we monitored both snow piles in order to assess the amount of snow conserved. High resolution terrestrial laser scanning was performed to measure snow volumes of the piles at the beginning and at the end of the summer period. Results showed that only 20% to 30 % of the snow mass was lost due to ablation. This mass loss was surprisingly low considering the extremely warm and dry summer. In order to identify the most relevant drivers of snow melt we also present simulations with the sophisticated snow cover models SNOWPACK and Alpine3D. The simulations are driven by meteorological input data recorded in the vicinity of the piles and enable a detailed analysis of the relevant processes controlling the energy balance. The models can be applied to optimize settings for snow farming and to examine the suitability of new locations, configurations or cover material for future snow farming projects.

  2. Hydrological Implications of Covering Wind-Blown Snow Accumulations with Geotextiles on Mount Aragats, Armenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Nestler

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Snow is an excellent water reservoir, naturally storing large quantities of water at time scales from a few days to several months. In summer-dry countries, like Armenia, runoff due to snow melt from mountain regions is highly important for a sustained water supply (irrigation, hydropower. Snow fields on Mount Aragats, Armenia’s highest peak, often persist until July, providing vital amounts of melt water. Artificially managing these wind-driven snow accumulations as a natural water reservoir might have considerable potential. In the context of the Swiss-Armenian joint venture, Freezwater, snow fields are covered with geotextiles in order to delay snow melt long enough to provide additional melt water in the dry season of the year. In this study, we analyze the hydrological effectiveness of the artificial management of the natural snow cover on Mount Aragats based on various field measurements acquired over a three-year period and numerical modeling. Over the winter season, partly more than five meter-thick snow deposits are formed supported by snow redistribution by strong wind. Repeated mappings of snow fields indicate that snow cover patterns remain highly consistent over time. Measurements of ablation below manually applied geotextiles show a considerable reduction of melt rates by more than 50%. Simulations with an energy-balance model and a distributed temperature-index model allow assessing the hydrological effect of artificial snow management for different initial snow depths and elevations and suggest that coverage is needed at a large scale in order to generate a significant impact on discharge.

  3. Longpath DOAS observations of surface BrO at Summit, Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Stutz

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Reactive halogens, and in particular bromine oxide (BrO, have frequently been observed in regions with large halide reservoirs, for example during bromine catalyzed coastal polar ozone depletion events. Much less is known about the presence and impact of reactive halogens in areas without obvious halide reservoirs, such as the polar ice sheets or continental snow.

    We report the first LP-DOAS measurements of BrO at Summit research station in the center of the Greenland ice sheet at an altitude of 3200 m. BrO mixing ratios in May 2007 and June 2008 were typically between 1–3 pmol mol−1, with maxima of up to 5 pmol mol−1. These measurements unequivocally show that halogen chemistry is occurring in the remote Arctic, far from known bromine reservoirs, such as the ocean. During periods when FLEXPART retroplumes show that airmasses resided on the Greenland ice sheet for 3 or more days, BrO exhibits a clear diurnal variation, with peak mixing ratios of up to 3 pmol mol−1 in the morning and at night. The diurnal cycle of BrO can be explained by a changing boundary layer height combined with photochemical formation of reactive bromine driven by solar radiation at the snow surface. The shallow stable boundary layer in the morning and night leads to an accumulation of BrO at the surface, leading to elevated BrO despite the expected smaller release from the snowpack during these times of low solar radiation. During the day when photolytic formation of reactive bromine is expected to be highest, efficient mixing into a deeper neutral boundary layer leads to lower BrO mixing ratios than during mornings and nights.

    The extended period of contact with the Greenland snowpack combined with the diurnal profile of BrO, modulated by boundary layer height, suggests that photochemistry in the snow is a significant source of BrO measured at Summit during the 2008 experiment. In addition, a rapid transport event

  4. Influence of snowpack and melt energy heterogeneity on snow cover depletion and snowmelt runoff simulation in a cold mountain environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBeer, Chris M.; Pomeroy, John W.

    2017-10-01

    The spatial heterogeneity of mountain snow cover and ablation is important in controlling patterns of snow cover depletion (SCD), meltwater production, and runoff, yet is not well-represented in most large-scale hydrological models and land surface schemes. Analyses were conducted in this study to examine the influence of various representations of snow cover and melt energy heterogeneity on both simulated SCD and stream discharge from a small alpine basin in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Simulations were performed using the Cold Regions Hydrological Model (CRHM), where point-scale snowmelt computations were made using a snowpack energy balance formulation and applied to spatial frequency distributions of snow water equivalent (SWE) on individual slope-, aspect-, and landcover-based hydrological response units (HRUs) in the basin. Hydrological routines were added to represent the vertical and lateral transfers of water through the basin and channel system. From previous studies it is understood that the heterogeneity of late winter SWE is a primary control on patterns of SCD. The analyses here showed that spatial variation in applied melt energy, mainly due to differences in net radiation, has an important influence on SCD at multiple scales and basin discharge, and cannot be neglected without serious error in the prediction of these variables. A single basin SWE distribution using the basin-wide mean SWE (SWE ‾) and coefficient of variation (CV; standard deviation/mean) was found to represent the fine-scale spatial heterogeneity of SWE sufficiently well. Simulations that accounted for differences in (SWE ‾) among HRUs but neglected the sub-HRU heterogeneity of SWE were found to yield similar discharge results as simulations that included this heterogeneity, while SCD was poorly represented, even at the basin level. Finally, applying point-scale snowmelt computations based on a single SWE depth for each HRU (thereby neglecting spatial differences in internal

  5. Soot on snow in Iceland: First results on black carbon and organic carbon in Iceland 2016 snow and ice samples, including the glacier Solheimajökull

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinander, Outi; Dagsson-Waldhauserova, Pavla; Gritsevich, Maria; Aurela, Minna; Arnalds, Olafur; Dragosics, Monika; Virkkula, Aki; Svensson, Jonas; Peltoniemi, Jouni; Kontu, Anna; Kivekäs, Niku; Leppäranta, Matti; de Leeuw, Gerrit; Laaksonen, Ari; Lihavainen, Heikki; Arslan, Ali N.; Paatero, Jussi

    2017-04-01

    New results on black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC) on snow and ice in Iceland in 2016 will be presented in connection to our earlier results on BC and OC on Arctic seasonal snow surface, and in connection to our 2013 and 2016 experiments on effects of light absorbing impurities, including Icelandic dust, on snow albedo, melt and density. Our sampling included the glacier Solheimajökull in Iceland. The mass balance of this glacier is negative and it has been shrinking during the last 20 years by 900 meters from its southwestern corner. Icelandic snow and ice samples were not expected to contain high concentrations of BC, as power generation with domestic renewable water and geothermal power energy sources cover 80 % of the total energy consumption in Iceland. Our BC results on filters analyzed with a Thermal/Optical Carbon Aerosol Analyzer (OC/EC) confirm this assumption. Other potential soot sources in Iceland include agricultural burning, industry (aluminum and ferroalloy production and fishing industry), open burning, residential heating and transport (shipping, road traffic, aviation). On the contrary to low BC, we have found high concentrations of organic carbon in our Iceland 2016 samples. Some of the possible reasons for those will be discussed in this presentation. Earlier, we have measured and reported unexpectedly low snow albedo values of Arctic seasonally melting snow in Sodankylä, north of Arctic Circle. Our low albedo results of melting snow have been confirmed by three independent data sets. We have explained these low values to be due to: (i) large snow grain sizes up to 3 mm in diameter (seasonally melting snow); (ii) meltwater surrounding the grains and increasing the effective grain size; (iii) absorption caused by impurities in the snow, with concentration of elemental carbon (black carbon) in snow of 87 ppb, and organic carbon 2894 ppb. The high concentrations of carbon were due to air masses originating from the Kola Peninsula, Russia

  6. Changes in Greenland ice bed conditions inferred from seismology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyokuni, Genti; Takenaka, Hiroshi; Takagi, Ryota; Kanao, Masaki; Tsuboi, Seiji; Tono, Yoko; Childs, Dean; Zhao, Dapeng

    2018-04-01

    Basal conditions of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) are a key research topic in climate change studies. The recent construction of a seismic network has provided a new opportunity for direct, real-time, and continuous monitoring of the GrIS. Here we use ambient noise surface wave data from seismic stations all over Greenland for a 4.5-year period to detect changes in Rayleigh-wave phase velocity between seismic station pairs. We observe clear seasonal and long-term velocity changes for many pairs, and propose a plausible mechanism for these changes. Dominant factors driving the velocity changes might be seasonal and long-term pressurization/depressurization of the GrIS and shallow bedrock by air and ice mass loading/unloading. However, heterogeneity of the GrIS basal conditions might impose strong regionalities on the results. An interesting feature is that, even at adjacent two station pairs in the inland GrIS, one pair shows velocity decrease while another shows velocity increase as a response to the high air and snow pressure. The former pair might be located on a thawed bed that decreases velocity by increased meltwater due to pressure melting, whereas the latter pair might be located on a frozen bed that increases velocity by compaction of ice and shallow bedrock. The results suggest that surface waves are very sensitive to the GrIS basal conditions, and further observations will contribute to a more direct and quantitative estimation of water balance in the Arctic region.

  7. The impact of atmospheric mineral aerosol deposition on the albedo of snow & sea ice: are snow and sea ice optical properties more important than mineral aerosol optical properties?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. L. Lamare

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the albedo of polar regions is crucial for understanding a range of climatic processes that have an impact on a global scale. Light-absorbing impurities in atmospheric aerosols deposited on snow and sea ice by aeolian transport absorb solar radiation, reducing albedo. Here, the effects of five mineral aerosol deposits reducing the albedo of polar snow and sea ice are considered. Calculations employing a coupled atmospheric and snow/sea ice radiative-transfer model (TUV-snow show that the effects of mineral aerosol deposits are strongly dependent on the snow or sea ice type rather than the differences between the aerosol optical characteristics. The change in albedo between five different mineral aerosol deposits with refractive indices varying by a factor of 2 reaches a maximum of 0.0788, whereas the difference between cold polar snow and melting sea ice is 0.8893 for the same mineral loading. Surprisingly, the thickness of a surface layer of snow or sea ice loaded with the same mass ratio of mineral dust has little effect on albedo. On the contrary, the surface albedo of two snowpacks of equal depth, containing the same mineral aerosol mass ratio, is similar, whether the loading is uniformly distributed or concentrated in multiple layers, regardless of their position or spacing. The impact of mineral aerosol deposits is much larger on melting sea ice than on other types of snow and sea ice. Therefore, the higher input of shortwave radiation during the summer melt cycle associated with melting sea ice accelerates the melt process.

  8. Greenland Snow Pit and Core Stratigraphy (Analog and Digital Formats)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is comprised of scientific field study notebooks from geologist Carl S. Benson describing his traverses of Greenland from 1952 to 1955. The notebooks...

  9. Dynamics of ozone and nitrogen oxides at Summit, Greenland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dam, Van Brie; Helmig, Detlev; Toro, Claudia; Doskey, Paul; Kramer, Louisa; Murray, Keenan; Ganzeveld, Laurens; Seok, Brian

    2015-01-01

    A multi-year investigation of ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in snowpack interstitial air down to a depth of 2.8 m was conducted at Summit, Greenland, to elucidate mechanisms controlling the production and destruction of these important trace gases within the snow.

  10. Annual accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet interpolated from historical and newly compiled observation data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Dayong; Liu, Yuling; Huang, Shengli

    2012-01-01

    The estimation of ice/snow accumulation is of great significance in quantifying the mass balance of ice sheets and variation in water resources. Improving the accuracy and reducing uncertainty has been a challenge for the estimation of annual accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet. In this study, we kriged and analyzed the spatial pattern of accumulation based on an observation data series including 315 points used in a recent research, plus 101 ice cores and snow pits and newly compiled 23 coastal weather station data. The estimated annual accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet is 31.2 g cm−2 yr−1, with a standard error of 0.9 g cm−2 yr−1. The main differences between the improved map developed in this study and the recently published accumulation maps are in the coastal areas, especially southeast and southwest regions. The analysis of accumulations versus elevation reveals the distribution patterns of accumulation over the Greenland ice sheet.

  11. Greenland, my greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Astrid

    2016-01-01

    In 2012, Visit Greenland, the Greenlandic national tourist organisation, conducted a survey on Danish prejudices towards Greenland and Greenlanders. The survey, linked to an ambivalent nation-building strategy that pitched Greenland as ‘the pioneering nation’, was aimed both at challenging...... tourist audience more concerned with preserving whales than with accepting the sustainable visions of indigenous modernity that are currently being articulated by Greenlanders. Contemporary Greenlandic nation branding is a response to these internal and external dichotomies....

  12. Evolution of ocean-induced ice melt beneath Zachariæ Isstrøm, Northeast Greenland combining observations and an ocean general circulation model from 1978 to present

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, C.; Rignot, E. J.; Menemenlis, D.; Millan, R.; Bjørk, A. A.; Khan, S. A.; Charolais, A.

    2017-12-01

    Zachariæ Isstrøm, a major ice stream in northeast Greenland, lost a large fraction of its ice shelf during the last decade. We study the evolution of subaqueous melting of its floating section from 1978 to present. The ice shelf melt rate depends on thermal forcing from warm, salty, subsurface ocean waters of Atlantic origin (AW), the mixing of AW with fresh, buoyant subglacial discharge at the calving margin, and the shape of the sub-ice-shelf cavity. Subglacial discharge doubled as a result of enhanced ice sheet runoff caused by warmer air temperatures. Ocean thermal forcing has increased due to enhanced advection of AW. Using an Eulerian method, MEaSUREs ice velocity, Operation IceBridge (OIB) ice thickness, and RACMO2.3 surface balance data, we evaluate the ice shelf melt rate in 1978, 1999 and 2010. The melt rate doubled from 1999 to 2010. Using a Lagrangian method with World View imagery, we map the melt rate in detail from 2011 to 2016. We compare the results with 2D simulations from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm), at a high spatial resolution (20-m horizontal and 40-m vertical grid spacing), using OIB ice thickness and sub-ice-shelf cavity for years 1978, 1996, 2010 and 2011, combined with in-situ ocean temperature/salinity data from Ocean Melting Greenland (OMG) 2017. We find that winter melt rates are 2 3 times smaller than summer rates and melt rates increase by one order magnitude during the transition from ice shelf termination to near-vertical calving wall termination. As the last remaining bits of floating ice shelf disappear, ice-ocean interaction will therefore play an increasing role in driving the glacier retreat into its marine-based basin. This work was performed under a contract with NASA Cryosphere Program at UC Irvine and Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  13. Caribou, individual-based modeling and mega-industry in central West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raundrup, Katrine; Nymand, Josephine; Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob

    in West Greenland. In a newly started PhD-project the focus will be the implementation of spatially explicit individual based modeling (IBM). The project relies on existing knowledge on caribou behavior and feeding ecology along with data on variations in the vegetation. By relating vegetation, snow......Spatial distribution of caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) in West Greenland is a result of both short and long term changes in the Arctic landscape. To understand present distribution 40 satellite collars were deployed on 40 female caribou in the Akia-Maniitsoq herd, central West Greenland...... in an area. Further, enhanced or lowered hunting pressure, and changed weather conditions can be studied using IBM. Thus, both short and long term changes in the landscape will be studied and provide insights in how the specific spatial changes impact caribou in West Greenland....

  14. Research and development of utilization technology of solar thermal energy system for industrial and other use. Research and development of solar system (investigation of popular type snow melting systems); Sangyoyo nado solar system jitsuyoka gijutsu kaihatsu. Solar system no chosa kenkyu (fukyugata yusetsu system no kenkyu chosa)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takita, M [New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, Tokyo (Japan)

    1994-12-01

    Described herein are the results of the FY1994 research program for investigation for popular type snow melting systems using solar energy. Two types of technologies are proposed to utilize solar energy for snow melting in winter and create comfortable environments. One is combined (active plus passive) type, which transfers solar heat it collects by the whole wall surfaces to an attic to heat it totally, and makes the whole roof as a radiator to melt snow. However, heat radiated from the roof is insufficient to melt all snow on the roof, allowing it to remain to an extent that it works as an insulator. The other is active type, which transfers heat it collects by the collector to the heat storage tank, from which heat is extracted in winter for various purposes, including snow melting. Such a system must store heat for an extended period, for which a highly insulating heat storage tank is proposed to balance capacity of heat storage between seasons and building size.

  15. Greenland in Warm (1.5 °C) and Warmer (RCP 8.5) Worlds: The Influence of the Paris Agreement on Ice Sheet Surface Melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reusch, D. B.

    2017-12-01

    Melting on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet has been changing dramatically as global air temperatures have increased in recent decades, including melt extent often exceeding the 1981-2010 median through much of the melt season and the onset of intermittent melt moving to earlier in the year. To evaluate potential future change, we investigate surface melting characteristics under both "low" (limited to 1.5 °C) and "high" (RCP 8.5) warming scenarios including analysis of differences in scenario outcomes. Climatologies of melt-relevant variables are developed from two publicly available ensembles of CESM1-CAM5-BGC GCM runs: the 30-member Large Ensemble (CESM LE; Kay et al. 2015) for historical calibration and the RCP 8.5 scenario and the 11-member Low Warming ensemble (CESM LW; Sanderson et al. 2017) for the 1.5 °C scenario. For higher spatial resolution (15 km) and improved polar-centric model physics, we also apply the regional forecast model Polar WRF to decadal subsets (1996-2005; 2071-80) using GCM data archived at sub-daily resolution for boundary conditions. Models were skill-tested against ERA-Interim Reanalysis (ERAI) and AWS observations. For example, CESM LE tends to overpredict both maximum (above-freezing) and minimum daily average surface temperatures compared to observations from the GC-Net Swiss Camp AWS. Ensembles of members differing only by initial conditions allow us to also estimate intramodel uncertainty. Historical (1981-2000) CESM LE spatially averaged July temperatures are 2 +/- 0.2 °C cooler than ERAI while local anomalies in individual members reach up to +/- 2 °C. As expected, Greenland does not escape future (2081-2100) warming (and expectations of more widespread surface melting) even in the LW scenario, but positive changes versus ERAI are mostly coastal (2-3 °C) with the interior showing only minor change (+/- 1 °C). In contrast, under RCP 8.5, the entire ice sheet has warmed by 2-6 °C, or a median increase of 5 °C versus

  16. Recent Changes in Arctic Sea Ice Melt Onset, Freeze-Up, and Melt Season Length

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markus, Thorsten; Stroeve, Julienne C.; Miller, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    In order to explore changes and trends in the timing of Arctic sea ice melt onset and freeze-up and therefore melt season length, we developed a method that obtains this information directly from satellite passive microwave data, creating a consistent data set from 1979 through present. We furthermore distinguish between early melt (the first day of the year when melt is detected) and the first day of continuous melt. A similar distinction is made for the freeze-up. Using this method we analyze trends in melt onset and freeze-up for 10 different Arctic regions. In all regions except for the Sea of Okhotsk, which shows a very slight and statistically insignificant positive trend (O.4 days/decade), trends in melt onset are negative, i.e. towards earlier melt. The trends range from -1.0day/decade for the Bering Sea to -7.3 days/decade for the East Greenland Sea. Except for the Sea of Okhotsk all areas also show a trend towards later autumn freeze onset. The Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and Laptev/East Siberian Seas observe the strongest trends with 7 days/decade. For the entire Arctic, the melt season length has increased by about 20 days over the last 30 years. Largest trends of over 1O days/decade are seen for Hudson Bay, the East Greenland Sea the Laptev/East Siberian Seas, and the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas. Those trends are statistically significant a1 the 99% level.

  17. Ice shelf melt rates in Greenland and Antarctica using time-tagged digital imagery from World View and TanDEM-X

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charolais, A.; Rignot, E. J.; Milillo, P.; Scheuchl, B.; Mouginot, J.

    2017-12-01

    The floating extensions of glaciers, or ice shelves, melt vigorously in contact with ocean waters. Melt is non uniform, with the highest melt taking place in the deepest part of the cavity, where thermal forcing is the greatest because of 1) the pressure dependence of the freezing point of the seawater/ice mixture and 2) subglacial water injects fresh, buoyant, cold melt water to fuel stronger ice-ocean interactions. Melt also forms along preferential channels, which are not stationary, and create lines of weakness in the shelf. Ice shelf melt rates have been successfully measured from space over the entire Antarctic continent and on the ice shelves in Greenland using an Eulerian approach that combines ice thickness, ice velocity vectors, surface mass balance data, and measurements of ice thinning rates. The Eulerian approach is limited by the precision of the thickness gradients, typically of a few km, and requires significant spatial averaging to remove advection effects. A Lagrangian approach has been shown to be robust to advection effects and provides higher resolution details. We implemented a Lagrangian methodology for time-tagged World View DEMs by the Polar Geoscience Center (PGS) at the University of Minnesota and time-tagged TanDEM-X DEMs separated by one year. We derive melt rates on a 300-m grid with a precision of a few m/yr. Melt is strongest along grounding lines and along preferred channels. Channels are non-stationary because melt is not the same on opposite sides of the channels. Examining time series of data and comparing with the time-dependent grounding line positions inferred from satellite radar interferometry, we evaluate the magnitude of melt near the grounding line and even within the grounding zone. A non-zero melt rate in the grounding zone has vast implications for ice sheet modeling. This work is funded by a grant from NASA Cryosphere Program.

  18. Regions of open water and melting sea ice drive new particle formation in North East Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall Osto, M; Geels, C; Beddows, D C S; Boertmann, D; Lange, R; Nøjgaard, J K; Harrison, Roy M; Simo, R; Skov, H; Massling, A

    2018-04-17

    Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) and growth significantly influences the indirect aerosol-cloud effect within the polar climate system. In this work, the aerosol population is categorised via cluster analysis of aerosol number size distributions (9-915 nm, 65 bins) taken at Villum Research Station, Station Nord (VRS) in North Greenland during a 7 year record (2010-2016). Data are clustered at daily averaged resolution; in total, we classified six categories, five of which clearly describe the ultrafine aerosol population, one of which is linked to nucleation events (up to 39% during summer). Air mass trajectory analyses tie these frequent nucleation events to biogenic precursors released by open water and melting sea ice regions. NPF events in the studied regions seem not to be related to bird colonies from coastal zones. Our results show a negative correlation (r = -0.89) between NPF events and sea ice extent, suggesting the impact of ultrafine Arctic aerosols is likely to increase in the future, given the likely increased sea ice melting. Understanding the composition and the sources of Arctic aerosols requires further integrated studies with joint multi-component ocean-atmosphere observation and modelling.

  19. The influence of air temperature inversions on snowmelt and glacier mass-balance simulations, Ammassalik island, SE Greenland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Liston, Glen [COLORADO STATE UNIV.

    2009-01-01

    In many applications, a realistic description of air temperature inversions is essential for accurate snow and glacier ice melt, and glacier mass-balance simulations. A physically based snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel) was used to simulate eight years (1998/99 to 2005/06) of snow accumulation and snow and glacier ice ablation from numerous small coastal marginal glaciers on the SW-part of Ammassalik Island in SE Greenland. These glaciers are regularly influenced by inversions and sea breezes associated with the adjacent relatively low temperature and frequently ice-choked fjords and ocean. To account for the influence of these inversions on the spatiotemporal variation of air temperature and snow and glacier melt rates, temperature inversion routines were added to MircoMet, the meteorological distribution sub-model used in SnowModel. The inversions were observed and modeled to occur during 84% of the simulation period. Modeled inversions were defined not to occur during days with strong winds and high precipitation rates due to the potential of inversion break-up. Field observations showed inversions to extend from sea level to approximately 300 m a.s.l., and this inversion level was prescribed in the model simulations. Simulations with and without the inversion routines were compared. The inversion model produced air temperature distributions with warmer lower elevation areas and cooler higher elevation areas than without inversion routines due to the use of cold sea-breeze base temperature data from underneath the inversion. This yielded an up to 2 weeks earlier snowmelt in the lower areas and up to 1 to 3 weeks later snowmelt in the higher elevation areas of the simulation domain. Averaged mean annual modeled surface mass-balance for all glaciers (mainly located above the inversion layer) was -720 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} for inversion simulations, and -880 {+-} 620 mm w.eq. y{sup -1} without the inversion routines, a difference of 160 mm w.eq. y

  20. Measuring Snow Liquid Water Content with Low-Cost GPS Receivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Franziska; Prasch, Monika; Schmid, Lino; Schweizer, Jürg; Mauser, Wolfram

    2014-01-01

    The amount of liquid water in snow characterizes the wetness of a snowpack. Its temporal evolution plays an important role for wet-snow avalanche prediction, as well as the onset of meltwater release and water availability estimations within a river basin. However, it is still a challenge and a not yet satisfyingly solved issue to measure the liquid water content (LWC) in snow with conventional in situ and remote sensing techniques. We propose a new approach based on the attenuation of microwave radiation in the L-band emitted by the satellites of the Global Positioning System (GPS). For this purpose, we performed a continuous low-cost GPS measurement experiment at the Weissfluhjoch test site in Switzerland, during the snow melt period in 2013. As a measure of signal strength, we analyzed the carrier-to-noise power density ratio (C/N0) and developed a procedure to normalize these data. The bulk volumetric LWC was determined based on assumptions for attenuation, reflection and refraction of radiation in wet snow. The onset of melt, as well as daily melt-freeze cycles were clearly detected. The temporal evolution of the LWC was closely related to the meteorological and snow-hydrological data. Due to its non-destructive setup, its cost-efficiency and global availability, this approach has the potential to be implemented in distributed sensor networks for avalanche prediction or basin-wide melt onset measurements. PMID:25384007

  1. Measuring Snow Liquid Water Content with Low-Cost GPS Receivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Koch

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The amount of liquid water in snow characterizes the wetness of a snowpack. Its temporal evolution plays an important role for wet-snow avalanche prediction, as well as the onset of meltwater release and water availability estimations within a river basin. However, it is still a challenge and a not yet satisfyingly solved issue to measure the liquid water content (LWC in snow with conventional in situ and remote sensing techniques. We propose a new approach based on the attenuation of microwave radiation in the L-band emitted by the satellites of the Global Positioning System (GPS. For this purpose, we performed a continuous low-cost GPS measurement experiment at the Weissfluhjoch test site in Switzerland, during the snow melt period in 2013. As a measure of signal strength, we analyzed the carrier-to-noise power density ratio (C/N0 and developed a procedure to normalize these data. The bulk volumetric LWC was determined based on assumptions for attenuation, reflection and refraction of radiation in wet snow. The onset of melt, as well as daily melt-freeze cycles were clearly detected. The temporal evolution of the LWC was closely related to the meteorological and snow-hydrological data. Due to its non-destructive setup, its cost-efficiency and global availability, this approach has the potential to be implemented in distributed sensor networks for avalanche prediction or basin-wide melt onset measurements.

  2. Collaborative Research: Snow Accumulation and Snow Melt in a Mixed Northern Hardwood-Conifer Forest, Version 1

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains snow depth, Snow Water Equivalent (SWE), and forest cover characteristics for sites at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in northern New...

  3. Surface Energy and Mass Balance Model for Greenland Ice Sheet and Future Projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaojian

    The Greenland Ice Sheet contains nearly 3 million cubic kilometers of glacial ice. If the entire ice sheet completely melted, sea level would raise by nearly 7 meters. There is thus considerable interest in monitoring the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Each year, the ice sheet gains ice from snowfall and loses ice through iceberg calving and surface melting. In this thesis, we develop, validate and apply a physics based numerical model to estimate current and future surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet. The numerical model consists of a coupled surface energy balance and englacial model that is simple enough that it can be used for long time scale model runs, but unlike previous empirical parameterizations, has a physical basis. The surface energy balance model predicts ice sheet surface temperature and melt production. The englacial model predicts the evolution of temperature and meltwater within the ice sheet. These two models can be combined with estimates of precipitation (snowfall) to estimate the mass balance over the Greenland Ice Sheet. We first compare model performance with in-situ observations to demonstrate that the model works well. We next evaluate how predictions are degraded when we statistically downscale global climate data. We find that a simple, nearest neighbor interpolation scheme with a lapse rate correction is able to adequately reproduce melt patterns on the Greenland Ice Sheet. These results are comparable to those obtained using empirical Positive Degree Day (PDD) methods. Having validated the model, we next drove the ice sheet model using the suite of atmospheric model runs available through the CMIP5 atmospheric model inter-comparison, which in turn built upon the RCP 8.5 (business as usual) scenarios. From this exercise we predict how much surface melt production will increase in the coming century. This results in 4-10 cm sea level equivalent, depending on the CMIP5 models. Finally, we try to bound melt water

  4. An approach to estimate the freshwater contribution from glacial melt and precipitation in East Greenland shelf waters using colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stedmon, Colin; Granskog, Mats A.; Dodd, Paul A.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in the supply and storage of freshwater in the Arctic Ocean and its subsequent export to the North Atlantic can potentially influence ocean circulation and climate. In order to understand how the Arctic freshwater budget is changing and the potential impacts, it is important to develop......, and precipitation) and sea ice melt. We develop this approach further and investigate the use of an additional tracer, colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM), which is largely specific to freshwater originating from Arctic rivers. A robust relationship between the freshwater contribution from meteoric water...... processes (riverine input and sea ice formation), while previously, these waters where thought to be derived from open sea processes (cooling and sea ice formation) in the northern Barents and Kara Seas. In Greenlandic coastal waters the meteoric water contribution is influenced by Greenland ice sheet...

  5. Organic micropollutants in snow. Distribution and behaviour during snowmelt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herrmann, R.; Schoendorf, T.; Schrimpff, E.; Simmleit, N.

    1988-03-01

    The regional patterns of the concentrations of organic micropollutants can be explained by local emissions and enhanced wet and dry deposition of pollutants from atmospheric long-range transport especially in exposed elevations. During the melting process in deep snow covers, particle-bound pollutants with a high distribution coefficient will not be released until the final stage of snow melting in terms of a surge of high concentrations. Organic micropollutants with a small distribution coefficient, by contrast, are also dissolved and flushed out with the first melt water. As a result, this pollutant group features two concentration peaks: one in the first melt water and another in the last melt water. The melt water seeping into the soil and the underlying aquifers (e.g. in karst areas) very rapidly loses its load of pollutants by adsorption in the soil zone.

  6. Analysis of the snow-atmosphere energy balance during wet-snow instabilities and implications for avalanche prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Mitterer

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Wet-snow avalanches are notoriously difficult to predict; their formation mechanism is poorly understood since in situ measurements representing the thermal and mechanical evolution are difficult to perform. Instead, air temperature is commonly used as a predictor variable for days with high wet-snow avalanche danger – often with limited success. As melt water is a major driver of wet-snow instability and snow melt depends on the energy input into the snow cover, we computed the energy balance for predicting periods with high wet-snow avalanche activity. The energy balance was partly measured and partly modelled for virtual slopes at different elevations for the aspects south and north using the 1-D snow cover model SNOWPACK. We used measured meteorological variables and computed energy balance and its components to compare wet-snow avalanche days to non-avalanche days for four consecutive winter seasons in the surroundings of Davos, Switzerland. Air temperature, the net shortwave radiation and the energy input integrated over 3 or 5 days showed best results in discriminating event from non-event days. Multivariate statistics, however, revealed that for better predicting avalanche days, information on the cold content of the snowpack is necessary. Wet-snow avalanche activity was closely related to periods when large parts of the snowpack reached an isothermal state (0 °C and energy input exceeded a maximum value of 200 kJ m−2 in one day, or the 3-day sum of positive energy input was larger than 1.2 MJ m−2. Prediction accuracy with measured meteorological variables was as good as with computed energy balance parameters, but simulated energy balance variables accounted better for different aspects, slopes and elevations than meteorological data.

  7. Radiation Climatology of the Greenland Ice Sheet Derived from Greenland Climate Network Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, Konrad; Box, Jason

    2003-01-01

    The magnitude of shortwave and longwave dative fluxes are critical to surface energy balance variations over the Greenland ice sheet, affecting many aspects of its climate, including melt rates, the nature of low-level temperature inversions, the katabatic wind regime and buoyant stability of the atmosphere. Nevertheless, reliable measurements of the radiative fluxes over the ice sheet are few in number, and have been of limited duration and areal distribution (e.g. Ambach, 1960; 1963, Konzelmann et al., 1994, Harding et al., 1995, Van den Broeke, 1996). Hourly GC-Net radiation flux measurements spanning 1995-2001 period have been used to produce a monthly dataset of surface radiation balance components. The measurements are distributed widely across Greenland and incorporate multiple sensors

  8. When Does the Warmest Water Reach Greenland?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grist, J. P.; Josey, S. A.; Boehme, L.; Meredith, M. P.; Laidre, K. L.; Heide-Jørgensen, M. P.; Kovacs, K. M.; Lydersen, C.; Davidson, F. J. M.; Stenson, G. B.; Hammill, M. O.; Marsh, R.; Coward, A.

    2016-02-01

    The warmest water reaching the east and west coast of Greenland is found between 200 and 600 m, in the warm Atlantic Water Layer (WL). Temperature changes within the WL have been highlighted as a possible cause of accelerated melting of tidewater glaciers and therefore are an important consideration for understanding global sea level rise. However, a limited number of winter observations of the WL have prohibited determining its seasonal variability. To address this, temperature data from Argo profiling floats, a range of sources within the World Ocean Database, and unprecedented coverage from marine-mammal borne sensors have been analyzed for the period 2002-2011. A significant seasonal range in temperature ( 1-2°C) is found in the warm layer, in contrast to most of the surrounding ocean. The magnitude of the seasonal cycle is thus comparable with the 1990s warming that was associated with an increased melt rate in a marine terminating glacier of West Greenland. The phase of the seasonal cycle exhibits considerable spatial variability; with high-resolution ocean model trajectory analysis suggesting it is determined by the time taken for waters to be advected from the subduction site in the Irminger Basin. For western Greenland, the annual temperature maximum occurs near or after the turn of the calendar year. This is significant because a recent study suggested that it is in the non-summer months when fjord-shelf exchanges allow the WL to most strongly influence glacier melt rate. However this is also the time of the year when the WL is least well observed. It is therefore clear that year-round subsurface temperature measurements are still required for a complete description of the WL seasonality, and in particular to ensure that the ice-melting potential of the WL is not underestimated.

  9. Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN): Contributions to Science and Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, K. R.; Bonaime, S.; Clinton, J. F.; Dahl-Jensen, T.; Debski, W. M.; Giardini, D.; Govoni, A.; Kanao, M.; Larsen, T. B.; Lasocki, S.; Lee, W. S.; McCormack, D. A.; Mykkeltveit, S.; Nettles, M.; Stutzmann, E.; Strollo, A.; Sweet, J. R.; Tsuboi, S.; Vallee, M.

    2017-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN) is a broadband, multi-use seismological network, enhanced by selected geodetic observations, designed with the capability to allow researchers to understand the changes currently occurring in the Arctic, and with the operational characteristics necessary to enable response to those changes as understanding improves. GLISN was established through an international collaboration, with 10 nations coordinating their efforts to develop the current 34-station observing network during the last eight years. All of the data collected are freely and openly available in near-real time. The network was designed to transform the community capability for recording, analysis, and interpretation of seismic signals generated by discrete events in Greenland and the Arctic, as well as those traversing the region. Data from the network support a wide range of uses, including estimation of the properties of the solid Earth that control isostatic adjustment rates and set key boundary conditions for ice-sheet evolution; analysis of tectonic earthquakes throughout Greenland and the Arctic; study of the seismic signals associated with large calving events and changing glacier dynamics; and variations in ice and snow properties within the Greenland Ice Sheet. Recordings from the network have also provided invaluable data for rapid evaluation and understanding of the devastating landslide and tsunami that occurred near Nuugaatsiaq, Greenland, in June, 2017. The GLISN strategy of maximizing data quality from a network of approximately evenly distributed stations, delivering data in near-real time, and archiving a continuous data stream easily accessible to researchers, allows continuous discovery of new uses while also facilitating the generation of data products, such as catalogs of tectonic and glacial earthquakes and GPS-based estimates of snow height, that allow for assessment of change over time.

  10. Deriving Snow-Cover Depletion Curves for Different Spatial Scales from Remote Sensing and Snow Telemetry Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassnacht, Steven R.; Sexstone, Graham A.; Kashipazha, Amir H.; Lopez-Moreno, Juan Ignacio; Jasinski, Michael F.; Kampf, Stephanie K.; Von Thaden, Benjamin C.

    2015-01-01

    During the melting of a snowpack, snow water equivalent (SWE) can be correlated to snow-covered area (SCA) once snow-free areas appear, which is when SCA begins to decrease below 100%. This amount of SWE is called the threshold SWE. Daily SWE data from snow telemetry stations were related to SCA derived from moderate-resolution imaging spectro radiometer images to produce snow-cover depletion curves. The snow depletion curves were created for an 80,000 sq km domain across southern Wyoming and northern Colorado encompassing 54 snow telemetry stations. Eight yearly snow depletion curves were compared, and it is shown that the slope of each is a function of the amount of snow received. Snow-cover depletion curves were also derived for all the individual stations, for which the threshold SWE could be estimated from peak SWE and the topography around each station. A stations peak SWE was much more important than the main topographic variables that included location, elevation, slope, and modelled clear sky solar radiation. The threshold SWE mostly illustrated inter-annual consistency.

  11. Snow clearance

    CERN Multimedia

    Mauro Nonis

    2005-01-01

    In reply to the numerous questions received, we should like to inform you of the actions and measures taken in an effort to maintain the movements of vehicles and pedestrians since the heavy snow fall on Sunday 23 January. Our contractor's employees began clearing the snow during the morning of Sunday 23 January on the main CERN sites (Meyrin, Prévessin), but an accident prevented them from continuing. The vehicle in question was repaired by Monday morning when two other vehicles joined it to resume snow clearing; priority was given to access points to the main sites and the LHC sites, as well as to the main roads inside the sites. The salt sprinklers were also brought into action that same day; the very low temperature during the night from Monday to Tuesday prevented the snow from melting and compacted the ice; the continuing cold during the day on Tuesday (-6°C at 10:00 on the Meyrin site) meant that all efforts to remove the ice were doomed to failure. In order to ensure more efficie...

  12. Diurnal variations in the UV albedo of arctic snow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Meinander

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available The relevance of snow for climate studies is based on its physical properties, such as high surface reflectivity. Surface ultraviolet (UV albedo is an essential parameter for various applications based on radiative transfer modeling. Here, new continuous measurements of the local UV albedo of natural Arctic snow were made at Sodankylä (67°22'N, 26°39'E, 179 m a.s.l. during the spring of 2007. The data were logged at 1-min intervals. The accumulation of snow was up to 68 cm. The surface layer thickness varied from 0.5 to 35 cm with the snow grain size between 0.2 and 2.5 mm. The midday erythemally weighted UV albedo ranged from 0.6 to 0.8 in the accumulation period, and from 0.5 to 0.7 during melting. During the snow melt period, under cases of an almost clear sky and variable cloudiness, an unexpected diurnal decrease of 0.05 in albedo soon after midday, and recovery thereafter, was detected. This diurnal decrease in albedo was found to be asymmetric with respect to solar midday, thus indicating a change in the properties of the snow. Independent UV albedo results with two different types of instruments confirm these findings. The measured temperature of the snow surface was below 0°C on the following mornings. Hence, the reversible diurnal change, evident for ~1–2 h, could be explained by the daily metamorphosis of the surface of the snowpack, in which the temperature of the surface increases, melting some of the snow to liquid water, after which the surface freezes again.

  13. Combining low-cost GPS receivers with upGPR to derive continuously liquid water content, snow height and snow water equivalent in Alpine snow covers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Franziska; Schmid, Lino; Prasch, Monika; Heilig, Achim; Eisen, Olaf; Schweizer, Jürg; Mauser, Wolfram

    2015-04-01

    The temporal evolution of Alpine snowpacks is important for assessing water supply, hydropower generation, flood predictions and avalanche forecasts. Especially in high mountain regions with an extremely varying topography, it is until now often difficult to derive continuous and non-destructive information on snow parameters. Since autumn 2012, we are running a new low-cost GPS (Global Positioning System) snow measurement experiment at the high alpine study site Weissfluhjoch (2450 m a.s.l.) in Switzerland. The globally and freely broadcasted GPS L1-band (1.57542 GHz) was continuously recorded with GPS antennas, which are installed at the ground surface underneath the snowpack. GPS raw data, containing carrier-to-noise power density ratio (C/N0) as well as elevation and azimuth angle information for each time step of 1 s, was stored and analyzed for all 32 GPS satellites. Since the dielectric permittivity of an overlying wet snowpack influences microwave radiation, the bulk volumetric liquid water content as well as daily melt-freeze cycles can be derived non-destructively from GPS signal strength losses and external snow height information. This liquid water content information is qualitatively in good accordance with meteorological and snow-hydrological data and quantitatively highly agrees with continuous data derived from an upward-looking ground-penetrating radar (upGPR) working in a similar frequency range. As a promising novelty, we combined the GPS signal strength data with upGPR travel-time information of active impulse radar rays to the snow surface and back from underneath the snow cover. This combination allows determining liquid water content, snow height and snow water equivalent from beneath the snow cover without using any other external information. The snow parameters derived by combining upGPR and GPS data are in good agreement with conventional sensors as e.g. laser distance gauges or snow pillows. As the GPS sensors are cheap, they can easily

  14. Snow and ice perturbation during historical volcanic eruptions and the formation of lahars and floods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Major, Jon J.; Newhall, Christopher G.

    1989-10-01

    Historical eruptions have produced lahars and floods by perturbing snow and ice at more than 40 volcanoes worldwide. Most of these volcanoes are located at latitudes higher than 35°; those at lower latitudes reach altitudes generally above 4000 m. Volcanic events can perturb mantles of snow and ice in at least five ways: (1) scouring and melting by flowing pyroclastic debris or blasts of hot gases and pyroclastic debris, (2) surficial melting by lava flows, (3) basal melting of glacial ice or snow by subglacial eruptions or geothermal activity, (4) ejection of water by eruptions through a crater lake, and (5) deposition of tephra fall. Historical records of volcanic eruptions at snow-clad volcanoes show the following: (1) Flowing pyroclastic debris (pyroclastic flows and surges) and blasts of hot gases and pyroclastic debris are the most common volcanic events that generate lahars and floods; (2) Surficial lava flows generally cannot melt snow and ice rapidly enough to form large lahars or floods; (3) Heating the base of a glacier or snowpack by subglacial eruptions or by geothermal activity can induce basal melting that may result in ponding of water and lead to sudden outpourings of water or sediment-rich debris flows; (4) Tephra falls usually alter ablation rates of snow and ice but generally produce little meltwater that results in the formation of lahars and floods; (5) Lahars and floods generated by flowing pyroclastic debris, blasts of hot gases and pyroclastic debris, or basal melting of snow and ice commonly have volumes that exceed 105 m3. The glowing lava (pyroclastic flow) which flowed with force over ravines and ridges...gathered in the basin quickly and then forced downwards. As a result, tremendously wide and deep pathways in the ice and snow were made and produced great streams of water (Wolf 1878).

  15. MEaSUREs Northern Hemisphere State of Cryosphere Daily 25km EASE-Grid 2.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set reports the location of Northern Hemisphere snow cover and sea ice extent, the status of melt onset across Greenland and Artic sea ice, and the level...

  16. Improving Estimates of Cloud Radiative Forcing over Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, W.; Zender, C. S.

    2014-12-01

    Multiple driving mechanisms conspire to increase melt extent and extreme melt events frequency in the Arctic: changing heat transport, shortwave radiation (SW), and longwave radiation (LW). Cloud Radiative Forcing (CRF) of Greenland's surface is amplified by a dry atmosphere and by albedo feedback, making its contribution to surface melt even more variable in time and space. Unfortunately accurate cloud observations and thus CRF estimates are hindered by Greenland's remoteness, harsh conditions, and low contrast between surface and cloud reflectance. In this study, cloud observations from satellites and reanalyses are ingested into and evaluated within a column radiative transfer model. An improved CRF dataset is obtained by correcting systematic discrepancies derived from sensitivity experiments. First, we compare the surface radiation budgets from the Column Radiation Model (CRM) driven by different cloud datasets, with surface observations from Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net). In clear skies, CRM-estimated surface radiation driven by water vapor profiles from both AIRS and MODIS during May-Sept 2010-2012 are similar, stable, and reliable. For example, although AIRS water vapor path exceeds MODIS by 1.4 kg/m2 on a daily average, the overall absolute difference in downwelling SW is CRM estimates are within 20 W/m2 range of GC-Net downwelling SW. After calibrating CRM in clear skies, the remaining differences between CRM and observed surface radiation are primarily attributable to differences in cloud observations. We estimate CRF using cloud products from MODIS and from MERRA. The SW radiative forcing of thin clouds is mainly controlled by cloud water path (CWP). As CWP increases from near 0 to 200 g/m2, the net surface SW drops from over 100 W/m2 to 30 W/m2 almost linearly, beyond which it becomes relatively insensitive to CWP. The LW is dominated by cloud height. For clouds at all altitudes, the lower the clouds, the greater the LW forcing. By applying

  17. Source attribution of black carbon in Arctic snow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegg, Dean A; Warren, Stephen G; Grenfell, Thomas C; Doherty, Sarah J; Larson, Timothy V; Clarke, Antony D

    2009-06-01

    Snow samples obtained at 36 sites in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, and the Arctic Ocean in early 2007 were analyzed for light-absorbing aerosol concentration together with a suite of associated chemical species. The light absorption data, interpreted as black carbon concentrations, and other chemical data were input into the EPA PMF 1.1 receptor model to explore the sources for black carbon in the snow. The analysis found four factors or sources: two distinct biomass burning sources, a pollution source, and a marine source. The first three of these were responsible for essentially all of the black carbon, with the two biomass sources (encompassing both open and closed combustion) together accounting for >90% of the black carbon.

  18. The Effect of Topographic Shadowing by Ice on Irradiance in the Greenland Ice Sheet Ablation Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leidman, S. Z.; Rennermalm, A. K.; Ryan, J.; Cooper, M. G.; Smith, L. C.

    2017-12-01

    Accurately predicting runoff contributions to global sea level rise requires more refined surface mass balance (SMB) models of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). Topographic shadowing has shown to be important in the SMB of snow-covered regions, yet SMB models for the GrIS generally ignore how surface topography affects spatial variability of incoming solar radiation on a surface. In the ablation zone of Southwest Greenland, deeply incised supraglacial drainage features, fracturing, and large-scale bed deformation result in extensive areas of rough surface topography. This topography blocks direct radiation such that shadowed areas receive less energy for melting while other topographic features such as peaks recieve more energy. In this study, we quantify how shadowing from local topography features changes incoming solar radiation. We apply the ArcGIS Pro Solar Radiation Toolset to calculate the direct and diffuse irradiance in sunlit and shadowed areas by determining the sun's movement for every half hour increment of 2016. Multiple digital elevation models (DEMs) with spatial resolutions ranging from 0.06 to 5m were derived from fixed wing and quadcopter UAV imagery collected in summer 2016 and the ArcticDEM dataset. Our findings show that shadowing significantly decreases irradiance compared to smoothed surfaces where local topography is removed. This decrease is exponentially proportional to the DEM pixel sized with 5m DEMs only able to capture a small percentage of the effect. Applying these calculations to the ArcticDEM to cover a larger study area indicates that decreases in irradiance are nonlinearly proportional to elevation with highly crevassed areas showing a larger effect from shadowing. Even so, shading at higher elevations reduces irradiance enough to result in several centimeters snow water equivalence (SWE) per year of over-prediction of runoff in SMB models. Furthermore, analysis of solar radiation products shows that shadowing predicts albedo

  19. Robots could assist scientists working in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2011-07-01

    GREENLAND—Tom Lane and Suk Joon Lee, recent graduates of Dartmouth University's Thayer School of Engineering, in Hanover, N. H., are standing outside in the frigid cold testing an autonomous robot that could help with scientific research and logistics in harsh polar environments. This summer, Lane, Lee, and others are at Summit Station, a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored scientific research station in Greenland, fine-tuning a battery-powered Yeti robot as part of a team working on the NSF-funded Cool Robot project. The station, also known as Summit Camp, is located on the highest point of the Greenland Ice Sheet (72°N, 38°W, 3200 meters above sea level) near the middle of the island. It is a proving ground this season for putting the approximately 68-kilogram, 1-cubic-meter robot through its paces, including improving Yeti's mobility capabilities and field-testing the robot. (See the electronic supplement to this Eos issue for a video of Yeti in action (http://www.agu.org/eos_elec/).) During field-testing, plans call for the robot to collect data on elevation and snow surface characteristics, including accumulation. In addition, the robot will collect black carbon and elemental carbon particulate matter air samples around Summit Camp's power generator to help study carbon dispersion over snow.

  20. Biogeochemical cycling in a subarctic fjord adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meire, L.

    2016-01-01

    Temperatures in the Arctic have increased rapidly in recent years resulting in the melting of sea ice and glaciers at unprecedented rates. In 2012, sea ice extent across the Arctic reached a record minimum and the melt extent of Greenland Ice Sheet reached a record maximum. The accelerated mass loss

  1. Estimation of the condition of snow cover in Voronezh according to the chemical analysis of water from melted snow

    OpenAIRE

    Prozhorina Tatyana Ivanovna; Bespalova Elena Vladimirovna; Yakunina Nadezhda

    2014-01-01

    Snow cover possesses high sorption ability and represents informative object to identify technogenic pollution of an urban environment. In this article the investigation data of a chemical composition of snow fallen in Voronezh during the winter period of 2014 are given. Relationships between existence of pollutants in snow and the level of technogenic effect are analyzed.

  2. Airborne Surveys of Snow Depth over Arctic Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwok, R.; Panzer, B.; Leuschen, C.; Pang, S.; Markus, T.; Holt, B.; Gogineni, S.

    2011-01-01

    During the spring of 2009, an ultrawideband microwave radar was deployed as part of Operation IceBridge to provide the first cross-basin surveys of snow thickness over Arctic sea ice. In this paper, we analyze data from three approx 2000 km transects to examine detection issues, the limitations of the current instrument, and the regional variability of the retrieved snow depth. Snow depth is the vertical distance between the air \\snow and snow-ice interfaces detected in the radar echograms. Under ideal conditions, the per echogram uncertainty in snow depth retrieval is approx 4 - 5 cm. The finite range resolution of the radar (approx 5 cm) and the relative amplitude of backscatter from the two interfaces limit the direct retrieval of snow depths much below approx 8 cm. Well-defined interfaces are observed over only relatively smooth surfaces within the radar footprint of approx 6.5 m. Sampling is thus restricted to undeformed, level ice. In early April, mean snow depths are 28.5 +/- 16.6 cm and 41.0 +/- 22.2 cm over first-year and multiyear sea ice (MYI), respectively. Regionally, snow thickness is thinner and quite uniform over the large expanse of seasonal ice in the Beaufort Sea, and gets progressively thicker toward the MYI cover north of Ellesmere Island, Greenland, and the Fram Strait. Snow depth over MYI is comparable to that reported in the climatology by Warren et al. Ongoing improvements to the radar system and the utility of these snow depth measurements are discussed.

  3. Assessing the controls of the snow energy balance and water available for runoff in a rain-an-snow environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam B. Mazurkiewicz; David G. Callery; Jeffrey J. McDonnell

    2008-01-01

    Rain-on-snow (ROS) melt production and its contribution to water available for runoff is poorly understood. In the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the USA, ROS drives many runoff events with turbulent energy exchanges dominating the snow energy balance (EB). While previous experimental work in the PNW (most notably the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest (HJA» has quantified...

  4. Quantifying snow and vegetation interactions in the high arctic based on ground penetrating radar (GPR)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gacitúa, G.; Bay, C.; Tamstorf, M.

    2013-01-01

    Arctic in Northeast Greenland. We used ground penetrating radar (GPR) for snow thickness measurements across the Zackenberg valley. Measurements were integrated to the physical conditions that support the vegetation distribution. Descriptive statistics and correlations of the distribution of each...

  5. North and northeast Greenland ice discharge from satellite radar interferometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rignot, E.J.; Gogineni, S.P.; Krabill, W.B.

    1997-01-01

    Ice discharge from north and northeast Greenland calculated from satellite radar interferometry data of 14 outlet glaciers is 3.5 times that estimated from iceberg production. The satellite estimates, obtained at the grounding line of the outlet glaciers, differ from those obtained at the glacier...... front, because basal melting is extensive at the underside of the floating glacier sections. The results suggest that the north and northeast parts of the Greenland ice sheet may be thinning and contributing positively to sea-level rise....

  6. Realism versus simplicity in the snow routine of the HBV model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girons Lopez, Marc; Vis, Marc; Seibert, Jan

    2017-04-01

    The HBV model still enjoys great popularity, in part because of its simplicity. Depicting the hydrological processes in a catchment in a simple way reduces data requirements and minimises parameter uncertainty. However, the representation of some processes might benefit from an increased model complexity. This is, for instance, the case of snow routine in the HBV-light version of the HBV model. HBV-light uses a degree-day method with a single threshold parameter to distinguish between rain and snow and simulate snow melt. Recent research has shown that hydrological models with a more realistic representation of snow processes might be more successful in estimating runoff. In this study we explore and test different improvements to the HBV-light snow routine design by considering different threshold temperature values for rain and snow distinction as well as for the beginning of snow melt, and introducing gradual transitions instead of the current sharp threshold. The use of radiation data, which recently became available as gridded data product in Switzerland, is an additional possibility. These modifications would allow for a more realistic depiction of important hydrological processes in alpine and other snow-covered areas while preserving the characteristic simplicity of HBV. Furthermore, in this contribution we evaluate the balance between introducing more realism into the snow routine of the HBV model and keeping the number of parameters as low as possible.

  7. Molecular identification of host feeding patterns of snow-melt mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae): potential implications for the transmission ecology of Jamestown Canyon virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdock, C C; Olival, Kevin J; Perkins, Susan L

    2010-03-01

    We collected blood-fed, snow-melt mosquitoes (Culicidae: Culiseta and Aedes) to describe the feeding patterns of potential mosquito vectors of Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV, Bunyaviridae: Orthobunyavirus). JCV is an arthropod-borne, zoonotic virus with deer as the primary amplifying host in western alpine ecosystems. We collected mosquitoes from natural resting areas, fiber pots, and carbon-dioxide baited miniature light traps in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in 2007. We conducted two polymerase chain reactions to amplify and sequence vertebrate DNA extracted from blood-fed mosquitoes, which yielded comparable, but not identical, results. Mammal-specific primers found mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) as the source of all bloodmeals. To determine if unamplified bloodmeals were from nonmammalian sources, we screened all samples with conserved vertebrate primers, which confirmed the initial polymerase chain reaction results, but also found porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) and human (Homo sapiens) as additional bloodmeal sources. We consistently found that mule deer were the primary hosts for mosquitoes in this system. These results suggest that snow-melt mosquitoes, in particular A. cataphylla, may be important vectors in western JCV alpine systems and may also act as a bridge vector for JCV from cervid virus reservoirs to humans.

  8. Dynamic-stochastic modeling of snow cover formation on the European territory of Russia

    OpenAIRE

    A. N. Gelfan; V. M. Moreido

    2014-01-01

    A dynamic-stochastic model, which combines a deterministic model of snow cover formation with a stochastic weather generator, has been developed. The deterministic snow model describes temporal change of the snow depth, content of ice and liquid water, snow density, snowmelt, sublimation, re-freezing of melt water, and snow metamorphism. The model has been calibrated and validated against the long-term data of snow measurements over the territory of the European Russia. The model showed good ...

  9. Snow deposition and melt under different vegetative covers in central New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. R. Eschner; D. R. Satterlund

    1963-01-01

    Two-thirds of the annual runoff from watersheds in the Allegheny Plateau of central New York comes from the snow-or snow and rain that falls in December through April. Although the amounts of precipitation in this period are fairly uniform from year to year, the proportion that falls as snow varies; so does the amount that accumulates on the ground, and its duration...

  10. Optimizing placements of ground-based snow sensors for areal snow cover estimation using a machine-learning algorithm and melt-season snow-LiDAR data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oroza, C.; Zheng, Z.; Glaser, S. D.; Bales, R. C.; Conklin, M. H.

    2016-12-01

    We present a structured, analytical approach to optimize ground-sensor placements based on time-series remotely sensed (LiDAR) data and machine-learning algorithms. We focused on catchments within the Merced and Tuolumne river basins, covered by the JPL Airborne Snow Observatory LiDAR program. First, we used a Gaussian mixture model to identify representative sensor locations in the space of independent variables for each catchment. Multiple independent variables that govern the distribution of snow depth were used, including elevation, slope, and aspect. Second, we used a Gaussian process to estimate the areal distribution of snow depth from the initial set of measurements. This is a covariance-based model that also estimates the areal distribution of model uncertainty based on the independent variable weights and autocorrelation. The uncertainty raster was used to strategically add sensors to minimize model uncertainty. We assessed the temporal accuracy of the method using LiDAR-derived snow-depth rasters collected in water-year 2014. In each area, optimal sensor placements were determined using the first available snow raster for the year. The accuracy in the remaining LiDAR surveys was compared to 100 configurations of sensors selected at random. We found the accuracy of the model from the proposed placements to be higher and more consistent in each remaining survey than the average random configuration. We found that a relatively small number of sensors can be used to accurately reproduce the spatial patterns of snow depth across the basins, when placed using spatial snow data. Our approach also simplifies sensor placement. At present, field surveys are required to identify representative locations for such networks, a process that is labor intensive and provides limited guarantees on the networks' representation of catchment independent variables.

  11. Solitary Waves of Ice Loss Detected in Greenland Crustal Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adhikari, S.; Ivins, E. R.; Larour, E. Y.

    2017-12-01

    The annual cycle and secular trend of Greenland mass loading are well recorded in measurements of solid Earth deformation. While bedrock vertical displacements are in phase with loading as inferred from space observations, horizontal motions have received almost no attention. The horizontal bedrock displacements can potentially track the spatiotemporal detail of mass changes with great fidelity. Our analysis of Greenland crustal motion data reveals that a significant excitation of horizontal amplitudes occurs during the intense Greenland melting. A suite of space geodetic observations and climate reanalysis data cannot explain these large horizontal displacements. We discover that solitary seasonal waves of substantial mass transport traveled through Rink Glacier in 2010 and 2012. We deduce that intense summer melting enhanced either basal lubrication or shear softening, or both, causing the glacier to thin dynamically. The newly routed upstream sublglacial water was likely to be both retarded and inefficient, thus providing a causal mechanism for the prolonged ice transport to continue well into the winter months. As the climate continues to produce increasingly warmer spring and summer, amplified seasonal waves of mass transport may become ever more present in years of future observations. Increased frequency of amplified seasonal mass transport may ultimately strengthen the Greenland's dynamic ice mass loss, a component of the balance that will have important ramifications for sea level rise. This animation shows a solitary wave passing through Rink Glacier, Greenland, in 2012, recorded by the motion of a GPS station (circle with arrow). Darker blue colors within the flow indicate mass loss, red colors show mass gain. The star marks the center of the wave. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

  12. The melt pond fraction and spectral sea ice albedo retrieval from MERIS data: validation and trends of sea ice albedo and melt pond fraction in the Arctic for years 2002-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Istomina, L.; Heygster, G.; Huntemann, M.; Schwarz, P.; Birnbaum, G.; Scharien, R.; Polashenski, C.; Perovich, D.; Zege, E.; Malinka, A.; Prikhach, A.; Katsev, I.

    2014-10-01

    The presence of melt ponds on the Arctic sea ice strongly affects the energy balance of the Arctic Ocean in summer. It affects albedo as well as transmittance through the sea ice, which has consequences on the heat balance and mass balance of sea ice. An algorithm to retrieve melt pond fraction and sea ice albedo (Zege et al., 2014) from the MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) data is validated against aerial, ship borne and in situ campaign data. The result show the best correlation for landfast and multiyear ice of high ice concentrations (albedo: R = 0.92, RMS = 0.068, melt pond fraction: R = 0.6, RMS = 0.065). The correlation for lower ice concentrations, subpixel ice floes, blue ice and wet ice is lower due to complicated surface conditions and ice drift. Combining all aerial observations gives a mean albedo RMS equal to 0.089 and a mean melt pond fraction RMS equal to 0.22. The in situ melt pond fraction correlation is R = 0.72 with an RMS = 0.14. Ship cruise data might be affected by documentation of varying accuracy within the ASPeCT protocol, which is the reason for discrepancy between the satellite value and observed value: mean R = 0.21, mean RMS = 0.16. An additional dynamic spatial cloud filter for MERIS over snow and ice has been developed to assist with the validation on swath data. The case studies and trend analysis for the whole MERIS period (2002-2011) show pronounced and reasonable spatial features of melt pond fractions and sea ice albedo. The most prominent feature is the melt onset shifting towards spring (starting already in weeks 3 and 4 of June) within the multiyear ice area, north to the Queen Elizabeth Islands and North Greenland.

  13. Modeling Snow Regime in Cores of Small Planetary Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boukaré, C. E.; Ricard, Y. R.; Parmentier, E.; Parman, S. W.

    2017-12-01

    Observations of present day magnetic field on small planetary bodies such as Ganymede or Mercury challenge our understanding of planetary dynamo. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the origin of magnetic fields. Among the proposed scenarios, one family of models relies on snow regime. Snow regime is supported by experimental studies showing that melting curves can first intersect adiabats in regions where the solidifying phase is not gravitationaly stable. First solids should thus remelt during their ascent or descent. The effect of the snow zone on magnetic field generation remains an open question. Could magnetic field be generated in the snow zone? If not, what is the depth extent of the snow zone? How remelting in the snow zone drive compositional convection in the liquid layer? Several authors have tackled this question with 1D-spherical models. Zhang and Schubert, 2012 model sinking of the dense phase as internally heated convection. However, to our knowledge, there is no study on the convection structure associated with sedimentation and phase change at planetary scale. We extend the numerical model developped in [Boukare et al., 2017] to model snow dynamics in 2D Cartesian geometry. We build a general approach for modeling double diffusive convection coupled with solid-liquid phase change and phase separation. We identify several aspects that may govern the convection structure of the solidifying system: viscosity contrast between the snow zone and the liquid layer, crystal size, rate of melting/solidification and partitioning of light components during phase change.

  14. Isotopic fractionation and profile evolution of a melting snowcover

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周石硚; 中尾正义; 桥本重将; 坂井亚规子; 成田英器; 石川信敬

    2001-01-01

    Successive snow pits were dug intensively in a melting snowcover. Water was successfully separated from snow grains in the field for the first time. By measuring δ18O values of water and snow grain samples as well as comparing isotopic profiles, it is found that meltwater percolating down in snow develops quick and clear isotopic fractionation with snow grains, but exerts no clear impact on the δ18O profile of the snowcover through which the meltwater percolates.

  15. Retention and radiative forcing of black carbon in eastern Sierra Nevada snow

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. M. Sterle

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available When contaminated by absorbing particles, such as refractory black carbon (rBC and continental dust, snow's albedo decreases and thus its absorption of solar radiation increases, thereby hastening snowmelt. For this reason, an understanding of rBC's affect on snow albedo, melt processes, and radiation balance is critical for water management, especially in a changing climate. Measurements of rBC in a sequence of snow pits and surface snow samples in the eastern Sierra Nevada of California during the snow accumulation and ablation seasons of 2009 show that concentrations of rBC were enhanced sevenfold in surface snow (~25 ng g–1 compared to bulk values in the snowpack (~3 ng g–1. Unlike major ions, which were preferentially released during the initial melt, rBC and continental dust were retained in the snow, enhancing concentrations well into late spring, until a final flush occurred during the ablation period. We estimate a combined rBC and continental dust surface radiative forcing of 20 to 40 W m−2 during April and May, with dust likely contributing a greater share of the forcing.

  16. Monitoring Snow and Land Ice Using Satellite data in the GMES Project CryoLand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bippus, Gabriele; Nagler, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    The main objectives of the project "CryoLand - GMES Service Snow and Land Ice" are to develop, implement and validate services for snow, glaciers and lake and river ice products as a Downstream Service within the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program of the European Commission. CryoLand exploits Earth Observation data from current optical and microwave sensors and of the upcoming GMES Sentinel satellite family. The project prepares also the basis for the cryospheric component of the GMES Land Monitoring services. The CryoLand project team consists of 10 partner organisations from Austria, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Romania and is funded by the 7th Framework Program of the European Commission. The CryoLand baseline products for snow include fractional snow extent from optical satellite data, the extent of melting snow from SAR data, and coarse resolution snow water equivalent maps from passive microwave data. Experimental products include maps of snow surface wetness and temperature. The products range from large scale coverage at medium resolution to regional products with high resolution, in order to address a wide user community. Medium resolution optical data (e.g. MODIS, in the near future Sentinel-3) and SAR (ENVISAT ASAR, in the near future Sentinel-1) are the main sources of EO data for generating large scale products in near real time. For generation of regional products high resolution satellite data are used. Glacier products are based on high resolution optical (e.g. SPOT-5, in the near future Sentinel-2) and SAR (TerraSAR-X, in the near future Sentinel-1) data and include glacier outlines, mapping of glacier facies, glacier lakes and ice velocity. The glacier products are generated on users demand. Current test areas are located in the Alps, Norway, Greenland and the Himalayan Mountains. The lake and river ice products include ice extent and its temporal changes and snow extent on ice. The algorithms for these

  17. Measured Black Carbon Deposition on the Sierra Nevada Snow Pack and Implication for Snow Pack Retreat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hadley, O.L.; Corrigan, C.E.; Kirchstetter, T.W.; Cliff, S.S.; Ramanathan, V.

    2010-01-12

    Modeling studies show that the darkening of snow and ice by black carbon deposition is a major factor for the rapid disappearance of arctic sea ice, mountain glaciers and snow packs. This study provides one of the first direct measurements for the efficient removal of black carbon from the atmosphere by snow and its subsequent deposition to the snow packs of California. The early melting of the snow packs in the Sierras is one of the contributing factors to the severe water problems in California. BC concentrations in falling snow were measured at two mountain locations and in rain at a coastal site. All three stations reveal large BC concentrations in precipitation, ranging from 1.7 ng/g to 12.9 ng/g. The BC concentrations in the air after the snow fall were negligible suggesting an extremely efficient removal of BC by snow. The data suggest that below cloud scavenging, rather than ice nuclei, was the dominant source of BC in the snow. A five-year comparison of BC, dust, and total fine aerosol mass concentrations at multiple sites reveals that the measurements made at the sampling sites were representative of large scale deposition in the Sierra Nevada. The relative concentration of iron and calcium in the mountain aerosol indicates that one-quarter to one-third of the BC may have been transported from Asia.

  18. Spatial and temporal variability in seasonal snow density

    KAUST Repository

    Bormann, Kathryn J.

    2013-03-01

    Snow density is a fundamental physical property of snowpacks used in many aspects of snow research. As an integral component in the remote sensing of snow water equivalent and parameterisation of snow models, snow density may be used to describe many important features of snowpack behaviour. The present study draws on a significant dataset of snow density and climate observations from the United States, Australia and the former Soviet Union and uses regression-based techniques to identify the dominant climatological drivers for snow densification rates, characterise densification rate variability and estimate spring snow densities from more readily available climate data. Total winter precipitation was shown to be the most prominent driver of snow densification rates, with mean air temperature and melt-refreeze events also found to be locally significant. Densification rate variance is very high at Australian sites, very low throughout the former Soviet Union and between these extremes throughout much of the US. Spring snow densities were estimated using a statistical model with climate variable inputs and best results were achieved when snow types were treated differently. Given the importance of snow density information in many snow-related research disciplines, this work has implications for current methods of converting snow depths to snow water equivalent, the representation of snow dynamics in snow models and remote sensing applications globally. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

  19. Spatial and temporal variability in seasonal snow density

    KAUST Repository

    Bormann, Kathryn J.; Westra, Seth; Evans, Jason P.; McCabe, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    Snow density is a fundamental physical property of snowpacks used in many aspects of snow research. As an integral component in the remote sensing of snow water equivalent and parameterisation of snow models, snow density may be used to describe many important features of snowpack behaviour. The present study draws on a significant dataset of snow density and climate observations from the United States, Australia and the former Soviet Union and uses regression-based techniques to identify the dominant climatological drivers for snow densification rates, characterise densification rate variability and estimate spring snow densities from more readily available climate data. Total winter precipitation was shown to be the most prominent driver of snow densification rates, with mean air temperature and melt-refreeze events also found to be locally significant. Densification rate variance is very high at Australian sites, very low throughout the former Soviet Union and between these extremes throughout much of the US. Spring snow densities were estimated using a statistical model with climate variable inputs and best results were achieved when snow types were treated differently. Given the importance of snow density information in many snow-related research disciplines, this work has implications for current methods of converting snow depths to snow water equivalent, the representation of snow dynamics in snow models and remote sensing applications globally. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

  20. Sensitivity of Alpine Snow and Streamflow Regimes to Climate Changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasouli, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Marks, D. G.; Bernhardt, M.

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the sensitivity of hydrological processes to climate change in alpine areas with snow dominated regimes is of paramount importance as alpine basins show both high runoff efficiency associated with the melt of the seasonal snowpack and great sensitivity of snow processes to temperature change. In this study, meteorological data measured in a selection of alpine headwaters basins including Reynolds Mountain East, Idaho, USA, Wolf Creek, Yukon in Canada, and Zugspitze Mountain, Germany with climates ranging from arctic to continental temperate were used to study the snow and streamflow sensitivity to climate change. All research sites have detailed multi-decadal meteorological and snow measurements. The Cold Regions Hydrological Modelling platform (CRHM) was used to create a model representing a typical alpine headwater basin discretized into hydrological response units with physically based representations of snow redistribution by wind, complex terrain snowmelt energetics and runoff processes in alpine tundra. The sensitivity of snow hydrology to climate change was investigated by changing air temperature and precipitation using weather generating methods based on the change factors obtained from different climate model projections for future and current periods. The basin mean and spatial variability of peak snow water equivalent, sublimation loss, duration of snow season, snowmelt rates, streamflow peak, and basin discharge were assessed under varying climate scenarios and the most sensitive hydrological mechanisms to the changes in the different alpine climates were detected. The results show that snow hydrology in colder alpine climates is more resilient to warming than that in warmer climates, but that compensatory factors to warming such as reduced blowing snow sublimation loss and reduced melt rate should also be assessed when considering climate change impacts on alpine hydrology.

  1. Direct observations of evolving subglacial drainage beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Lauren C; Catania, Ginny A; Hoffman, Matthew J; Gulley, Jason D; Lüthi, Martin P; Ryser, Claudia; Hawley, Robert L; Neumann, Thomas A

    2014-10-02

    Seasonal acceleration of the Greenland Ice Sheet is influenced by the dynamic response of the subglacial hydrologic system to variability in meltwater delivery to the bed via crevasses and moulins (vertical conduits connecting supraglacial water to the bed of the ice sheet). As the melt season progresses, the subglacial hydrologic system drains supraglacial meltwater more efficiently, decreasing basal water pressure and moderating the ice velocity response to surface melting. However, limited direct observations of subglacial water pressure mean that the spatiotemporal evolution of the subglacial hydrologic system remains poorly understood. Here we show that ice velocity is well correlated with moulin hydraulic head but is out of phase with that of nearby (0.3-2 kilometres away) boreholes, indicating that moulins connect to an efficient, channelized component of the subglacial hydrologic system, which exerts the primary control on diurnal and multi-day changes in ice velocity. Our simultaneous measurements of moulin and borehole hydraulic head and ice velocity in the Paakitsoq region of western Greenland show that decreasing trends in ice velocity during the latter part of the melt season cannot be explained by changes in the ability of moulin-connected channels to convey supraglacial melt. Instead, these observations suggest that decreasing late-season ice velocity may be caused by changes in connectivity in unchannelized regions of the subglacial hydrologic system. Understanding this spatiotemporal variability in subglacial pressures is increasingly important because melt-season dynamics affect ice velocity beyond the conclusion of the melt season.

  2. Short-term impacts of enhanced Greenland freshwater fluxes in an eddy-permitting ocean model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Marsh

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In a sensitivity experiment, an eddy-permitting ocean general circulation model is forced with realistic freshwater fluxes from the Greenland Ice Sheet, averaged for the period 1991–2000. The fluxes are obtained with a mass balance model for the ice sheet, forced with the ERA-40 reanalysis dataset. The freshwater flux is distributed around Greenland as an additional term in prescribed runoff, representing seasonal melting of the ice sheet and a fixed year-round iceberg calving flux, for 8.5 model years. By adding Greenland freshwater fluxes with realistic geographical distribution and seasonality, the experiment is designed to investigate the oceanic response to a sudden and spatially/temporally uniform amplification of ice sheet melting and discharge, rather than localized or gradual changes in freshwater flux. The impacts on regional hydrography and circulation are investigated by comparing the sensitivity experiment to a control experiment, without additional fluxes. By the end of the sensitivity experiment, the majority of additional fresh water has accumulated in Baffin Bay, and only a small fraction has reached the interior of the Labrador Sea, where winter mixed layer depth is sensitive to small changes in salinity. As a consequence, the impact on large-scale circulation is very slight. An indirect impact of strong freshening off the west coast of Greenland is a small anti-cyclonic component to the circulation around Greenland, which opposes the wind-driven cyclonic circulation and reduces net southward flow through the Canadian Archipelago by ~10%. Implications for the post-2000 acceleration of Greenland mass loss are discussed.

  3. Reflection and transmission of irradiance by snow and sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean in summer 2010

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruibo Lei

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Reflection and transmission of irradiance by the combined snow and sea ice layer were measured at an ice camp (ca. 10 days and several short-term stations (ca. 2 h established in the western sector of the Arctic Ocean above 80°N during the 2010 summer. These measurements were made with an intention to quantify the apparent optical properties of snow and sea ice, and to evaluate their roles in the mass balance of snow-covered sea ice in the High Arctic. The integrated 350–920 nm albedo ranged from 0.54 to 0.88, and was primarily dependent on the geophysical properties of snow, but not those of sea ice. This implies that all snow cover was still optically thick, even though snow melting had commenced at all measurement sites. For sea ice about 1.66 m thick and covered by 2.5–8.5 cm of snow at the ice camp, the integrated 350–920 nm transmittance ranged from 0.017 to 0.065. Rapid snow melting resulting from an event of slight drizzle doubled the available solar irradiance under the ice (from ca. 3.6 to 7.2 W·m−2, which further accelerated ice-bottom decay. During the measurement at the camp, the temporally averaged incident solar irradiance at 320–950 nm was 110.6±33.6 W·m−2, 29.2±2.9% of which was absorbed by snow and sea ice and utilized to melt snow and sea ice. The melting of snow and sea ice had a distinctly greater effect on the spectral reflection and transmission for the near-infrared spectrum than for the ultraviolet and visible spectra.

  4. Sensitivity of Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance to surface albedo parameterization: a study with a regional climate model

    OpenAIRE

    Angelen, J. H.; Lenaerts, J. T. M.; Lhermitte, S.; Fettweis, X.; Kuipers Munneke, P.; Broeke, M. R.; Meijgaard, E.; Smeets, C. J. P. P.

    2012-01-01

    We present a sensitivity study of the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Greenland Ice Sheet, as modeled using a regional atmospheric climate model, to various parameter settings in the albedo scheme. The snow albedo scheme uses grain size as a prognostic variable and further depends on cloud cover, solar zenith angle and black carbon concentration. For the control experiment the overestimation of absorbed shortwave radiation (+6%) at the K-transect (west Greenland) for the period 2004–2009 is...

  5. Assessment of snow-glacier melt and rainfall contribution to stream runoff in Baspa Basin, Indian Himalaya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaddam, Vinay Kumar; Kulkarni, Anil V; Gupta, Anil Kumar

    2018-02-20

    Hydrological regimes of most of the Himalayan river catchments are poorly studied due to sparse hydro-meteorological data. Hence, stream runoff assessment becomes difficult for various socio-industrial activities in the Himalaya. Therefore, an attempt is made in this study to assess the stream runoff of Baspa River in Himachal Pradesh, India, by evaluating the contribution from snow-ice melt and rainfall runoff. The total volume of flow was computed for a period of 15 years, from 2000 to 2014, and validated with the long-term field discharge measurements, obtained from Jaipee Hydropower station (31° 32' 35.53″ N, 78° 00' 54.80″ E), at Kuppa barrage in the basin. The observations suggest (1) a good correlation (r 2  > 0.80) between the modeled runoff and field discharge measurements, and (2) out of the total runoff, 81.2% are produced by snowmelt, 11.4% by rainfall, and 7.4% from ice melt. The catchment receives ~75% of its total runoff in the ablation period (i.e., from May to September). In addition, an early snowmelt is observed in accumulation season during study period, indicating the significant influence of natural and anthropogenic factors on high-altitude areas.

  6. Snow Grain Size Retrieval over the Polar Ice Sheets with the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yuekui; Marshak, Alexander; Han, Mei; Palm, Stephen P.; Harding, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Snow grain size is an important parameter for cryosphere studies. As a proof of concept, this paper presents an approach to retrieve this parameter over Greenland, East and West Antarctica ice sheets from surface reflectances observed with the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) onboard the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) at 1064 nanometers. Spaceborne lidar observations overcome many of the disadvantages in passive remote sensing, including difficulties in cloud screening and low sun angle limitations; hence tend to provide more accurate and stable retrievals. Results from the GLAS L2A campaign, which began on 25 September and lasted until 19 November, 2003, show that the mode of the grain size distribution over Greenland is the largest (approximately 300 microns) among the three, West Antarctica is the second (220 microns) and East Antarctica is the smallest (190 microns). Snow grain sizes are larger over the coastal regions compared to inland the ice sheets. These results are consistent with previous studies. Applying the broadband snow surface albedo parameterization scheme developed by Garder and Sharp (2010) to the retrieved snow grain size, ice sheet surface albedo is also derived. In the future, more accurate retrievals can be achieved with multiple wavelengths lidar observations.

  7. Soot in the atmosphere and snow surface of Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Warren, S.G.; Clarke, A.D.

    1990-01-01

    Samples of snow collected near the south pole during January and February 1986 were analyzed for the presence of light-absorbing particles by passing the melted snow through a nuclepore filter. Transmission of light through the filter showed that snow far from the station contains the equivalent of 0.1-0.3 ng of carbon per gram of snow (ng/g). Samples of ambient air were filtered and found to contain about 1-2 ng of carbon per kilogram of air, giving a scavenging ratio of about 150. The snow downwind of the station exhibited a well-defined plume of soot due to the burning of diesel fuel, but even in the center of the plume 1 km downwind, the soot concentration was only 3 ng/g, too small to affect snow albedo significantly. Measurements of snow albedo near large inland stations are therefore probably representative of their surrounding regions

  8. Bioavailability of mineral-bound iron to a snow algae-bacteria co-culture and implications for albedo-altering snow algae blooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrold, Z R; Hausrath, E M; Garcia, A H; Murray, A E; Tschauner, O; Raymond, J; Huang, S

    2018-01-26

    Snow algae can form large-scale blooms across the snowpack surface and near-surface environments. These pigmented blooms can decrease snow albedo, increase local melt rates, and may impact the global heat budget and water cycle. Yet, underlying causes for the geospatial occurrence of these blooms remain unconstrained. One possible factor contributing to snow algae blooms is the presence of mineral dust as a micronutrient source. We investigated the bioavailability of iron (Fe) -bearing minerals, including forsterite (Fo 90 , Mg 1.8 Fe 0.2 SiO 4 ), goethite, smectite and pyrite as Fe sources for a Chloromonas brevispina - bacteria co-culture through laboratory-based experimentation. Fo 90 was capable of stimulating snow algal growth and increased the algal growth rate in otherwise Fe-depleted co-cultures. Fo 90 -bearing systems also exhibited a decrease in bacteria:algae ratios compared to Fe-depleted conditions, suggesting a shift in microbial community structure. The C. brevispina co-culture also increased the rate of Fo 90 dissolution relative to an abiotic control. Analysis of 16S rRNA genes in the co-culture identified Gammaproteobacteria , Betaprotoeobacteria and Sphingobacteria , all of which are commonly found in snow and ice environments. Archaea were not detected. Collimonas and Pseudomonas , which are known to enhance mineral weathering rates, comprised two of the top eight (> 1 %) OTUs. These data provide unequivocal evidence that mineral dust can support elevated snow algae growth under otherwise Fe-depleted growth conditions, and that snow algae can enhance mineral dissolution under these conditions. IMPORTANCE Fe, a key micronutrient for photosynthetic growth, is necessary to support the formation of high-density snow algae blooms. The laboratory experiments described herein allow for a systematic investigation of snow algae-bacteria-mineral interactions and their ability to mobilize and uptake mineral-bound Fe. Results provide unequivocal and

  9. Influence of beech and spruce sub-montane forests on snow cover in Poľana Biosphere Reserve

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šatala, T.; Tesař, Miroslav; Hanzelová, M.; Bartík, M.; Šípek, Václav; Škvarenina, J.; Minďáš, J.; Waldhauserová, P.D.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 72, č. 8 (2017), s. 854-861 ISSN 0006-3088 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA16-05665S Institutional support: RVO:67985874 Keywords : snow water equivalent * snow depth * snow accumulation * snow melting Subject RIV: DA - Hydrology ; Limnology OBOR OECD: Hydrology Impact factor: 0.759, year: 2016

  10. Removal of snow cover inhibits spring growth of Arctic ice algae through physiological and behavioral effects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund-Hansen, L.C.; Hawes, Ian; Sorrell, Brian Keith

    2014-01-01

    The snow cover of Arctic sea ice has recently decreased, and climate models forecast that this will continue and even increase in future. We therefore tested the effect of snow cover on the optical properties of sea ice and the biomass, photobiology, and species composition of sea ice algae at Ka...... of the spring bloom is predominantly due to temperature effects on brine channel volume, and that the algal decline after snow removal was primarily due to emigration rather than photodamage.......The snow cover of Arctic sea ice has recently decreased, and climate models forecast that this will continue and even increase in future. We therefore tested the effect of snow cover on the optical properties of sea ice and the biomass, photobiology, and species composition of sea ice algae...... at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, during March 2011, using a snow-clearance experiment. Sea ice algae in areas cleared of snow was compared with control areas, using imaging variable fluorescence of photosystem II in intact, unthawed ice sections. The study coincided with the onset of spring growth of ice algae...

  11. BedMachine v3: Complete Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry Mapping of Greenland From Multibeam Echo Sounding Combined With Mass Conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morlighem, M.; Williams, C. N.; Rignot, E.

    2017-01-01

    Greenland's bed topography is a primary control on ice flow, grounding line migration, calving dynamics, and subglacial drainage. Moreover, fjord bathymetry regulates the penetration of warm Atlantic water (AW) that rapidly melts and undercuts Greenland's marine‐terminating glaciers. Here we...... present a new compilation of Greenland bed topography that assimilates seafloor bathymetry and ice thickness data through a mass conservation approach. A new 150 m horizontal resolution bed topography/bathymetric map of Greenland is constructed with seamless transitions at the ice/ocean interface...

  12. Determination of heavy metals in polar snow and ice by laser-excited atomic fluorescence spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bolshov, M.A.; Boutron, C.F.

    1994-01-01

    The new laser-excited atomic fluorescence spectrometry technique offers unrivalled sensitivity for the determination of trace metals in a wide variety of samples. This has allowed the direct determination of Pb, Cd and Bi in Antarctic and Greenland snow and ice down to the sub pg/g level. (authors). 11 refs., 2 figs

  13. Measurement of spectral sea ice albedo at Qaanaaq fjord in northwest Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanikawa, T.

    2017-12-01

    The spectral albedos of sea ice were measured at Qaanaaq fjord in northwest Greenland. Spectral measurements were conducted for sea ice covered with snow and sea ice without snow where snow was artificially removed around measurement point. Thickness of the sea ice was approximately 1.3 m with 5 cm of snow over the sea ice. The measurements show that the spectral albedos of the sea ice with snow were lower than those of natural pure snow especially in the visible regions though the spectral shapes were similar to each other. This is because the spectral albedos in the visible region have information of not only the snow but also the sea ice under the snow. The spectral albedos of the sea ice without the snow were approximately 0.4 - 0.5 in the visible region, 0.05-0.25 in the near-infrared region and almost constant of approximately 0.05 in the region of 1500 - 2500 nm. In the visible region, it would be due to multiple scattering by an air bubble within the sea ice. In contrast, in the near-infrared and shortwave infrared wavelengths, surface reflection at the sea ice surface would be dominant. Since a light absorption by the ice in these regions is relatively strong comparing to the visible region, the light could not be penetrated deeply within the sea ice, resulting that surface reflection based on Fresnel reflection would be dominant. In this presentation we also show the results of comparison between the radiative transfer calculation and spectral measurement data.

  14. Microbial Community Analysis of Colored Snow from an Alpine Snowfield in Northern Japan Reveals the Prevalence of Betaproteobacteria with Snow Algae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terashima, Mia; Umezawa, Kazuhiro; Mori, Shoichi; Kojima, Hisaya; Fukui, Manabu

    2017-01-01

    Psychrophilic algae blooms can be observed coloring the snow during the melt season in alpine snowfields. These algae are important primary producers on the snow surface environment, supporting the microbial community that coexists with algae, which includes heterotrophic bacteria and fungi. In this study, we analyzed the microbial community of green and red-colored snow containing algae from Mount Asahi, Japan. We found that Chloromonas spp. are the dominant algae in all samples analyzed, and Chlamydomonas is the second-most abundant genus in the red snow. For the bacterial community profile, species belonging to the subphylum Betaproteobacteria were frequently detected in both green and red snow, while members of the phylum Bacteroidetes were also prominent in red snow. Furthermore, multiple independently obtained strains of Chloromonas sp. from inoculates of red snow resulted in the growth of Betaproteobacteria with the alga and the presence of bacteria appears to support growth of the xenic algal cultures under laboratory conditions. The dominance of Betaproteobacteria in algae-containing snow in combination with the detection of Chloromonas sp. with Betaproteobacteria strains suggest that these bacteria can utilize the available carbon source in algae-rich environments and may in turn promote algal growth.

  15. Ultra-Wideband Radiometry Remote Sensing of Polar Ice Sheet Temperature Profile, Sea Ice and Terrestrial Snow Thickness: Forward Modeling and Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, L.; Tan, S.; Sanamzadeh, M.; Johnson, J. T.; Jezek, K. C.; Durand, M. T.

    2017-12-01

    The recent development of an ultra-wideband software defined radiometer (UWBRAD) operating over the unprotected spectrum of 0.5 2.0 GHz using radio-frequency interference suppression techniques offers new methodologies for remote sensing of the polar ice sheets, sea ice, and terrestrial snow. The instrument was initially designed for remote sensing of the intragalcial temperature profile of the ice sheet, where a frequency dependent penetration depth yields a frequency dependent brightness temperature (Tb) spectrum that can be linked back to the temperature profile of the ice sheet. The instrument was tested during a short flight over Northwest Greenland in September, 2016. Measurements were successfully made over the different snow facies characteristic of Greenland including the ablation, wet snow and percolation facies, and ended just west of Camp Century during the approach to the dry snow zone. Wide-band emission spectra collected during the flight have been processed and analyzed. Results show that the spectra are highly sensitive to the facies type with scattering from ice lenses being the dominant reason for low Tbs in the percolation zone. Inversion of Tb to physical temperature at depth was conducted on the measurements near Camp Century, achieving a -1.7K ten-meter error compared to borehole measurements. However, there is a relatively large uncertainty in the lower part possibly due to the large scattering near the surface. Wideband radiometry may also be applicable to sea ice and terrestrial snow thickness retrieval. Modeling studies suggest that the UWBRAD spectra reduce ambiguities inherent in other sea ice thickness retrievals by utilizing coherent wave interferences that appear in the Tb spectrum. When applied to a lossless medium such as terrestrial snow, this coherent oscillation turns out to be the single key signature that can be used to link back to snow thickness. In this paper, we report our forward modeling findings in support of instrument

  16. Observed runoff, jokulhlaups and suspended sediment load from the Greenland ice at Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland, 2007 and 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mernild, Sebastian Haugard [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Hasholt, Bent [UNIV OF COPENHAGEN

    2009-01-01

    This study fills the gap in hydrologic measurements of runoff exiting a part of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), the Kangerlussuaq drainage area, West Greenland. The observations are of value for obtaining knowledge about the terrestrial freshwater and sediment output from part of the GrIS and the strip of land between the GrIS and the ocean, in the context of varying ice sheet surface melt and influx entering the ocean. High-resolution stage, discharge and suspended sediment load show a decrease in runoff of {approx} 25% and in sediment load of {approx} 40% from 2007 to 2008 in response to a decrease in the summer accumulated number of positive degree days. During the 2007 and 2008 runoff season, joekulhlaups are observed at Kangerlussuaq, drained from an ice-dammed lake at the margin of the GrIS.

  17. Snow and Ice Crust Changes over Northern Eurasia since 1966

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulygina, O.; Groisman, P. Y.; Razuvaev, V.; Radionov, V.

    2009-12-01

    When temperature of snow cover reaches zero Celsius first time since its establishment, snowmelt starts. In many parts of the world this process can be lengthy. The initial amount of heat that “arrives” to the snowpack might be insufficient for complete snowmelt, during the colder nights re-freeze of the melted snow may occur (thus creating the ice crust layers), and a new cold front (or the departure of the warm front that initiated melt) can decrease temperatures below the freezing point again and stop the snowmelt completely. It well can be that first such snowmelt occurs in winter (thaw day) and for several months thereafter snowpack stays on the ground. However, even the first such melt initiates a process of snow metamorphosis on its surface changing snow albedo and generating snow crust as well as on its bottom generating ice crust. Once emerged, the crusts will not disappear until the complete snowmelt. Furthermore, these crusts have numerous pathways of impact on the wild birds and animals in the Arctic environment as well as on domesticated reindeers. In extreme cases, the crusts may kill some wild species and prevent reindeers’ migration and feeding. Ongoing warming in high latitudes created situations when in the western half of Eurasian continent days with thaw became more frequent. Keeping in mind potential detrimental impacts of winter thaws and associated with them snow/ice crust development, it is worthwhile to study directly what are the major features of snow and ice crust over Eurasia and what is their dynamics. For the purpose of this study, we employed the national snow survey data set archived at the Russian Institute for Hydrometeorological Information. The dataset has routine snow surveys run throughout the cold season each decade (during the intense snowmelt, each 5 days) at all meteorological stations of the former USSR, thereafter, in Russia since 1966. Prior to 1966 snow surveys are also available but the methodology of

  18. Limited Impact of Subglacial Supercooling Freeze-on for Greenland Ice Sheet Stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dow, Christine F.; Karlsson, Nanna B.; Werder, Mauro A.

    2018-02-01

    Large units of disrupted radiostratigraphy (UDR) are visible in many radio-echo sounding data sets from the Greenland Ice Sheet. This study investigates whether supercooling freeze-on rates at the bed can cause the observed UDR. We use a subglacial hydrology model to calculate both freezing and melting rates at the base of the ice sheet in a distributed sheet and within basal channels. We find that while supercooling freeze-on is a phenomenon that occurs in many areas of the ice sheet, there is no discernible correlation with the occurrence of UDR. The supercooling freeze-on rates are so low that it would require tens of thousands of years with minimal downstream ice motion to form the hundreds of meters of disrupted radiostratigraphy. Overall, the melt rates at the base of the ice sheet greatly overwhelm the freeze-on rates, which has implications for mass balance calculations of Greenland ice.

  19. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Versteegh, E. A. A.; Blicher, Martin E.; Mortensen, J.

    2012-01-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models pre...

  20. BedMachine v3: Complete Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry Mapping of Greenland From Multibeam Echo Sounding Combined With Mass Conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morlighem, M.; Williams, C. N.; Rignot, E.

    2017-01-01

    Greenland's bed topography is a primary control on ice flow, grounding line migration, calving dynamics, and subglacial drainage. Moreover, fjord bathymetry regulates the penetration of warm Atlantic water (AW) that rapidly melts and undercuts Greenland's marine‐terminating glaciers. Here we...... recent calving front response of numerous outlet glaciers and reveals new pathways by which AW can access glaciers with marine‐based basins, thereby highlighting sectors of Greenland that are most vulnerable to future oceanic forcing....

  1. Impacts of light-absorbing impurities on snow and their quantification with bidirectional reflectance measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gritsevich, Maria; Peltoniemi, Jouni; Meinander, Outi; Dagsson-Waldhauserová, Pavla; Zubko, Nataliya; Hakala, Teemu; Virkkula, Aki; Svensson, Jonas; de Leeuw, Gerrit

    2017-04-01

    In order to quantify the effects of absorbing impurities on snow and define their contribution to the climate change, we have conducted a series of dedicated bidirectional reflectance measurements. Chimney soot, volcanic sand, and glaciogenic silt have been deposited on the snow in the controlled way. The bidirectional reflectance factors of these targets and untouched snow have been measured using the Finnish Geodetic Institute's field goniospectrometer FIGIFIGO, see, e.g., [1, 2] and references therein. It has been found that the contaminants darken the snow, and modify its appearance mostly as expected, with clear directional signal and modest spectral signal. A remarkable feature is the fact that any absorbing contaminant on snow enhances the metamorphosis under strong sunlight [3, 4]. Immediately after deposition, the contaminated snow surface appears darker than the pure snow in all viewing directions, but the heated soot particles start sinking down deeply into the snow in minutes. The nadir measurement remains darkest, but at larger zenith angles the surface of the soot-contaminated snow changes back to almost as white as clean snow. Thus, for on ground observer the darkening by impurities can be completely invisible, overestimating the albedo, but a nadir looking satellite sees the darkest points, now underestimating the albedo. After more time, also the nadir view brightens, and the remaining impurities may be biased towards more shadowed locations or less absorbing orientations by natural selection. This suggests that at noon the albedo should be lower than in the morning or afternoon. When sunlight stimulates more sinking than melting, albedo should be higher in the afternoon than in the morning, and vice versa when melting is dominating. Thus to estimate the effects caused by black carbon (BC) deposited on snow on climate changes may one need to take into account possible rapid diffusion of the BC inside the snow from its surface. When the snow melt

  2. The effect of snow/sea ice type on the response of albedo and light penetration depth (e-folding depth to increasing black carbon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Marks

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The optical properties of snow/sea ice vary with age and by the processes they were formed, giving characteristic types of snow and sea ice. The response of albedo and light penetration depth (e-folding depth to increasing mass ratio of black carbon is shown to depend on the snow and sea ice type and the thickness of the snow or sea ice. The response of albedo and e-folding depth of three different types of snow (cold polar snow, wind-packed snow and melting snow and three sea ice (multi-year ice, first-year ice and melting sea ice to increasing mass ratio of black carbon is calculated using a coupled atmosphere–snow/sea ice radiative-transfer model (TUV-snow, over the optical wavelengths of 300–800 nm. The snow and sea ice types are effectively defined by a scattering cross-section, density and asymmetry parameter. The relative change in albedo and e-folding depth of each of the three snow and three sea ice types with increasing mass ratio of black carbon is considered relative to a base case of 1 ng g−1 of black carbon. The relative response of each snow and sea ice type is intercompared to examine how different types of snow and sea ice respond relative to each other. The relative change in albedo of a melting snowpack is a factor of four more responsive to additions of black carbon compared to cold polar snow over a black carbon increase from 1 to 50 ng g−1, while the relative change in albedo of a melting sea ice is a factor of two more responsive to additions of black carbon compared to multi-year ice for the same increase in mass ratio of black carbon. The response of e-folding depth is effectively not dependent on snow/sea ice type. The albedo of sea ice is more responsive to increasing mass ratios of black carbon than snow.

  3. Seasonal variability of the circulation system in a West Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord, Godthåbsfjord (64°N)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mortensen, John; Bendtsen, Jørgen; Lennert, Kunuk

    2014-01-01

    Many tidewater outlet glacier fjords surround the coast of Greenland, and their dynamics and circulation are of great importance for understanding the heat transport toward glaciers from the ice sheet. Thus, fjord circulation is a critical aspect for assessing the threat of global sea level rise...... due to melting of the ice sheet. However, very few observational studies describe the seasonal dynamics of fjord circulation. Here we present the first continuous current measurements (April–November) from a deep mooring deployed in a west Greenland tidewater outlet glacier fjord. Four distinct...... circulation phases are identified during the period, and they are related to exchange processes with coastal waters, tidal mixing, and melt processes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. During early summer, warm intermediate water is transported toward the glacier at an average velocity of about 7 cm s−1. In late...

  4. Winter warming as an important co-driver for Betula nana growth in western Greenland during the past century

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollesen, Jørgen; Buchwal, Agata; Rachlewicz, Grzegorz

    2015-01-01

    Growing season conditions are widely recognized as the main driver for tundra shrub radial growth, but the effects of winter warming and snow remain an open question. Here, we present a more than 100years long Betulanana ring-width chronology from Disko Island in western Greenland that demonstrates...... a highly significant and positive growth response to both summer and winter air temperatures during the past century. The importance of winter temperatures for Betulanana growth is especially pronounced during the periods from 1910-1930 to 1990-2011 that were dominated by significant winter warming....... Data also reveal a clear shift within the last 20years from a period with thick snow depths (1991-1996) and a positive effect on Betulanana radial growth, to a period (1997-2011) with generally very shallow snow depths and no significant growth response towards snow. During this period, winter...

  5. A Synthesis of the Basal Thermal State of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macgregor, J. A.; Fahnestock, M. A.; Catania, G. A.; Aschwanden, A.; Clow, G. D.; Colgan, W. T.; Gogineni, S. P.; Morlighem, M.; Nowicki, S. M. J.; Paden, J. D.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Greenland's thick ice sheet insulates the bedrock below from the cold temperatures at the surface, so the bottom of the ice is often tens of degrees warmer than at the top, because the ice bottom is slowly warmed by heat coming from the Earth's depths. Knowing whether Greenland's ice lies on wet, slippery ground or is anchored to dry, frozen bedrock is essential for predicting how this ice will flow in the future. But scientists have very few direct observations of the thermal conditions beneath the ice sheet, obtained through fewer than two dozen boreholes that have reached the bottom. Our study synthesizes several independent methods to infer the Greenland Ice Sheet's basal thermal state -whether the bottom of the ice is melted or not-leading to the first map that identifies frozen and thawed areas across the whole ice sheet. This map will guide targets for future investigations of the Greenland Ice Sheet toward the most vulnerable and poorly understood regions, ultimately improving our understanding of its dynamics and contribution to future sea-level rise. It is of particular relevance to ongoing Operation IceBridge activities and future large-scale airborne missions over Greenland.

  6. Analysis of Light Absorbing Aerosols in Northern Pakistan: Concentration on Snow/Ice, their Source Regions and Impacts on Snow Albedo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gul, C.; Praveen, P. S.; Shichang, K.; Adhikary, B.; Zhang, Y.; Ali, S.

    2016-12-01

    Elemental carbon (EC) and light absorbing organic carbon (OC) are important particulate impurities in snow and ice which significantly reduce the albedo of glaciers and accelerate their melting. Snow and ice samples were collected from Karakorum-Himalayan region of North Pakistan during the summer campaign (May-Jun) 2015 and only snow samples were collected during winter (Dec 2015- Jan 2016). Total 41 surface snow/ice samples were collected during summer campaign along different elevation ranges (2569 to 3895 a.m.s.l) from six glaciers: Sachin, Henarche, Barpu, Mear, Gulkin and Passu. Similarly 18 snow samples were collected from Sust, Hoper, Tawas, Astore, Shangla, and Kalam regions during the winter campaign. Quartz filters were used for filtering of melted snow and ice samples which were then analyzed by thermal optical reflectance (TOR) method to determine the concentration of EC and OC. The average concentration of EC (ng/g), OC (ng/g) and dust (ppm) were found as follows: Passu (249.5, 536.8, 475), Barpu (1190, 397.6, 1288), Gulkin (412, 793, 761), Sachin (911, 2130, 358), Mear (678, 2067, 83) and Henarche (755, 1868, 241) respectively during summer campaign. Similarly, average concentration of EC (ng/g), OC (ng/g) and dust (ppm) was found in the samples of Sust (2506, 1039, 131), Hoper (646, 1153, 76), Tawas (650, 1320, 16), Astore (1305, 2161, 97), Shangla (739, 2079, 31) and Kalam (107, 347, 5) respectively during winter campaign. Two methods were adopted to identify the source regions: one coupled emissions inventory with back trajectories, second with a simple region tagged chemical transport modeling analysis. In addition, CALIPSO subtype aerosol composition indicated that frequency of smoke in the atmosphere over the region was highest followed by dust and then polluted dust. SNICAR model was used to estimate the snow albedo reduction from our in-situ measurements. Snow albedo reduction was observed to be 0.3% to 27.6%. The derived results were used

  7. Use and Limitations of a Climate-Quality Data Record to Study Temperature Trends on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Comiso, Josefino C.; Shuman, Christopher A.; Koenig, Lora S.; DiGirolamo, Nicolo E.

    2011-01-01

    Enhanced melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet has been documented in recent literature along with surface-temperature increases measured using infrared satellite data since 1981. Using a recently-developed climate-quality data record, 11- and 12-year trends in the clear-sky ice-surface temperature (IST) of the Greenland Ice Sheet have been studied using the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) IST product. Daily and monthly MODIS ISTs of the Greenland Ice Sheet beginning on 1 March 2000 and continuing through 31 December 2010 are now available at 6.25-km spatial resolution on a polar stereographic grid as described in Hall et al. (submitted). This record will be elevated in status to a climate-data record (CDR) when more years of data become available either from the MODIS on the Terra or Aqua satellites, or from the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) to be launched in October 2011. Maps showing the maximum extent of melt for the entire ice sheet and for the six major drainage basins have been developed from the MODIS IST dataset. Twelve-year trends of the duration of the melt season on the ice sheet vary in different drainage basins with some basins melting progressively earlier over the course of the study period. Some (but not all) of the basins also show a progressively-longer duration of melt. IST 12-year trends are compared with in-situ data, and climate data from the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) Reanalysis.

  8. A tentative record of the last 1,000 years of Greenland temperature from occluded air in the GISP2 ice core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobashi, T.; Severinghaus, J. P.; Barnola, J.; Kawamura, K.; Beaudette, R.

    2005-12-01

    Ice borehole temperature inversion has been used to reconstruct Greenland surface temperature during the last millennium (Dahl-Jensen et al, Science, 1998). However, this technique does not preserve high frequencies because of diffusion of heat in the ice. Here, we present a tentative reconstruction of the past 1,000 years of central Greenland temperature using nitrogen and argon isotopes from occluded air in the GISP2 ice core. This technique preserves decadal-to-centennial-scale temperature variations and complements the borehole technique. Nitrogen and argon isotopes in the porous snow layer (~80m) experience two isotopic fractionations by gravitation and temperature gradients (ΔT) between the top and bottom of the snow layer. The simultaneous analysis of argon and nitrogen isotopes allows us to separate these two effects, and obtain a history of ΔT in the layer. To a first approximation, ΔT change on decadal to centennial time scales is a surface temperature history because the heat conductivity of snow is much smaller than that of ice, and the heat capacity of the ice sheet is quite large. The preliminary ΔT history (20-year interval) shows a Medieval Warm Period in the 11th to 12th centuries and the Little Ice Age in the 15th to 19th centuries. Furthermore, the record shows a clear similarity with the Be-10 record (a proxy for solar activity) with Wolf, Sporer, Maunder, and Dalton minima clearly seen in the cold periods. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that solar activity influenced Greenland temperature during the past 1000 years.

  9. Shifting mountain snow patterns in a changing climate from remote sensing retrieval.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dedieu, J P; Lessard-Fontaine, A; Ravazzani, G; Cremonese, E; Shalpykova, G; Beniston, M

    2014-09-15

    Observed climate change has already led to a wide range of impacts on environmental systems and society. In this context, many mountain regions seem to be particularly sensitive to a changing climate, through increases in temperature coupled with changes in precipitation regimes that are often larger than the global average (EEA, 2012). In mid-latitude mountains, these driving factors strongly influence the variability of the mountain snow-pack, through a decrease in seasonal reserves and earlier melting of the snow pack. These in turn impact on hydrological systems in different watersheds and, ultimately, have consequences for water management. Snow monitoring from remote sensing provides a unique opportunity to address the question of snow cover regime changes at the regional scale. This study outlines the results retrieved from the MODIS satellite images over a time period of 10 hydrological years (2000-2010) and applied to two case studies of the EU FP7 ACQWA project, namely the upper Rhone and Po in Europe and the headwaters of the Syr Darya in Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia). The satellite data were provided by the MODIS Terra MOD-09 reflectance images (NASA) and MOD-10 snow products (NSIDC). Daily snow maps were retrieved over that decade and the results presented here focus on the temporal and spatial changes in snow cover. This paper highlights the statistical bias observed in some specific regions, expressed by the standard deviation values (STD) of annual snow duration. This bias is linked to the response of snow cover to changes in elevation and can be used as a signal of strong instability in regions sensitive to climate change: with alternations of heavy snowfalls and rapid snow melting processes. The interest of the study is to compare the methodology between the medium scales (Europe) and the large scales (Central Asia) in order to overcome the limits of the applied methodologies and to improve their performances. Results show that the yearly snow cover

  10. Detection of Supra-Glacial Lakes on the Greenland Ice Sheet Using MODIS Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verin, Gauthier; Picard, Ghislain; Libois, Quentin; Gillet-Chaulet, Fabien; Roux, Antoine

    2015-04-01

    During melt season, supra-glacial lakes form on the margins of the Greenland ice sheet. Because of their size exceeding several kilometers, and their concentration, they affect surface albedo leading to an amplification of the regional melt. Furthermore, they foster hydro-fracturing that propagate liquid water to the bedrock and therefore enhance the basal lubrication which may affect the ice motion. It is known that Greenland ice sheet has strongly responded to recent global warming. As air temperature increases, melt duration and melt intensity increase and surface melt area extends further inland. These recent changes may play an important role in the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet. In this context, it is essential to better monitor and understand supra-glacial spatio-temporal dynamics in order to better assess future sea level rise. In this study MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) images have been used to detect supra-glacial lakes. The observation site is located on the West margin of the ice sheet, between 65°N and 70°N where the concentration of lake is maximum. The detection is performed by a fully automatic algorithm using images processing techniques introduced by Liang et al. (2012) which can be summarized in three steps: the selection of usable MODIS images, mainly we exclude images with too many clouds. The detection of lake and the automatic correction of false detections. This algorithm is capable to tag each individual lake allowing a survey of all lake geometrical properties over the entire melt season. We observed a large population of supra-glacial lakes over 14 melt seasons, from 2000 to 2013 on an extended area of 70.000 km2. In average, lakes are observed from June 9 ± 8.7 days to September 13 ± 13.9 days, and reach a maximum total area of 699 km2 ± 146 km2. As the melt season progresses, lakes form higher in altitude up to 1800 m above sea level. Results show a very strong inter-annual variability in term of

  11. The optical properties of greenlandic coastal waters: Modelling light penetration in a changing climate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stedmon, Colin; Markager, S.S.; Pedersen, T.J.

    Greenlandic fjords are very productive and pristine ecosystems, which the local population is both intrinsically linked to and dependent on through heritage, industrial fisheries, and tourism. The availability and spectral quality of light are key parameters controlling the productivity of these ...... with a considerable amount of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (DOM) from the Arctic Ocean; and Godthåbsfjord a fjord in Southwest Greenland where strong tides ensure a regular supply of warm shelf water which melt glacial ice before it can leave the fjord...

  12. Evaluation of a 12-km Satellite-Era Reanalysis of Surface Mass Balance for the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullather, R. I.; Nowicki, S.; Zhao, B.; Max, S.

    2016-12-01

    The recent contribution to sea level change from the Greenland Ice Sheet is thought to be strongly driven by surface processes including melt and runoff. Global reanalyses are potential means of reconstructing the historical time series of ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB), but lack spatial resolution needed to resolve ablation areas along the periphery of the ice sheet. In this work, the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2) is used to examine the spatial and temporal variability of surface melt over the Greenland Ice Sheet. MERRA-2 is produced for the period 1980 to the present at a grid spacing of ½° latitude by ⅝° longitude, and includes snow hydrology processes including compaction, meltwater percolation and refreezing, runoff, and a prognostic surface albedo. The configuration of the MERRA-2 system allows for the background model - the Goddard Earth Observing System model, version 5 (GEOS-5) - to be carried in phase space through analyzed states via the computation of analysis increments, a capability referred to as "replay". Here, a MERRA-2 replay integration is conducted in which atmospheric forcing fields are interpolated and adjusted to sub- atmospheric grid-scale resolution. These adjustments include lapse-rate effects on temperature, humidity, precipitation, and other atmospheric variables that are known to have a strong elevation dependency over ice sheets. The surface coupling is performed such that mass and energy are conserved. The atmospheric forcing influences the surface representation, which operates on land surface tiles with an approximate 12-km spacing. This produces a high-resolution, downscaled SMB which is interactively coupled to the reanalysis model. We compare the downscaled SMB product with other reanalyses, regional climate model values, and a second MERRA-2 replay in which the background model has been replaced with a 12-km, non-hydrostatic version of GEOS-5. The assessment

  13. Sentinels for snow science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoin, S.; Grizonnet, M.; Baba, W. M.; Hagolle, O.; Fayad, A.; Mermoz, S.; Kinnard, C.; Fatima, K.; Jarlan, L.; Hanich, L.

    2017-12-01

    Current spaceborne sensors do not allow retrieving the snow water equivalent in mountain regions, "the most important unsolved problem in snow hydrology" (Dozier, 2016). While the NASA is operating an airborne mission to survey the SWE in the western USA, elsewhere, however, snow scientists and water managers do not have access to routine SWE measurements at the scale of a mountain range. In this presentation we suggest that the advent of the Copernicus Earth Observation programme opens new perspectives to address this issue in mountain regions worldwide. The Sentinel-2 mission will provide global-scale multispectral observations at 20 m resolution every 5-days (cloud permitting). The Sentinel-1 mission is already imaging the global land surface with a C-band radar at 10 m resolution every 6 days. These observations are unprecedented in terms of spatial and temporal resolution. However, the nature of the observation (radiometry, wavelength) is in the continuity of previous and ongoing missions. As a result, it is relatively straightforward to re-use algorithms that were developed by the remote sensing community over the last decades. For instance, Sentinel-2 data can be used to derive maps of the snow cover extent from the normalized difference snow index, which was initially proposed for Landsat. In addition, the 5-days repeat cycle allows the application of gap-filling algorithms, which were developed for MODIS based on the temporal dimension. The Sentinel-1 data can be used to detect the wet snow cover and track melting areas as proposed for ERS in the early 1990's. Eventually, we show an example where Sentinel-2-like data improved the simulation of the SWE in the data-scarce region of the High Atlas in Morocco through assimilation in a distributed snowpack model. We encourage snow scientists to embrace Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data to enhance our knowledge on the snow cover dynamics in mountain regions.

  14. Snow as a habitat for microorganisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoham, Ronald W.

    1989-01-01

    There are three major habitats involving ice and snow, and the microorganisms studied from these habitats are most eukaryotic. Sea ice is inhabited by algae called diatoms, glacial ice has sparse populations of green algai cal desmids, and the temporary and permanent snows in mountainous regions and high latitudes are inhabited mostly by green algal flagellates. The life cycle of green algal flagellates is summarized by discussing the effects of light, temperature, nutrients, and snow melts. Specific examples of optimal conditions and environmental effects for various snow algae are given. It is not likely that the eukaryotic snow algae presented are candidated for life on the planet Mars. Evolutionally, eukaryotic cells as know on Earth may not have had the opportunity to develop on Mars (if life evolved at all on Mars) since eukaryotes did not appear on Earth until almost two billion years after the first prokaryotic organisms. However, the snow/ice ecosystems on Earth present themselves as extreme habitats were there is evidence of prokaryotic life (eubacteria and cyanbacteria) of which literally nothing is known. Any future surveillances of extant and/or extinct life on Mars should include probes (if not landing sites) to investigate sites of concentrations of ice water. The possibility of signs of life in Martian polar regions should not be overlooked.

  15. Surface mass balance and runoff modeling using HIRHAM4 RCM at Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord), West Greenland, 1950-2080

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mernild, Sebastian H.; Liston, Glen E.; Hiemstra, Christopher A.

    2011-01-01

    A regional atmospheric model, the HIRHAM4 regional climate model (RCM) using boundary conditions from the ECHAM5 atmosphere-ocean general circulation model (AOGCM), was downscaled to a 500-m gridcell increment using SnowModel to simulate 131 yr (1950-2080) of hydrologic cycle evolution in west...... Greenland's Kangerlussuaq drainage. Projected changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB) and runoff are relevant for potential hydropower production and prediction of ecosystem changes in sensitive Kangerlussuaq Fjord systems. Mean annual surface air temperatures and precipitation...

  16. Evaluation of an assimilation scheme to estimate snow water equivalent in the High Atlas of Morocco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baba, W. M.; Baldo, E.; Gascoin, S.; Margulis, S. A.; Cortés, G.; Hanich, L.

    2017-12-01

    The snow melt from the Atlas mountains represents a crucial water resource for crop irrigation in Morocco. Due to the paucity of in situ measurements, and the high spatial variability of the snow cover in this semi-arid region, assimilation of snow cover area (SCA) from high resolution optical remote sensing into a snowpack energy-balance model is considered as a promising method to estimate the snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow melt at catchment scales. Here we present a preliminary evaluation of an uncalibrated particle batch smoother data assimilation scheme (Margulis et al., 2015, J. Hydrometeor., 16, 1752-1772) in the High-Atlas Rheraya pilot catchment (225 km2) over a snow season. This approach does not require in situ data since it is based on MERRA-2 reanalyses data and satellite fractional snow cover area data. We compared the output of this prior/posterior ensemble data assimilation system to output from the distributed snowpack evolution model SnowModel (Liston and Elder, 2006, J. Hydrometeor. 7, 1259-1276). SnowModel was forced with in situ meteorological data from five automatic weather stations (AWS) and some key parameters (precipitation correction factor and rain-snow phase transition parameters) were calibrated using a time series of 8-m resolution SCA maps from Formosat-2. The SnowModel simulation was validated using a continuous snow height record at one high elevation AWS. The results indicate that the open loop simulation was reasonably accurate (compared to SnowModel results) in spite of the coarse resolution of the MERRA-2 forcing. The assimilation of Formosat-2 SCA further improved the simulation in terms of the peak SWE and SWE evolution over the melt season. During the accumulation season, the differences between the modeled and estimated (posterior) SWE were more substantial. The differences appear to be due to some observed precipitation events not being captured in MERRA-2. Further investigation will determine whether additional

  17. Empirical and theoretical evidence concerning the response of the earth's ice and snow cover to a global temperature increase

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hollin, J T; Barry, R G

    1979-01-01

    As a guide to the possible effects of a CO/sub 2/-induced warming on the cryosphere, we review the effects of three warm periods in the past, and our theoretical understanding of fluctuations in mountain glaciers, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, ground ice, sea ice and seasonal snow cover. Between 1890 and 1940 A.D. the glaciated area in Switzerland was reduced by over 25%. In the Hypsithermal, at about 6000 BP, ground ice in Eurasia retreated northward by several hundred kilometers. In the interglacial Stage 5e, at about 120 000 BP, glocal sea-level rose by over 6 m. Fluctuations of mountain glaciers depend on mesoscale weather and on their mechanical response to it. Any melting of the Greenland ice sheet is likely to be slow in human terms. The West Antarctic ice sheet (its base below sea-level) is susceptible to an ungrounding, and such an event may have been the cause of the sea-level rise above. The East Antarctic ice sheet is susceptible to mechanical surges, which might be triggered by a warming at its margin. Both an ungrounding and a surge might occupy less than 100 yr, and are potentially the most important ice changes in human terms. Modeling studies suggest that a 5/sup 0/C warming would remove the Arctic pack ice in summer. and this may be the most significant effect for further climatic change.

  18. Widespread albedo decreasing and induced melting of Himalayan snow and ice in the early 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, Jing; Wang, Yaqiang; Du, Zhencai; Zhang, Tong; Guo, Wanqin; Xiao, Cunde; Xu, Xiaobin; Ding, Minghu; Zhang, Dongqi; Yang, Wen

    2015-01-01

    The widely distributed glaciers in the greater Himalayan region have generally experienced rapid shrinkage since the 1850s. As invaluable sources of water and because of their scarcity, these glaciers are extremely important. Beginning in the twenty-first century, new methods have been applied to measure the mass budget of these glaciers. Investigations have shown that the albedo is an important parameter that affects the melting of Himalayan glaciers. The surface albedo based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data over the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalaya (HKH) glaciers is surveyed in this study for the period 2000-2011. The general albedo trend shows that the glaciers have been darkening since 2000. The most rapid decrease in the surface albedo has occurred in the glacial area above 6000 m, which implies that melting will likely extend to snow accumulation areas. The mass-loss equivalent (MLE) of the HKH glacial area caused by surface shortwave radiation absorption is estimated to be 10.4 Gt yr-1, which may contribute to 1.2% of the global sea level rise on annual average (2003-2009). This work probably presents a first scene depicting the albedo variations over the whole HKH glacial area during the period 2000-2011. Most rapidly decreasing in albedo has been detected in the highest area, which deserves to be especially concerned.

  19. Widespread albedo decreasing and induced melting of Himalayan snow and ice in the early 21st century.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jing Ming

    Full Text Available The widely distributed glaciers in the greater Himalayan region have generally experienced rapid shrinkage since the 1850s. As invaluable sources of water and because of their scarcity, these glaciers are extremely important. Beginning in the twenty-first century, new methods have been applied to measure the mass budget of these glaciers. Investigations have shown that the albedo is an important parameter that affects the melting of Himalayan glaciers.The surface albedo based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS data over the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalaya (HKH glaciers is surveyed in this study for the period 2000-2011. The general albedo trend shows that the glaciers have been darkening since 2000. The most rapid decrease in the surface albedo has occurred in the glacial area above 6000 m, which implies that melting will likely extend to snow accumulation areas. The mass-loss equivalent (MLE of the HKH glacial area caused by surface shortwave radiation absorption is estimated to be 10.4 Gt yr-1, which may contribute to 1.2% of the global sea level rise on annual average (2003-2009.This work probably presents a first scene depicting the albedo variations over the whole HKH glacial area during the period 2000-2011. Most rapidly decreasing in albedo has been detected in the highest area, which deserves to be especially concerned.

  20. Improving volume loss estimates of the northwestern Greenland Ice Sheet 2002-2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Korsgaard, Niels Jákup; Khan, Shfaqat Abbas; Kjeldsen, Kristian Kjellerup

    Studies have been carried out using various methods to estimate the Greenland ice sheet mass balance. Remote sensing techniques used to determine the ice sheet volume includes airborne and satellite radar and laser methods and measurements of ice flow of outlet glaciers use InSAR satellite radar......) does not work on sloping surfaces and is affected by radar penetration into the snow. InSAR estimates require knowledge of outlet glacier thickness. GRACE has limited spatial resolution and is affected by mass variations not just from ice changes, but also from hydrologic and ocean mass variability...... and mass redistribution within the solid Earth. The accuracy of ice mass and ice volume estimates can be assessed by comparing results from different techniques. Here, we focus on volume loss estimates from ICESat, ATM and LVIS data. We estimate catchment-wide ice volume change in northwest Greenland...

  1. Predicting Clear-Sky Reflectance Over Snow/Ice in Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yan; Sun-Mack, Sunny; Arduini, Robert F.; Hong, Gang; Minnis, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Satellite remote sensing of clouds requires an accurate estimate of the clear-sky radiances for a given scene to detect clouds and aerosols and to retrieve their microphysical properties. Knowing the spatial and angular variability of clear-sky albedo is essential for predicting clear-sky radiance at solar wavelengths. The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Project uses the nearinfrared (NIR; 1.24, 1.6 or 2.13 micrometers), visible (VIS; 0.63 micrometers) and vegetation (VEG; 0.86 micrometers) channels available on the Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) to help identify clouds and retrieve their properties in both snow-free and snow-covered conditions. Thus, it is critical to have reliable distributions of clear-sky albedo for all of these channels. In CERES Edition 4 (Ed4), the 1.24-micrometer channel is used to retrieve cloud optical depth over snow/ice-covered surfaces. Thus, it is especially critical to accurately predict the 1.24-micrometer clear-sky albedo alpha and reflectance rho for a given location and time. Snow albedo and reflectance patterns are very complex due to surface texture, particle shapes and sizes, melt water, and vegetation protrusions from the snow surface. To minimize those effects, this study focuses on the permanent snow cover of Antarctica where vegetation is absent and melt water is minimal. Clear-sky albedos are determined as a function of solar zenith angle (SZA) from observations over all scenes determined to be cloud-free to produce a normalized directional albedo model (DRM). The DRM is used to develop alpha(SZA=0 degrees) on 10 foot grid for each season. These values provide the basis for predicting r at any location and set of viewing & illumination conditions. This paper examines the accuracy of this approach for two theoretical snow surface reflectance models.

  2. Geochemical cycling and depositional patterns across the northeast region of the Greenland Ice Sheet as determined from trace element chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, G. J.; Osterberg, E. C.; Courville, Z.; Hawley, R. L.; Lutz, E.; Overly, T. B.

    2012-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is both a repository of climate history and a major driver in Arctic and global climate. Between 1952 and 1955, Carl Benson led a series of traverses of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS), and characterized the GIS via mapping of the spatial distribution of annual net accumulation and classifying the diagenetic glacier facies (Benson, 1962). While polar ice sheets represent a unique archive of past atmospheric and climatic conditions, little information exists on large-scale geographical trends in trace element snow chemistry across GIS because of the remote, challenging location. In the spring of 2011, we undertook a 1120 km traverse of the GIS from Thule Air Base to Summit Station. Samples from 11 snow pits and 3 firn cores, dated by stable water isotopes, were analyzed and evaluated in seasonal resolution for their trace element content (23Na, 24Mg, 27Al, 32S, 39K, 44Ca, 47Ti, 51V, 52Cr, 55Mn, 56Fe, 59Co, 63Cu, 66Zn, 75As, 88Sr, 111Cd, 133Cs, 138Ba, 139La, 140Ce, 141Pr, 208Pb, 209Bi, 238U). Here, we present an initial analysis of the spatial gradients of these trace elements and an interpretation of how their depositional patterns characterize the GIS. The seasonal trends coupled with spatial variability of certain trace elements establish the behavior of specific aerosols (e.g. dust, sea salt, pollution), which will be useful in quantifying geochemical cycling across the GIS and comparing characterizations with results from Benson's traverses. Benson, CS. 1962. Stratigraphic studies in the snow and firn of the Greenland Ice Sheet. SIPRE Research Report, 70, 89 pp.

  3. Seasonal and altitudinal variations in snow algal communities on an Alaskan glacier (Gulkana glacier in the Alaska range)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeuchi, Nozomu

    2013-01-01

    Snow and ice algae are cold tolerant algae growing on the surface of snow and ice, and they play an important role in the carbon cycles for glaciers and snowfields in the world. Seasonal and altitudinal variations in seven major taxa of algae (green algae and cyanobacteria) were investigated on the Gulkana glacier in Alaska at six different elevations from May to September in 2001. The snow algal communities and their biomasses changed over time and elevation. Snow algae were rarely observed on the glacier in May although air temperature had been above 0 ° C since the middle of the month and surface snow had melted. In June, algae appeared in the lower areas of the glacier, where the ablation ice surface was exposed. In August, the distribution of algae was extended to the upper parts of the glacier as the snow line was elevated. In September, the glacier surface was finally covered with new winter snow, which terminated algal growth in the season. Mean algal biomass of the study sites continuously increased and reached 6.3 × 10 μl m −2 in cell volume or 13 mg carbon m −2 in September. The algal community was dominated by Chlamydomonas nivalis on the snow surface, and by Ancylonema nordenskiöldii and Mesotaenium berggrenii on the ice surface throughout the melting season. Other algae were less abundant and appeared in only a limited area of the glacier. Results in this study suggest that algae on both snow and ice surfaces significantly contribute to the net production of organic carbon on the glacier and substantially affect surface albedo of the snow and ice during the melting season. (letter)

  4. Spatiotemporal Variability of Meltwater Refreezing in Southwest Greenland Ice Sheet Firn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rennermalm, A. K.; Hock, R.; Tedesco, M.; Corti, G.; Covi, F.; Miège, C.; Kingslake, J.; Leidman, S. Z.; Munsell, S.

    2017-12-01

    A substantial fraction of the summer meltwater formed on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet is retained in firn, while the remaining portion runs to the ocean through surface and subsurface channels. Refreezing of meltwater in firn can create impenetrable ice lenses, hence being a crucial process in the redistribution of surface runoff. To quantify the impact of refreezing on runoff and current and future Greenland surface mass balance, a three year National Science Foundation funded project titled "Refreezing in the firn of the Greenland ice sheet: Spatiotemporal variability and implications for ice sheet mass balance" started this past year. Here we present an overview of the project and some initial results from the first field season in May 2017 conducted in proximity of the DYE-2 site in the percolation zone of the Southwest Greenland ice sheet at elevations between 1963 and 2355 m a.s.l.. During this fieldwork two automatic weather stations were deployed, outfitted with surface energy balance sensors and 16 m long thermistor strings, over 300 km of ground penetrating radar data were collected, and five 20-26 m deep firn cores were extracted and analyzed for density and stratigraphy. Winter snow accumulation was measured along the radar tracks. Preliminary work on the firn-core data reveals increasing frequency and thickness of ice lenses at lower ice-sheet elevations, in agreement with other recent work in the area. Data collected within this project will facilitate advances in our understanding of the spatiotemporal variability of firn refreezing and its role in the hydrology and surface mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

  5. Relating C-band Microwave and Optical Satellite Observations as A Function of Snow Thickness on First-Year Sea Ice during the Winter to Summer Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, J.; Yackel, J.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic sea ice and its snow cover have a direct impact on both the Arctic and global climate system through their ability to moderate heat exchange across the ocean-sea ice-atmosphere (OSA) interface. Snow cover plays a key role in the OSA interface radiation and energy exchange, as it controls the growth and decay of first-year sea ice (FYI). However, meteoric accumulation and redistribution of snow on FYI is highly stochastic over space and time, which makes it poorly understood. Previous studies have estimated local-scale snow thickness distributions using in-situ technique and modelling but it is spatially limited and challenging due to logistic difficulties. Moreover, snow albedo is also critical for determining the surface energy balance of the OSA during the critical summer ablation season. Even then, due to persistent and widespread cloud cover in the Arctic at various spatio-temporal scales, it is difficult and unreliable to remotely measure albedo of snow cover on FYI in the optical spectrum. Previous studies demonstrate that only large-scale sea ice albedo was successfully estimated using optical-satellite sensors. However, space-borne microwave sensors, with their capability of all-weather and 24-hour imaging, can provide enhanced information about snow cover on FYI. Daily spaceborne C-band scatterometer data (ASCAT) and MODIS data are used to investigate the the seasonal co-evolution of the microwave backscatter coefficient and optical albedo as a function of snow thickness on smooth FYI. The research focuses on snow-covered FYI near Cambridge Bay, Nunavut (Fig.1) during the winter to advanced-melt period (April-June, 2014). The ACSAT time series (Fig.2) show distinct increase in scattering at melt onset indicating the first occurrence of melt water in the snow cover. The corresponding albedo exhibits no decrease at this stage. We show how the standard deviation of ASCAT backscatter on FYI during winter can be used as a proxy for surface roughness

  6. Metagenomic and satellite analyses of red snow in the Russian Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nao Hisakawa

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Cryophilic algae thrive in liquid water within snow and ice in alpine and polar regions worldwide. Blooms of these algae lower albedo (reflection of sunlight, thereby altering melting patterns (Kohshima, Seko & Yoshimura, 1993; Lutz et al., 2014; Thomas & Duval, 1995. Here metagenomic DNA analysis and satellite imaging were used to investigate red snow in Franz Josef Land in the Russian Arctic. Franz Josef Land red snow metagenomes confirmed that the communities are composed of the autotroph Chlamydomonas nivalis that is supporting a complex viral and heterotrophic bacterial community. Comparisons with white snow communities from other sites suggest that white snow and ice are initially colonized by fungal-dominated communities and then succeeded by the more complex C. nivalis-heterotroph red snow. Satellite image analysis showed that red snow covers up to 80% of the surface of snow and ice fields in Franz Josef Land and globally. Together these results show that C. nivalis supports a local food web that is on the rise as temperatures warm, with potential widespread impacts on alpine and polar environments worldwide.

  7. Improving snow water equivalent simulations in an alpine basin using blended gage precipitation and snow pillow measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohrabi, M.; Safeeq, M.; Conklin, M. H.

    2017-12-01

    peak SWE was 810 mm for WTH and 380 mm for WTH+SP, which led to underestimation of snow season length and melt rate by up to 30 days and 12 mm/day, respectively, in WTH scenario. These results indicate that point scale snow observations at higher elevation can be used to improve precipitation input to hydrologic modeling in mountainous basins.

  8. West Greenland caribou explosion: What happened? What about the future?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Cuyler

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available In West Greenland, the 1993 caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus population size estimate was 7000 to 9000 animals. Eight years later in 2001, the estimate was ca. 140 000. Relatively rapid rise and fall cycles of abundance in West Greenland caribou have been noted since the 1700s. Caribou have no natural predators in West Greenland. Combined with their high fertility and recruitment, this suggests that overabundance might be their greatest threat to stability. The 2005 population surveys indicate poor recruitment in two major populations and decreasing abundance in one. Given stocking densities are three to six-times the value considered sustainable, we expect strong competition between individuals for available food resources. Although the management goal is sustainable harvest of natural resources, if populations continue at their current size or increase further, there is a clear risk of range overgrazing and trampling. Unsustainable range use may result in density-dependent forage limitation with subsequent relatively rapid population decline over a series of years, e.g. a decade. As in the past, populations are expected to recover, and if true to the past, recovery will take the better part of a century. Furthermore, the role of catastrophic weather events may be of major importance. Abrupt collapse could be precipitated by a disastrous single year event, e.g. thaw-freeze icing or deep snow, because possibilities for dispersal to new ranges are limited. Regardless of management initiatives taken now, population declines or crashes may be inevitable for some West Greenland herds in the foreseeable future, but accurate predictions about herd trends are impossible. To understand the potential impact of future developments, Greenland caribou and their range must be studied within the wider context of climate change.

  9. Daily gridded datasets of snow depth and snow water equivalent for the Iberian Peninsula from 1980 to 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso-González, Esteban; López-Moreno, J. Ignacio; Gascoin, Simon; García-Valdecasas Ojeda, Matilde; Sanmiguel-Vallelado, Alba; Navarro-Serrano, Francisco; Revuelto, Jesús; Ceballos, Antonio; Jesús Esteban-Parra, María; Essery, Richard

    2018-02-01

    We present snow observations and a validated daily gridded snowpack dataset that was simulated from downscaled reanalysis of data for the Iberian Peninsula. The Iberian Peninsula has long-lasting seasonal snowpacks in its different mountain ranges, and winter snowfall occurs in most of its area. However, there are only limited direct observations of snow depth (SD) and snow water equivalent (SWE), making it difficult to analyze snow dynamics and the spatiotemporal patterns of snowfall. We used meteorological data from downscaled reanalyses as input of a physically based snow energy balance model to simulate SWE and SD over the Iberian Peninsula from 1980 to 2014. More specifically, the ERA-Interim reanalysis was downscaled to 10 km × 10 km resolution using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The WRF outputs were used directly, or as input to other submodels, to obtain data needed to drive the Factorial Snow Model (FSM). We used lapse rate coefficients and hygrobarometric adjustments to simulate snow series at 100 m elevations bands for each 10 km × 10 km grid cell in the Iberian Peninsula. The snow series were validated using data from MODIS satellite sensor and ground observations. The overall simulated snow series accurately reproduced the interannual variability of snowpack and the spatial variability of snow accumulation and melting, even in very complex topographic terrains. Thus, the presented dataset may be useful for many applications, including land management, hydrometeorological studies, phenology of flora and fauna, winter tourism, and risk management. The data presented here are freely available for download from Zenodo (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.854618). This paper fully describes the work flow, data validation, uncertainty assessment, and possible applications and limitations of the database.

  10. BedMachine v3: Complete Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry Mapping of Greenland From Multibeam Echo Sounding Combined With Mass Conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morlighem, M.; Williams, C. N.; Rignot, E.

    2017-01-01

    Greenland's bed topography is a primary control on ice flow, grounding line migration, calving dynamics, and subglacial drainage. Moreover, fjord bathymetry regulates the penetration of warm Atlantic water (AW) that rapidly melts and undercuts Greenland's marine‐terminating glaciers. Here we...... present a new compilation of Greenland bed topography that assimilates seafloor bathymetry and ice thickness data through a mass conservation approach. A new 150 m horizontal resolution bed topography/bathymetric map of Greenland is constructed with seamless transitions at the ice/ocean interface......, yielding major improvements over previous data sets, particularly in the marine‐terminating sectors of northwest and southeast Greenland. Our map reveals that the total sea level potential of the Greenland ice sheet is 7.42 ± 0.05 m, which is 7 cm greater than previous estimates. Furthermore, it explains...

  11. Delta Evolution at Røde Elv, Disko Island, Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroon, A.; Arngrimson, J.; Bendixen, M.; Sigsgaard, C.

    2017-12-01

    Ice, snow and freezing temperatures have a large impact on coastal morphodynamics in Arctic polar environments. A recent warming of the Arctic climate induces many changes along the arctic shorelines. Sea-levels are rising due to thermal expansion and due to an increased fresh water flux from the glaciers and land ice masses. At the same time, the ice coverage of the coastal waters reduces and the open water periods in summer extend. There is a strong seasonal variation with open waters and active rivers in summer and ice-covered coastal waters and inactive rivers in winter. Coastal processes by waves and tides are thus limited to the summer and early fall. Besides, there is also a strong daily variation in fluvial discharges due to the daily variations in glacier melt with maximum melt in the afternoon and minimum values at night. At the same time, the actual flux of the river to the coastal bay is influenced by the tidal phase. Low tides will enhance the transport to the delta front, while high tides will create stagnant waters over the delta plain. The delta of the Røde Elv is located in southwestern Disko Island in west Greenland. It has a relatively small (ca. 101 km2) and partly glaciated drainage basin (ca. 20%) and its sediments consist of a mixture of basaltic sands and gravels. The Røde Elv delta is located at the end of a pro-glacial and fluvial valley at about 20 km from the glacier. The shores of the delta are reworked by waves, predominantly from southwestern, southern (largest fetch, over 50 km), and southeastern directions. The environment has a micro- to meso- tidal range with a spring tidal range of 2.7 m. The morphologic changes on the delta over the last decades clearly showed a seaward extension of the delta and a periodic shift in the location of the main delta channel. In this presentation, we focus on quantification of water discharges and suspended sediment fluxes to the Røde Elv delta in western Greenland, and on the morphological

  12. Long-term analyses of snow dynamics within the french Alps on the 1900-2100 period. Analyses of historical snow water equivalent observations, modelisations and projections of a hundred of snow courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathevet, T.; Joel, G.; Gottardi, F.; Nemoz, B.

    2017-12-01

    The aim of this communication is to present analyses of climate variability and change on snow water equivalent (SWE) observations, reconstructions (1900-2016) and scenarii (2020-2100) of a hundred of snow courses dissiminated within the french Alps. This issue became particularly important since a decade, in regions where snow variability had a large impact on water resources availability, poor snow conditions in ski resorts and artificial snow production. As a water resources manager in french mountainuous regions, EDF (french hydropower company) has developed and managed a hydrometeorological network since 1950. A recent data rescue research allowed to digitize long term SWE manual measurments of a hundred of snow courses within the french Alps. EDF have been operating an automatic SWE sensors network, complementary to the snow course network. Based on numerous SWE observations time-series and snow accumulation and melt model (Garavaglia et al., 2017), continuous daily historical SWE time-series have been reconstructed within the 1950-2016 period. These reconstructions have been extented to 1900 using 20 CR reanalyses (ANATEM method, Kuentz et al., 2015) and up to 2100 using GIEC Climate Change scenarii. Considering various mountainous areas within the french Alps, this communication focuses on : (1) long term (1900-2016) analyses of variability and trend of total precipitation, air temperature, snow water equivalent, snow line altitude, snow season length , (2) long term variability of hydrological regime of snow dominated watersheds and (3) future trends (2020 -2100) using GIEC Climate Change scenarii. Comparing historical period (1950-1984) to recent period (1984-2016), quantitative results within a region in the north Alps (Maurienne) shows an increase of air temperature by 1.2 °C, an increase of snow line height by 200m, a reduction of SWE by 200 mm/year and a reduction of snow season length by 15 days. These analyses will be extended from north to south

  13. A Bayesian spatial assimilation scheme for snow coverage observations in a gridded snow model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Kolberg

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available A method for assimilating remotely sensed snow covered area (SCA into the snow subroutine of a grid distributed precipitation-runoff model (PRM is presented. The PRM is assumed to simulate the snow state in each grid cell by a snow depletion curve (SDC, which relates that cell's SCA to its snow cover mass balance. The assimilation is based on Bayes' theorem, which requires a joint prior distribution of the SDC variables in all the grid cells. In this paper we propose a spatial model for this prior distribution, and include similarities and dependencies among the grid cells. Used to represent the PRM simulated snow cover state, our joint prior model regards two elevation gradients and a degree-day factor as global variables, rather than describing their effect separately for each cell. This transformation results in smooth normalised surfaces for the two related mass balance variables, supporting a strong inter-cell dependency in their joint prior model. The global features and spatial interdependency in the prior model cause each SCA observation to provide information for many grid cells. The spatial approach similarly facilitates the utilisation of observed discharge. Assimilation of SCA data using the proposed spatial model is evaluated in a 2400 km2 mountainous region in central Norway (61° N, 9° E, based on two Landsat 7 ETM+ images generalized to 1 km2 resolution. An image acquired on 11 May, a week before the peak flood, removes 78% of the variance in the remaining snow storage. Even an image from 4 May, less than a week after the melt onset, reduces this variance by 53%. These results are largely improved compared to a cell-by-cell independent assimilation routine previously reported. Including observed discharge in the updating information improves the 4 May results, but has weak effect on 11 May. Estimated elevation gradients are shown to be sensitive to informational deficits occurring at high altitude, where snowmelt has not started

  14. The fate of the Greenland Ice Sheet in a geoengineered, high CO2 world

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Irvine, Peter J; Lunt, Daniel J; Stone, Emma J; Ridgwell, Andy

    2009-01-01

    Solar radiation management (SRM) geoengineering has been proposed as one means of helping avoid the occurrence of dangerous climate change and undesirable state transitions ('tipping points') in the Earth system. The irreversible melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is a case in point-a state transition that could occur as a result of CO 2 -driven elevated global temperatures, and one leading to potentially catastrophic sea-level rise. SRM schemes such as the creation of a 'sunshade' or injection of sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere could reduce incoming solar radiation, and in theory balance, in a global mean, the greenhouse warming resulting from elevated concentrations of CO 2 in the atmosphere. Previous work has highlighted that a geoengineered world would have: warming towards the poles, cooling in the tropics, and a reduction in the global hydrological cycle, which may have important implications for the Greenland Ice Sheet. Using a fully coupled global climate model in conjunction with an ice sheet model, we assess the consequences for the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet of the reorganization of climate patterns by the combination of high CO 2 and geoengineering. We find that Greenland surface temperature and precipitation anomalies, compared to the pre-industrial situation, decrease almost linearly with increasing levels of SRM geoengineering, but that these combine to create a highly non-linear response of the ice sheet. The substantial melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet predicted for four times pre-industrial CO 2 levels is prevented in our model with only a partial application of SRM, and hence without having to fully restore the global average temperature back to pre-industrial levels. This suggests that the degree of SRM geoengineering required to mitigate the worst impacts of greenhouse warming, such as sea-level rise, need not be as extensive as generally assumed.

  15. Snow cover and End of Summer Snowline statistics from a simple stochastic model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrelli, A.; Crouzy, B.; Perona, P.

    2012-04-01

    One essential parameter characterizing snow cover statistics is the End Of Summer Snowline (EOSS), which is also a good indicator of actual climatic trends in mountain regions. EOSS is usually modelled by means of spatially distributed physically based models, and typically require heavy parameterization. In this paper we validate the simple stochastic model proposed by Perona et al. (2007), by showing that the snow cover statistics and the position of EOSS can in principle be explained by only four essential (meteorological) parameters. Perona et al. (2007) proposed a model accounting for stochastic snow accumulation in the cold period, and deterministic melting dynamics in the warm period, and studied the statistical distribution of the snowdepth on the long term. By reworking the ensemble average of the steady state evolution equation we single out a relationship between the snowdepth statistics (including the position of EOSS) and the involved parameters. The validation of the established relationship is done using 50 years of field data from 73 Swiss stations located above 2000 m a.s.l. First an estimation of the meteorological parameters is made. Snow height data are used as a precipitation proxy, using temperature data to estimate SWE during the precipitation event. Thresholds are used both to separate accumulation from actual precipitation and wind transport phenomena, and to better assess summer melting rate, considered to be constant over the melting period according to the simplified model. First results show that data for most of the weather stations actually scales with the proposed relationship. This indicates that, on the long term, the effect of spatial and temporal noise masks most of the process detail so that minimalist models suffice to obtain reliable statistics. Future works will test the validity of this approach at different spatial scales, e.g., regional, continental and planetary. Reference: P. Perona, A. Porporato, and L. Ridolfi, "A

  16. Application of Low-Cost UASs and Digital Photogrammetry for High-Resolution Snow Depth Mapping in the Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cimoli, Emiliano; Marcer, Marco; Vandecrux, Baptiste Robert Marcel

    2017-01-01

    The repeat acquisition of high-resolution snow depth measurements has important research and civil applications in the Arctic. Currently the surveying methods for capturing the high spatial and temporal variability of the snowpack are expensive, in particular for small areal extents. An alternati...... areal extents. While further validation is needed, with the inclusion of extra validation points, the study showcases the potential of this cost-effective methodology for high-resolution monitoring of snow dynamics in the Arctic and beyond....... methodology based on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) and digital photogrammetry was tested over varying surveying conditions in the Arctic employing two diverse and low-cost UAS-camera combinations (500 and 1700 USD, respectively). Six areas, two in Svalbard and four in Greenland, were mapped covering from......-estimated and measured snow depth, checked with conventional snow probing, ranged from 0.015 to 0.16 m. The impact of image pre-processing was explored, improving point cloud density and accuracy for different image qualities and snow/light conditions. Our UAS photogrammetry results are expected to be scalable to larger...

  17. Seasonal snow of arctic Alaska R4D investigations. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Benson, C.S.

    1993-02-01

    Seasonal snow is present on the Arctic Slope of Alaska for nine months each year. Its presence or absence determines whether 80% of the solar radiation is reflected or absorbed, respectively. Although life on the Arctic Slope is adapted to, and in some cases dependent upon seasonal snow, little is known about it from a scientific point of view. Its quantity has been grossly underestimated, and knowledge of its distribution and the extent of wind transport and redistribution is very limited. This research project dealt with the amount, regional distribution and physical properties of wind blown snow and its biological role in the R4D area of the Arctic Slope. Physical processes which operate within the snow that were studied included the flux of heat and vapor and the fractionation of stable isotopes through it during fall and winter, and the complex heat and mass transfer within the snow and between snow, its substrate and the overlying atmosphere during the melt period.

  18. Probability based hydrologic catchments of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, B. D.

    2015-12-01

    Greenland Ice Sheet melt water impacts ice sheet flow dynamics, fjord and coastal circulation, and sediment and biogeochemical fluxes. Melt water exiting the ice sheet also is a key term in its mass balance. Because of this, knowledge of the area of the ice sheet that contributes melt water to a given outlet (its hydrologic catchment) is important to many ice sheet studies and is especially critical to methods using river runoff to assess ice sheet mass balance. Yet uncertainty in delineating ice sheet hydrologic catchments is a problem that is rarely acknowledged. Ice sheet catchments are delineated as a function of both basal and surface topography. While surface topography is well known, basal topography is less certain because it is dependent on radar surveys. Here, I a present a Monte Carlo based approach to delineating ice sheet catchments that quantifies the impact of uncertain basal topography. In this scheme, over many iterations I randomly vary the ice sheet bed elevation within published error bounds (using Morlighem et al., 2014 bed and bed error datasets). For each iteration of ice sheet bed elevation, I calculate the hydraulic potentiometric surface and route water over its path of 'steepest' descent to delineate the catchment. I then use all realizations of the catchment to arrive at a probability map of all major melt water outlets in Greenland. I often find that catchment size is uncertain, with small, random perturbations in basal topography leading to large variations in catchments size. While some catchments are well defined, others can double or halve in size within published basal topography error bars. While some uncertainty will likely always remain, this work points to locations where studies of ice sheet hydrology would be the most successful, allows reinterpretation of past results, and points to where future radar surveys would be most advantageous.

  19. Hydrologic response across a snow persistence gradient on the west and east slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, G. A.; Hammond, J. C.; Kampf, S. K.; Moore, C. D.; Eurich, A.

    2017-12-01

    Snowpack trend analyses and modeling studies suggest that lower elevation snowpacks in mountain regions are most sensitive to drought and warming temperatures, however, in Colorado, most snow monitoring occurs in the high elevations where snow lasts throughout the winter and most streamflow monitoring occurs at lower elevations. The lack of combined snow and streamflow monitoring in watersheds along the transition from intermittent to persistent snow creates a gap in our understanding of snowmelt and runoff within the intermittent-persistent snow transition. Expanded hydrologic monitoring that spans the gradient of snow conditions in Colorado can help improve streamflow prediction and inform land and water managers. This study established hydrologic monitoring watersheds in intermittent, transitional, and persistent snow zones on the east slope and west slope of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and uses this monitoring network to improve understanding of how snow accumulation and melt affect soil moisture and streamflow generation under different snow conditions. We monitored six small watersheds (three west slope, three east slope) (0.8 to 3.9 km2) that drain intermittent, transitional, and persistent snow zones. At each site, we measured: streamflow, snow depth, soil moisture, precipitation, air temperature, and snow water equivalent (SWE). In our first season of monitoring, the west slope persistent and transitional sites had more mid-winter melt and infiltration, shorter snowpack duration, and lower peak SWE than the east slope sites. Snow cover remained at the east slope persistent site into June, whereas much of the snow at the persistent site on the west slope had already melted by early June. The difference in soil water input likely has consequences for streamflow response that we will continue to examine in future years. At the west slope intermittent site, the stream did not flow during the entire first year of monitoring, while at the east slope

  20. Distributed snow modeling suitable for use with operational data for the American River watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamir, E.; Georgakakos, K. P.

    2004-12-01

    The mountainous terrain of the American River watershed (~4300 km2) at the Western slope of the Northern Sierra Nevada is subject to significant variability in the atmospheric forcing that controls the snow accumulation and ablations processes (i.e., precipitation, surface temperature, and radiation). For a hydrologic model that attempts to predict both short- and long-term streamflow discharges, a plausible description of the seasonal and intermittent winter snow pack accumulation and ablation is crucial. At present the NWS-CNRFC operational snow model is implemented in a semi distributed manner (modeling unit of about 100-1000 km2) and therefore lump distinct spatial variability of snow processes. In this study we attempt to account for the precipitation, temperature, and radiation spatial variability by constructing a distributed snow accumulation and melting model suitable for use with commonly available sparse data. An adaptation of the NWS-Snow17 energy and mass balance that is used operationally at the NWS River Forecast Centers is implemented at 1 km2 grid cells with distributed input and model parameters. The input to the model (i.e., precipitation and surface temperature) is interpolated from observed point data. The surface temperature was interpolated over the basin based on adiabatic lapse rates using topographic information whereas the precipitation was interpolated based on maps of climatic mean annual rainfall distribution acquired from PRISM. The model parameters that control the melting rate due to radiation were interpolated based on aspect. The study was conducted for the entire American basin for the snow seasons of 1999-2000. Validation of the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) prediction is done by comparing to observation from 12 snow Sensors. The Snow Cover Area (SCA) prediction was evaluated by comparing to remotely sensed 500m daily snow cover derived from MODIS. The results that the distribution of snow over the area is well captured and the

  1. Snow darkening caused by black carbon emitted from fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engels, Jessica; Kloster, Silvia; Bourgeois, Quentin

    2014-05-01

    We implemented the effect of snow darkening caused by black carbon (BC) emitted from forest fires into the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Earth System Model (MPI-M ESM) to estimate its potential climate impact of present day fire occurrence. Considerable amounts of black carbon emitted from fires are transported into snow covered regions. Already very small quantities of black carbon reduce the snow reflectance, with consequences for snow melting and snow spatial coverage. Therefore, the SNICAR (SNow And Ice Radiation) model (Flanner and Zender (2005)) is implemented in the land surface component (JSBACH) of the atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM6, developed at the MPI-M. The SNICAR model includes amongst other processes a complex calculation of the snow albedo depending on black carbon in snow and snow grain growth depending on water vapor fluxes for a five layer snow scheme. For the implementation of the SNICAR model into the one layer scheme of ECHAM6-JSBACH, we used the SNICAR-online version (http://snow.engin.umich.edu). This single-layer simulator provides the albedo of snow for selectable combinations of impurity content (e.g. black carbon), snow grain size, and incident solar flux characteristics. From this scheme we derived snow albedo values for black carbon in snow concentrations ranging between 0 and 1500 ng(BC)/g(snow) and for different snow grain sizes for the visible (0.3 - 0.7 µm) and near infrared range (0.7 - 1.5 µm). As snow grains grow over time, we assign different snow ages to different snow grain sizes (50, 150, 500, and 1000 µm). Here, a radius of 50 µm corresponds to new snow, whereas a radius of 1000 µm corresponds to old snow. The required snow age is taken from the BATS (Biosphere Atmosphere Transfer Scheme, Dickinson et al. (1986)) snow albedo implementation in ECHAM6-JSBACH. Here, we will present an extended evaluation of the model including a comparison of modeled black carbon in snow concentrations to observed

  2. Conceptualisation of Snowpack Isotope Dynamics in Spatially Distributed Tracer-Aided Runoff Models in Snow Influenced Northern Cathments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ala-aho, P. O. A.; Tetzlaff, D.; Laudon, H.; McNamara, J. P.; Soulsby, C.

    2016-12-01

    We use the Spatially distributed Tracer-Aided Rainfall-Runoff (STARR) modelling framework to explore non-stationary flow and isotope response in three northern headwater catchments. The model simulates dynamic, spatially variable tracer concentration in different water stores and fluxes within a catchment, which can constrain internal catchment mixing processes, flow paths and associated water ages. To date, a major limitation in using such models in snow-dominated catchments has been the difficulties in paramaterising the isotopic transformations in snowpack accumulation and melt. We use high quality long term datasets for hydrometrics and stable water isotopes collected in three northern study catchments for model calibration and testing. The three catchments exhibit different hydroclimatic conditions, soil and vegetation types, and topographic relief, which brings about variable degree of snow dominance across the catchments. To account for the snow influence we develop novel formulations to estimate the isotope evolution in the snowpack and melt. Algorithms for the isotopic evolution parameterize an isotopic offset between snow evaporation and melt fluxes and the remaining snow storage. The model for each catchment is calibrated to match both streamflow and tracer concentration at the stream outlet to ensure internal consistency of the system behaviour. The model is able to reproduce the streamflow along with the spatio-temporal differences in tracer concentrations across the three studies catchments reasonably well. Incorporating the spatially distributed snowmelt processes and associated isotope transformations proved essential in capturing the stream tracer reponse for strongly snow-influenced cathments. This provides a transferrable tool which can be used to understand spatio-temporal variability of mixing and water ages for different storages and flow paths in other snow influenced, environments.

  3. Abrupt Greenland Ice Sheet runoff and sea water temperature changes since 1821, recorded by coralline algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamenos, N.; Hoey, T.; Bedford, J.; Claverie, T.; Fallick, A. E.; Lamb, C. M.; Nienow, P. W.; O'Neill, S.; Shepherd, I.; Thormar, J.

    2012-12-01

    The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) contains the largest store of fresh water in the northern hemisphere, equivalent to ~7.4m of eustatic sea level rise, but its impacts on current, past and future sea level, ocean circulation and European climate are poorly understood. Previous estimates of GrIS melt, from 26 years of satellite observations and temperature driven melt-models over 48 years, show a trend of increasing melt. There are however no runoff data of comparable duration with which to validate temperature-based runoff models, or relationships between the spatial extent of melt and runoff. Further, longer runoff records that extend GrIS melt records to centennial timescales will enable recently observed trends to be put into a better historical context. We measured Mg/Ca, δ18O and structural cell size in annual growth bands of red coralline algae to reconstruct: (1) near surface sea water temperature; and, (2) melt/runoff from the GrIS. (1) Temperature: we reconstructed the longest (1821-2009) sub-annual resolution record of water temperature in Disko Bugt (western Greenland) showing an abrupt change in temperature oscillation patterns during the 1920s which may be attributable to the interaction between atmospheric temperature and mass loss from Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier. (2) GrIS runoff: using samples from distal parts of Søndre Strømfjord we produced the first reconstruction of decadal (1939-2002) GrIS runoff. We observed significant negative relationships between historic runoff, relative salinity and marine summer temperature. Our reconstruction shows a trend of increasing reconstructed runoff since the mid 1980s. In situ summer marine temperatures followed a similar trend. We suggest that since 1939 atmospheric temperatures have been important in forcing runoff. Subject to locating in situ coralline algae samples, these methods can be applied across hundreds to thousands of years. These results show that our technique has significant potential to enhance

  4. Transitions in high-Arctic vegetation growth patterns and ecosystem productivity tracked with automated cameras from 2000 to 2013

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Westergaard-Nielsen, Andreas; Lund, Magnus; Pedersen, Stine Højlund

    2017-01-01

    Greenland to assess the seasonal response of a dwarf shrub heath, grassland, and fen, to inter-annual variation in snow-cover, soil moisture, and air and soil temperatures. A late snow melt and start of growing season is counterbalanced by a fast greenup and a tendency to higher peak greenness values. Snow...... water equivalents and soil moisture explained up to 77 % of growing season duration and senescence phase, highlighting that water availability is a prominent driver in the heath site, rather than temperatures. We found a significant advance in the start of spring by 10 days and in the end of fall by 11...

  5. An efficient regional energy-moisture balance model for simulation of the Greenland Ice Sheet response to climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Robinson

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available In order to explore the response of the Greenland ice sheet (GIS to climate change on long (centennial to multi-millennial time scales, a regional energy-moisture balance model has been developed. This model simulates seasonal variations of temperature and precipitation over Greenland and explicitly accounts for elevation and albedo feedbacks. From these fields, the annual mean surface temperature and surface mass balance can be determined and used to force an ice sheet model. The melt component of the surface mass balance is computed here using both a positive degree day approach and a more physically-based alternative that includes insolation and albedo explicitly. As a validation of the climate model, we first simulated temperature and precipitation over Greenland for the prescribed, present-day topography. Our simulated climatology compares well to observations and does not differ significantly from that of a simple parameterization used in many previous simulations. Furthermore, the calculated surface mass balance using both melt schemes falls within the range of recent regional climate model results. For a prescribed, ice-free state, the differences in simulated climatology between the regional energy-moisture balance model and the simple parameterization become significant, with our model showing much stronger summer warming. When coupled to a three-dimensional ice sheet model and initialized with present-day conditions, the two melt schemes both allow realistic simulations of the present-day GIS.

  6. Mass balance of Greenland and the Canadian Ice Caps from combined altimetry and GRACE inversion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Forsberg, René; Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg

    The combination of GRACE and altimetry data may yield a high resolution mass balance time series of the Greenlandice sheet, highlighting the varying individual mass loss behaviour of major glaciers. By including the Canadian arctic ice caps in the estimation, a more reliable estimate of the mass...... loss of both Greenlandand the Canadian ice caps may be obtained, minimizing the leakage errors otherwise unavoidable by GRACE. Actually, the absolute value of the Greenlandice sheet mass loss is highly dependent on methods and how the effects of Arctic Canadian ice caps are separated in the GRACE...... loss of the ice caps and ice sheet basins for the period 2003-15. This period shows a marked increase of ice sheet melt, especially in NW and NE Greenland, but also show large variability, with the melt anomaly year of 2012 showing a record mass loss, followed by 2013 with essentially no Greenland mass...

  7. Mapping Greenland's Firn Aquifer using L-band Microwave Radiometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, J.; Bringer, A.; Jezek, K. C.; Johnson, J. T.; Scambos, T. A.; Long, D. G.

    2016-12-01

    Greenland's recently discovered firn aquifer is one of the most interesting, yet still mysterious, components of the ice sheet system. Many open questions remain regarding timescales of refreezing and/or englacial drainage of liquid meltwater, and the connections of firn aquifers to the subglacial hydrological system. If liquid meltwater production at the surface of the Greenland ice sheet continues to increase, subsequent increases in the volume of mobile liquid meltwater retained within Greenland's firn aquifer may increase the possibility of crevasse-deepening via hydrofracture. Hydrofracture is an important component of supraglacial lake drainage leading to at least temporary accelerated flow velocities and ice sheet mass balance changes. Firn aquifers may also support hydrofracture-induced drainage and thus are potentially capable of significantly influencing ice sheet mass balance and sea level rise. Spaceborne L-band microwave radiometers provide an innovative tool for ice-sheet wide mapping of the spatiotemporal variability of Greenland's firn aquifer. Both refreezing and englacial drainage may be observable given the sensitivity of the microwave response to the upper surface of liquid meltwater retained within snow and firn pore space as well as the ability of L band instruments to probe the ice sheet from the surface to the firn-ice transition at pore close-off depth. Here we combine L-band (1.4 GHz) brightness temperature observations from multiple sources to demonstrate the potential of mapping firn aquifers on ice sheets using L-band microwave radiometry. Data sources include the interferometric MIRAS instrument aboard ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite mission and the radiometer aboard NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite mission. We will also present mulit-frequency L-band brightness temperature data (0.5-2 GHz) that will be collected over several firn aquifer areas on the Greenland ice sheet by the Ohio State

  8. Experimental Insights on Natural Lava-Ice/Snow Interactions and Their Implications for Glaciovolcanic and Submarine Eruptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, B. R.; Karson, J.; Wysocki, R.; Lev, E.; Bindeman, I. N.; Kueppers, U.

    2012-12-01

    Lava-ice-snow interactions have recently gained global attention through the eruptions of ice-covered volcanoes, particularly from Eyjafjallajokull in south-central Iceland, with dramatic effects on local communities and global air travel. However, as with most submarine eruptions, direct observations of lava-ice/snow interactions are rare. Only a few hundred potentially active volcanoes are presently ice-covered, these volcanoes are generally in remote places, and their associated hazards make close observation and measurements dangerous. Here we report the results of the first large-scale experiments designed to provide new constraints on natural interactions between lava and ice/snow. The experiments comprised controlled effusion of tens of kilograms of melted basalt on top of ice/snow, and provide insights about observations from natural lava-ice-snow interactions including new constraints for: 1) rapid lava advance along the ice-lava interface; 2) rapid downwards melting of lava flows through ice; 3) lava flow exploitation of pre-existing discontinuities to travel laterally beneath and within ice; and 4) formation of abundant limu o Pele and non-explosive vapor transport from the base to the top of the lava flow with minor O isotope exchange. The experiments are consistent with observations from eruptions showing that lava is more efficient at melting ice when emplaced on top of the ice as opposed to beneath the ice, as well as the efficacy of tephra cover for slowing melting. The experimental extrusion rates are as within the range of those for submarine eruptions as well, and reproduce some features seen in submarine eruptions including voluminous production of gas rich cavities within initially anhydrous lavas and limu on lava surfaces. Our initial results raise questions about the possibility of secondary ingestion of water by submarine and glaciovolcanic lava flows, and the origins of apparent primary gas cavities in those flows. Basaltic melt moving down

  9. Envisioning Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ren, Carina Bregnholm

    2012-01-01

    Currently, the traditional ‘cool’ representation of Greenland as a frozen landscape devoid of people and human structures is being challenged by an emerging vision of Greenland as ‘hot’. This article presents and describes these two versions of Greenland, showing how demarcations of what is ‘nature...

  10. Effects of Absorbing Aerosols on Accelerated Melting of Snowpack in the Hindu-Kush-Himalayas-Tibetan Plateau Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, William K.; Kyu-Myong, Kim; Yasunari, Teppei; Gautam, Ritesh; Hsu, Christina

    2011-01-01

    The impacts of absorbing aerosol on melting of snowpack in the Hindu-Kush-Himalayas-Tibetan Plateau (HKHT) region are studied using in-situ, satellite observations, and GEOS-5 GCM. Based on atmospheric black carbon measurements from the Pyramid observation ( 5 km elevation) in Mt. Everest, we estimate that deposition of black carbon on snow surface will give rise to a reduction in snow surface albedo of 2- 5 %, and an increased annual runoff of 12-34% for a typical Tibetan glacier. Examination of satellite reflectivity and re-analysis data reveals signals of possible impacts of dust and black carbon in darkening the snow surface, and accelerating spring melting of snowpack in the HKHT, following a build-up of absorbing aerosols in the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Results from GCM experiments show that 8-10% increase in the rate of melting of snowpack over the western Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau can be attributed to the elevated-heat-pump (EHP) feedback effect, initiated from the absorption of solar radiation by dust and black carbon accumulated to great height ( 5 km) over the Indo-Gangetic Plain and Himalayas foothills in the pre-monsoon season (April-May). The accelerated melting of the snowpack is enabled by an EHP-induced atmosphere-land-snowpack positive feedback involving a) orographic forcing of the monsoon flow by the complex terrain, and thermal forcing of the HKHT region, leading to increased moisture, cloudiness and rainfall over the Himalayas foothills and northern India, b) warming of the upper troposphere over the Tibetan Plateau, and c) an snow albedo-temperature feedback initiated by a transfer of latent and sensible heat from a warmer atmosphere over the HKHT to the underlying snow surface. Results from ongoing modeling work to assess the relative roles of EHP vs. snow-darkening effects on accelerated melting of snowpack in HKHT region will also be discussed.

  11. Response of snow-dependent hydrologic extremes to continued global warming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Diffenbaugh, Noah [Stanford University; Scherer, Martin [Stanford University; Ashfaq, Moetasim [ORNL

    2012-01-01

    Snow accumulation is critical for water availability in the Northern Hemisphere1,2, raising concern that global warming could have important impacts on natural and human systems in snow-dependent regions1,3. Although regional hydrologic changes have been observed (for example, refs 1,3 5), the time of emergence of extreme changes in snow accumulation and melt remains a key unknown for assessing climate- change impacts3,6,7. We find that the CMIP5 global climate model ensemble exhibits an imminent shift towards low snow years in the Northern Hemisphere, with areas of western North America, northeastern Europe and the Greater Himalaya showing the strongest emergence during the near- termdecadesandat2 Cglobalwarming.Theoccurrenceof extremely low snow years becomes widespread by the late twenty-first century, as do the occurrences of extremely high early-season snowmelt and runoff (implying increasing flood risk), and extremely low late-season snowmelt and runoff (implying increasing water stress). Our results suggest that many snow-dependent regions of the Northern Hemisphere are likely to experience increasing stress from low snow years within the next three decades, and from extreme changes in snow-dominated water resources if global warming exceeds 2 C above the pre-industrial baseline.

  12. J-SEx : The Jollie Snow Experiment, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, T.; Singh, S.; Kees, L.; Webster, C.; Clark, M.; Hendrikx, J.; Woods, R.

    2012-04-01

    Intensive snow observations have been collected in a steep alpine catchment (the Jollie Valley) in the Southern Alps of New Zealand for four years at the time of maximum snow storage. The campaign, called the Jollie Snow Experiment (J-SEx), was undertaken to improve understanding of snow variability in a steep alpine landscape. Observation methods included manual depth-probing at hundreds of locations with associated snowpit-digging, and surface and air-borne ground penetrating radar. In addition, repeat (daily) oblique photography was carried out on a subcatchment for two of the years. Analysis of the observations, in conjunction with similar observations from around the world has enabled direction to be given for selecting optimal modelling scales, and an indication of what processes need to be resolved at the different scales. For instance, if models are to operate at sub-100 m horizontal scales, they need to resolve drifting, sloughing and avalanching processes. Binary regression tree methods have been applied to identify terrain variables which explain the observed snow mass variability. This has enabled an assessment of total catchment snow storage to be established for each year. This assessment showed that the controlling variables change from year to year, so that no single terrain-based interpolation method may be generally applied. The change in the terrain relationships each year has been taken as an indication that the different frequencies of snowfall-related climate types from one year to the next affects which terrain characteristics have the greatest impact on snow variability. Assessment of terrain effects at the slope scale indicates that slope angle has the potential to be a strong influence on snow variability in that steep slopes do not build up large accumulations, and that low-angled regions below steep areas become areas of large snow build-up. This "slope" effect is clearly evident from the repeat photography, with the last areas to melt

  13. Evaluation of North Eurasian snow-off dates in the ECHAM5.4 atmospheric general circulation model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Räisänen

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The timing of springtime end of snowmelt (snow-off date in northern Eurasia in version 5.4 of the ECHAM5 atmospheric general circulation model (GCM is evaluated through comparison with a snow-off date data set based on space-borne microwave radiometer measurements and with Russian snow course data. ECHAM5 reproduces well the observed gross geographical pattern of snow-off dates, with earliest snow-off (in March in the Baltic region and latest snow-off (in June in the Taymyr Peninsula and in northeastern parts of the Russian Far East. The primary biases are (1 a delayed snow-off in southeastern Siberia (associated with too low springtime temperature and too high surface albedo, in part due to insufficient shielding by canopy; and (2 an early bias in the western and northern parts of northern Eurasia. Several sensitivity experiments were conducted, where biases in simulated atmospheric circulation were corrected through nudging and/or the treatment of surface albedo was modified. While this alleviated some of the model biases in snow-off dates, 2 m temperature and surface albedo, especially the early bias in snow-off in the western parts of northern Eurasia proved very robust and was actually larger in the nudged runs. A key issue underlying the snow-off biases in ECHAM5 is that snowmelt occurs at too low temperatures. Very likely, this is related to the treatment of the surface energy budget. On one hand, the surface temperature Ts is not computed separately for the snow-covered and snow-free parts of the grid cells, which prevents Ts from rising above 0 °C before all snow has vanished. Consequently, too much of the surface net radiation is consumed in melting snow and too little in heating the air. On the other hand, ECHAM5 does not include a canopy layer. Thus, while the albedo reduction due to canopy is accounted for, the shielding of snow on ground by the overlying canopy is not considered, which leaves too much solar radiation available for

  14. Endolithic Microbial Life in Extreme Cold Climate: Snow Is Required, but Perhaps Less Is More

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry J. Sun

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Cyanobacteria and lichens living under sandstone surfaces in the McMurdo Dry Valleys require snow for moisture. Snow accumulated beyond a thin layer, however, is counterproductive, interfering with rock insolation, snow melting, and photosynthetic access to light. With this in mind, the facts that rock slope and direction control colonization, and that climate change results in regional extinctions, can be explained. Vertical cliffs, which lack snow cover and are perpetually dry, are devoid of organisms. Boulder tops and edges can trap snow, but gravity and wind prevent excessive buildup. There, the organisms flourish. In places where snow-thinning cannot occur and snow drifts collect, rocks may contain living or dead communities. In light of these observations, the possibility of finding extraterrestrial endolithic communities on Mars cannot be eliminated.

  15. Ocean impact on Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier, Northeast Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaffer, Janin; Kanzow, Torsten; von Appen, Wilken-Jon; Mayer, Christoph

    2017-04-01

    The ocean plays an important role in modulating the mass balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet by delivering heat to the marine-terminating outlet glaciers around Greenland. The largest of three outlet glaciers draining the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream is Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier (also referred to as 79 North Glacier). Historic observations showed that warm waters of Atlantic origin are present in the subglacial cavity below the 80 km long floating ice tongue of the Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier and cause strong basal melt at the grounding line, but to date it has been unknown how those warm water enter the cavity. In order to understand how Atlantic origin waters carry heat into the subglacial cavity beneath Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden Glacier, we performed bathymetric, hydrographic, and velocity observations in the vicinity of the main glacier calving front aboard RV Polarstern in summer 2016. The bathymetric multibeam data shows a 500 m deep and 2 km narrow passage downstream of a 310 m deep sill. This turned out to be the only location deep enough for an exchange of Atlantic waters between the glacier cavity and the continental shelf. Hydrographic and velocity measurements revealed a density driven plume in the vicinity of the glacier calving front causing a rapid flow of waters of Atlantic origin warmer 1°C into the subglacial cavity through the 500 m deep passage. In addition, glacially modified waters flow out of the glacier cavity below the 80 m deep ice base. In the vicinity of the glacier, the glacially modified waters form a distinct mixed layer situated above the Atlantic waters and below the ambient Polar water. At greater distances from the glacier this layer is eroded by lateral mixing with ambient water. Based on our observations we will present an estimate of the ocean heat transport into the subglacial cavity. In comparison with historic observations we find an increase in Atlantic water temperatures throughout the last 20 years. The resulting

  16. Use Of Snow And Ice Melting Heating Cables On Roofs Of Existing Buildings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Metin ONAL

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Roofs are construction elements which form the upper part of a building and protect it from the all kinds of fall wind and sun lights. They are made as inclined or terrace shaped according to the climatic characteristics of the area they are located and their intended use. Inclined type roofs are preferred for aesthetic and or functionality. It is in interest of mechanical engineering that falling snow on long and effective regions of winter conditions accumulate on the roof surfaces with low inclination due to adhesion force between snowflakes and the roof covering. The mass of snow that turns into ice due to cold weather and wind creates stalactites in the eaves due to gravity. This snow mass leavesbreaks off from inclined surfaces due to the effect of the sun or any vibration and can damage to people or other objects around the building. Falling snow and ice masses from rooftops in urban areas where winter months are intense are also a matter for engineering applications of landscape architecture. In order to prevent snow and icing on the roofs of the buildings located especially in busy human and vehicle traffic routes the use of heating cables is a practical method. The icing can be prevented by means of the heating cables selected according to the installed power to be calculated based on the type of roof and the current country. The purpose of this study is to introduce heating systems to be mounted on the roofs with a lesser workmanship in a short period instead of difficulties and costs that would occur by increasing the roof inclination in present buildings as well as explaining their working principles.

  17. West Greenlandic Eskimo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trondhjem, Naja Blytmann; Fortescue, Michael David

    West Greenlandic Eskimo. The current situation of the West Greenlandic language as principal means of communication among the majority Greenlandic population will be presented with special emphasis on the northwest hunting district of Upernavik, where traditional marine mammal hunting is still...... the principal economic activity. Research projects and language initiatives currently in progress within Greenland will be touched upon, as will the possibilities of communication with North American Inuit. West Greenlandic is unique among the native languages of the North American Arctic and Sub...

  18. Oceanic Transport of Surface Meltwater from the Southern Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Hao; Castelao, Renato M.; Rennermalm, Asa K.; Tedesco, Marco; Bracco, Annalisa; Yager, Patricia L.; Mote, Thomas L.

    2016-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet has undergone accelerating mass losses during recent decades. Freshwater runoff from ice melt can influence fjord circulation and dynamic1 and the delivery of bioavailable micronutrients to the ocean. It can also have climate implications, because stratification in the adjacent Labrador Sea may influence deep convection and the strength of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Yet, the fate of the meltwater in the ocean remains unclear. Here, we use a high-resolution ocean model to show that only 1-15% of the surface meltwater runoff originating from southwest Greenland is transported westwards. In contrast, up to 50-60% of the meltwater runoff originating from southeast Greenland is transported westwards into the northern Labrador Sea, leading to significant salinity and stratification anomalies far from the coast. Doubling meltwater runoff, as predicted in future climate scenarios, results in a more-than-double increase in anomalies offshore that persists further into the winter. Interannual variability in offshore export of meltwater is tightly related to variability in wind forcing. The new insight that meltwaters originating from the west and east coasts have different fates indicates that future changes in mass loss rates and surface runoff will probably impact the ocean differently, depending on their Greenland origins.

  19. Using an Ablation Gradient Model to Characterize Annual Glacial Melt Contribution to Major Rivers in High Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodzik, M. J.; Armstrong, R. L.; Khalsa, S. J. S.; Painter, T. H.; Racoviteanu, A.; Rittger, K.

    2014-12-01

    Ice melt from mountain glaciers can represent a significant contribution to freshwater hydrological budgets, along with seasonal snow melt, rainfall and groundwater. In the rivers of High Asia, understanding the proportion of glacier ice melt is critical for water resource management of irrigation and planning for hydropower generation and human consumption. Current climate conditions are producing heterogeneous glacier responses across the Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalayan ranges. However, it is not yet clear how contrasting glacier patterns affect regional water resources. For example, in the Upper Indus basin, estimates of glacial contribution to runoff are often not distinguished from seasonal snow contribution, and vary widely, from as little as 15% to as much as 55%. While many studies are based on reasonable concepts, most are based on assumptions uninformed by actual snow or ice cover measurements. While straightforward temperature index models have been used to estimate glacier runoff in some Himalayan basins, application of these models in larger Himalayan basins is limited by difficulties in estimating key model parameters, particularly air temperature. Estimating glacial area from the MODIS Permanent Snow and Ice Extent (MODICE) product for the years 2000-2013, with recently released Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTMGL3) elevation data, we use a simple ablation gradient approach to calculate an upper limit on the contribution of clean glacier ice melt to streamflow data. We present model results for the five major rivers with glaciated headwaters in High Asia: the Bramaputra, Ganges, Indus, Amu Darya and Syr Darya. Using GRDC historical discharge records, we characterize the annual contribution from glacier ice melt. We use MODICE interannual trends in each basin to estimate glacier ice melt uncertainties. Our results are being used in the USAID project, Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice and Snow (CHARIS), to inform regional-scale planning for

  20. Mapping of colored-snow area on glaciers by using spectral reflectance of algae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaga, D.; Yasumoto, A.; Hatakeyama, S.; Hasegawa, K.; Imai, M.; Bilesan, A.; Takeuchi, N.; Sugiyama, S.; Terashima, M.; Kawamata, H.; Naruse, N.; Takahashi, Y.

    2017-12-01

    One of the reasons for accelerating recent glacier retreat is reported that algae generated on glaciers gives color to snow; Red snow algae on the Harding icefield in Alaska, and cryoconite, a black colored substance formed by algae tangling with mineral particles. The distribution of algae on the glacier can vary widely from year to year, depending on the season. Remote sensing will play an important role to know the area of colored snow. In previous studies, however, since the satellite images of low gradation were used, the brightness in the specific area was saturated due to the high reflectance of snow. In addition, it is difficult to distinguish the colored snow area from that of water and shadows. We aim to map using Landsat8 data and quantitatively evaluate the distribution of colored snow area on glaciers by newly creating a colored-snow-sensitive index from spectral reflectance of algae. Cryoconite has low (high) reflectance in the range of 450-500nm (850-900nm) corresponding to Band2 (Band5) in Landsat8.On the other hand, the reflectance of glacier ice exhibits the opposite tendency. Focusing on the difference in reflectance between the two wavelength ranges, we can create indices sensitive to cryoconite area. The image, mapped as the cryoconite region with large difference in brightness between band 2 and 5, was different from the water and shadow areas. The cryoconite area is also consistent with the results obtained in the filed survey of qaanaaq Glacier in Greenland. Using the similar analytical method, we will also present the map of red snow observed on the glacier.

  1. Factors Controlling Black Carbon Deposition in Snow in the Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, L.; Li, Q.; He, C.; Li, Y.

    2015-12-01

    This study evaluates the sensitivity of black carbon (BC) concentration in snow in the Arctic to BC emissions, dry deposition and wet scavenging efficiency using a 3D global chemical transport model GEOS-Chem driven by meteorological field GEOS-5. With all improvements, simulated median BC concentration in snow agrees with observation (19.2 ng g-1) within 10%, down from -40% in the default GEOS-Chem. When the previously missed gas flaring emissions (mainly located in Russia) are included, the total BC emission in the Arctic increases by 70%. The simulated BC in snow increases by 1-7 ng g-1, with the largest improvement in Russia. The discrepancy of median BC in snow in the whole Arctic reduces from -40% to -20%. In addition, recent measurements of BC dry deposition velocity suggest that the constant deposition velocity of 0.03 cm s-1 over snow and ice used in the GEOS-Chem is too low. So we apply resistance-in-series method to calculate the dry deposition velocity over snow and ice and the resulted dry deposition velocity ranges from 0.03 to 0.24 cm s-1. However, the simulated total BC deposition flux in the Arctic and BC in snow does not change, because the increased dry deposition flux has been compensated by decreased wet deposition flux. However, the fraction of dry deposition to total deposition increases from 16% to 25%. This may affect the mixing of BC and snow particles and further affect the radative forcing of BC deposited in snow. Finally, we reduced the scavenging efficiency of BC in mixed-phase clouds to account for the effect of Wegener-Bergeron-Findeisen (WBF) process based on recent observations. The simulated BC concentration in snow increases by 10-100%, with the largest increase in Greenland (100%), Tromsø (50%), Alaska (40%), and Canadian Arctic (30%). Annual BC loading in the Arctic increases from 0.25 to 0.43 mg m-2 and the lifetime of BC increases from 9.2 to 16.3 days. This indicates that BC simulation in the Arctic is really sensitive to

  2. Molecular characterization of dissolved organic matter associated with the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatia, Maya P.; Das, Sarah B.; Longnecker, Krista; Charette, Matthew A.; Kujawinski, Elizabeth B.

    2010-07-01

    Subsurface microbial oxidation of overridden soils and vegetation beneath glaciers and ice sheets may affect global carbon budgets on glacial-interglacial timescales. The likelihood and magnitude of this process depends on the chemical nature and reactivity of the subglacial organic carbon stores. We examined the composition of carbon pools associated with different regions of the Greenland ice sheet (subglacial, supraglacial, proglacial) in order to elucidate the type of dissolved organic matter (DOM) present in the subglacial discharge over a melt season. Electrospray ionization (ESI) Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry coupled to multivariate statistics permitted unprecedented molecular level characterization of this material and revealed that carbon pools associated with discrete glacial regions are comprised of different compound classes. Specifically, a larger proportion of protein-like compounds were observed in the supraglacial samples and in the early melt season (spring) subglacial discharge. In contrast, the late melt season (summer) subglacial discharge contained a greater fraction of lignin-like and other material presumably derived from underlying vegetation and soil. These results suggest (1) that the majority of supraglacial DOM originates from autochthonous microbial processes on the ice sheet surface, (2) that the subglacial DOM contains allochthonous carbon derived from overridden soils and vegetation as well as autochthonous carbon derived from in situ microbial metabolism, and (3) that the relative contribution of allochthonous and autochthonous material in subglacial discharge varies during the melt season. These conclusions are consistent with the hypothesis that, given sufficient time (e.g., overwinter storage), resident subglacial microbial communities may oxidize terrestrial material beneath the Greenland ice sheet.

  3. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Versteegh, E. A. A.; Blicher, Martin E.; Mortensen, J.

    2012-01-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models...... predicting the influence of ongoing climate change. We investigated a potential meltwater proxy in Godthåbsfjord (West Greenland), where glacier meltwater causes seasonal excursions with lower oxygen isotope water (δ18Ow) values and salinity. The blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) potentially records...... its potential as a palaeo-meltwater proxy. First, we confirmed that M. edulis shell calcite oxygen isotope (δ18Oc) values are in equilibrium with ambient water and generally reflect meltwater conditions. Subsequently we investigated if this species recorded the full range of δ18Ow values occurring...

  4. The Microwave Properties of Simulated Melting Precipitation Particles: Sensitivity to Initial Melting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, B. T.; Olson, W. S.; Skofronick-Jackson, G.

    2016-01-01

    A simplified approach is presented for assessing the microwave response to the initial melting of realistically shaped ice particles. This paper is divided into two parts: (1) a description of the Single Particle Melting Model (SPMM), a heuristic melting simulation for ice-phase precipitation particles of any shape or size (SPMM is applied to two simulated aggregate snow particles, simulating melting up to 0.15 melt fraction by mass), and (2) the computation of the single-particle microwave scattering and extinction properties of these hydrometeors, using the discrete dipole approximation (via DDSCAT), at the following selected frequencies: 13.4, 35.6, and 94.0GHz for radar applications and 89, 165.0, and 183.31GHz for radiometer applications. These selected frequencies are consistent with current microwave remote-sensing platforms, such as CloudSat and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. Comparisons with calculations using variable-density spheres indicate significant deviations in scattering and extinction properties throughout the initial range of melting (liquid volume fractions less than 0.15). Integration of the single-particle properties over an exponential particle size distribution provides additional insight into idealized radar reflectivity and passive microwave brightness temperature sensitivity to variations in size/mass, shape, melt fraction, and particle orientation.

  5. Freshwater discharge and sediment transport to Kangerlussuaq Fjord, West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mikkelsen, Andreas Peter Bech

    the deep inner basin of Kangerlussuaq Fjord. Different melt models were applied to the MIKE SHE and MIKE 11 water routing models in order to simulate the proglacial water flows. The best melt model was a surface energy balance model. The routing model improved the modelled proglacial discharge......The main objectives of this PhD study have been to quantify the large-scale hydrological and geomorphological processes and implications related to three large proglacial rivers draining into Kangerlussuaq Fjord from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). These rivers are Watson, Umivit and Sarfartoq...... River. Hydrological processes studied are: proglacial discharge volumes and timing of this, creation of runoff (i.e. melt), storage and release features such as ice dammed lakes (jökulhlaups lakes), the role of supraglacial lakes, storage and release inside or beneath the ice and the role of the so...

  6. Observation and modeling of snow melt and superimposed ice formation on sea ice

    OpenAIRE

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Haas, Christian

    2004-01-01

    Sea ice plays a key role within the global climate system. It covers some 7% of earths surface and processes a strong seasonal cycle. Snow on sea ice even amplifies the importance of sea ice in the coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean system, because it dominates surface properties and energy balance (incl. albedo).Several quantitative observations of summer sea ice and its snow cover show the formation of superimposed ice and a gap layer underneath, which was found to be associated to high standing ...

  7. Snow hydrology in Mediterranean mountain regions: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayad, Abbas; Gascoin, Simon; Faour, Ghaleb; López-Moreno, Juan Ignacio; Drapeau, Laurent; Page, Michel Le; Escadafal, Richard

    2017-08-01

    Water resources in Mediterranean regions are under increasing pressure due to climate change, economic development, and population growth. Many Mediterranean rivers have their headwaters in mountainous regions where hydrological processes are driven by snowpack dynamics and the specific variability of the Mediterranean climate. A good knowledge of the snow processes in the Mediterranean mountains is therefore a key element of water management strategies in such regions. The objective of this paper is to review the literature on snow hydrology in Mediterranean mountains to identify the existing knowledge, key research questions, and promising technologies. We collected 620 peer-reviewed papers, published between 1913 and 2016, that deal with the Mediterranean-like mountain regions in the western United States, the central Chilean Andes, and the Mediterranean basin. A large amount of studies in the western United States form a strong scientific basis for other Mediterranean mountain regions. We found that: (1) the persistence of snow cover is highly variable in space and time but mainly controlled by elevation and precipitation; (2) the snowmelt is driven by radiative fluxes, but the contribution of heat fluxes is stronger at the end of the snow season and during heat waves and rain-on-snow events; (3) the snow densification rates are higher in these regions when compared to other climate regions; and (4) the snow sublimation is an important component of snow ablation, especially in high-elevation regions. Among the pressing issues is the lack of continuous ground observation in high-elevation regions. However, a few years of snow depth (HS) and snow water equivalent (SWE) data can provide realistic information on snowpack variability. A better spatial characterization of snow cover can be achieved by combining ground observations with remotely sensed snow data. SWE reconstruction using satellite snow cover area and a melt model provides reasonable information that

  8. Factors influencing spring and summer areal snow ablation and snowcover depletion in alpine terrain: detailed measurements from the Canadian Rockies

    OpenAIRE

    Schirmer, Michael; Pomeroy, John W.

    2018-01-01

    The spatial distribution of snow water equivalent (SWE) and melt are important to estimating areal melt rates and snowcover depletion dynamics but are rarely measured in detail during the late ablation period. This study contributes the result of high resolution observations made using large numbers of sequential aerial photographs taken from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle on an alpine ridge in the Fortress Mountain Snow Laboratory in the Canadian Rocky Mountains from May to July. With Structure-...

  9. Extreme Low Light Requirement for Algae Growth Underneath Sea Ice: A Case Study From Station Nord, NE Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancke, Kasper; Lund-Hansen, Lars C.; Lamare, Maxim L.; Højlund Pedersen, Stine; King, Martin D.; Andersen, Per; Sorrell, Brian K.

    2018-02-01

    Microalgae colonizing the underside of sea ice in spring are a key component of the Arctic foodweb as they drive early primary production and transport of carbon from the atmosphere to the ocean interior. Onset of the spring bloom of ice algae is typically limited by the availability of light, and the current consensus is that a few tens-of-centimeters of snow is enough to prevent sufficient solar radiation to reach underneath the sea ice. We challenge this consensus, and investigated the onset and the light requirement of an ice algae spring bloom, and the importance of snow optical properties for light penetration. Colonization by ice algae began in May under >1 m of first-year sea ice with ˜1 m thick snow cover on top, in NE Greenland. The initial growth of ice algae began at extremely low irradiance (automated high-frequency temperature profiles. We propose that changes in snow optical properties, caused by temperature-driven snow metamorphosis, was the primary driver for allowing sufficient light to penetrate through the thick snow and initiate algae growth below the sea ice. This was supported by radiative-transfer modeling of light attenuation. Implications are an earlier productivity by ice algae in Arctic sea ice than recognized previously.

  10. Application of Low-Cost UASs and Digital Photogrammetry for High-Resolution Snow Depth Mapping in the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano Cimoli

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The repeat acquisition of high-resolution snow depth measurements has important research and civil applications in the Arctic. Currently the surveying methods for capturing the high spatial and temporal variability of the snowpack are expensive, in particular for small areal extents. An alternative methodology based on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs and digital photogrammetry was tested over varying surveying conditions in the Arctic employing two diverse and low-cost UAS-camera combinations (500 and 1700 USD, respectively. Six areas, two in Svalbard and four in Greenland, were mapped covering from 1386 to 38,410 m2. The sites presented diverse snow surface types, underlying topography and light conditions in order to test the method under potentially limiting conditions. The resulting snow depth maps achieved spatial resolutions between 0.06 and 0.09 m. The average difference between UAS-estimated and measured snow depth, checked with conventional snow probing, ranged from 0.015 to 0.16 m. The impact of image pre-processing was explored, improving point cloud density and accuracy for different image qualities and snow/light conditions. Our UAS photogrammetry results are expected to be scalable to larger areal extents. While further validation is needed, with the inclusion of extra validation points, the study showcases the potential of this cost-effective methodology for high-resolution monitoring of snow dynamics in the Arctic and beyond.

  11. Machine Learning on Images: Combining Passive Microwave and Optical Data to Estimate Snow Water Equivalent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dozier, J.; Tolle, K.; Bair, N.

    2014-12-01

    We have a problem that may be a specific example of a generic one. The task is to estimate spatiotemporally distributed estimates of snow water equivalent (SWE) in snow-dominated mountain environments, including those that lack on-the-ground measurements. Several independent methods exist, but all are problematic. The remotely sensed date of disappearance of snow from each pixel can be combined with a calculation of melt to reconstruct the accumulated SWE for each day back to the last significant snowfall. Comparison with streamflow measurements in mountain ranges where such data are available shows this method to be accurate, but the big disadvantage is that SWE can only be calculated retroactively after snow disappears, and even then only for areas with little accumulation during the melt season. Passive microwave sensors offer real-time global SWE estimates but suffer from several issues, notably signal loss in wet snow or in forests, saturation in deep snow, subpixel variability in the mountains owing to the large (~25 km) pixel size, and SWE overestimation in the presence of large grains such as depth and surface hoar. Throughout the winter and spring, snow-covered area can be measured at sub-km spatial resolution with optical sensors, with accuracy and timeliness improved by interpolating and smoothing across multiple days. So the question is, how can we establish the relationship between Reconstruction—available only after the snow goes away—and passive microwave and optical data to accurately estimate SWE during the snow season, when the information can help forecast spring runoff? Linear regression provides one answer, but can modern machine learning techniques (used to persuade people to click on web advertisements) adapt to improve forecasts of floods and droughts in areas where more than one billion people depend on snowmelt for their water resources?

  12. Interdisciplinary Graduate Training in Polar Environmental Change: Field-based learning in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virginia, R. A.; Holm, K.; Whitecloud, S.; Levy, L.; Kelly, M. A.; Feng, X.; Grenoble, L.

    2009-12-01

    The objective of the NSF-funded Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship (IGERT) program at Dartmouth College is to develop a new cohort of environmental scientists and engineers with an interdisciplinary understanding of polar regions and their importance to global environmental change. The Dartmouth IGERT challenges Ph.D. students to consider the broader dimensions of their research and to collaborate with scientists from other disciplines, educators, and policy makers. IGERT students will focus on research questions that are relevant to the needs of local people experiencing climate change and on understanding the ethical responsibilities and benefits of conducting research in partnership with northern residents and institutions. Seven Ph.D. students from the departments of Earth Sciences, Engineering, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Dartmouth College make up the first IGERT cohort for the five-year program. The Dartmouth IGERT curriculum will focus on three main components of polar systems responding to recent climate change: the cryosphere, terrestrial ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles. The integrating experience of the core curriculum is the Greenland Field Seminar that will take place in Kangerlussuaq (terrestrial and aquatic systems), Summit Camp (snow and ice) and Nuuk, Greenland (human dimensions of change). In Nuuk, IGERT students will share their science and develop partnerships with students, educators, and policy makers at the University of Greenland, the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), and other Greenlandic institutions. In summer 2009 the authors conducted preliminary fieldwork near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to develop aspects of the science curriculum for the 2010 Greenland Field Seminar and to explore research topics for IGERT Fellows (Levy and Whitecloud). Examples of results presented here are designed to develop field-based learning activities. These include soil and vegetation relationships as a function of aspect

  13. Understanding Greenland ice sheet hydrology using an integrated multi-scale approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rennermalm, A K; Moustafa, S E; Mioduszewski, J; Robinson, D A; Chu, V W; Smith, L C; Forster, R R; Hagedorn, B; Harper, J T; Mote, T L; Shuman, C A; Tedesco, M

    2013-01-01

    Improved understanding of Greenland ice sheet hydrology is critically important for assessing its impact on current and future ice sheet dynamics and global sea level rise. This has motivated the collection and integration of in situ observations, model development, and remote sensing efforts to quantify meltwater production, as well as its phase changes, transport, and export. Particularly urgent is a better understanding of albedo feedbacks leading to enhanced surface melt, potential positive feedbacks between ice sheet hydrology and dynamics, and meltwater retention in firn. These processes are not isolated, but must be understood as part of a continuum of processes within an integrated system. This letter describes a systems approach to the study of Greenland ice sheet hydrology, emphasizing component interconnections and feedbacks, and highlighting research and observational needs. (letter)

  14. The changing impact of snow conditions and refreezing on the mass balance of an idealized Svalbard glacier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ward Van Pelt

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Glacier surface melt and runoff depend strongly on seasonal and perennial snow (firn conditions. Not only does the presence of snow and firn directly affect melt rates by reflecting solar radiation, it may also act as a buffer against mass loss by storing melt water in refrozen or liquid form. In Svalbard, ongoing and projected amplified climate change with respect to the global mean change has severe implications for the state of snow and firn and its impact on glacier mass loss. Model experiments with a coupled surface energy balance - firn model were done to investigate the surface mass balance and the changing role of snow and firn conditions for an idealized Svalbard glacier. A climate forcing for the past, present and future (1984-2104 is constructed, based on observational data from Svalbard Airport and a seasonally dependent projection scenario. Results illustrate ongoing and future firn degradation in response to an elevational retreat of the equilibrium line altitude (ELA of 31 m decade−1. The temperate firn zone is found to retreat and expand, while cold ice in the ablation zone warms considerably. In response to pronounced winter warming and an associated increase in winter rainfall, the current prevalence of refreezing during the melt season gradually shifts to the winter season in a future climate. Sensitivity tests reveal that in a present and future climate the density and thermodynamic structure of Svalbard glaciers are heavily influenced by refreezing. Refreezing acts as a net buffer against mass loss. However, the net mass balance change after refreezing is substantially smaller than the amount of refreezing itself, which can be ascribed to melt-enhancing effects after refreezing, which partly offset the primary mass-retaining effect of refreezing.

  15. Drivers and environmental responses to the changing annual snow cycle of northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Christopher J.; Stone, Robert S.; Douglas, David C.; Stanitski, Diane; Divoky, George J.; Dutton, Geoff S.; Sweeney, Colm; George, J. Craig; Longenecker, David U.

    2017-01-01

    On the North Slope of Alaska, earlier spring snowmelt and later onset of autumn snow accumulation are tied to atmospheric dynamics and sea ice conditions, and result in environmental responses.Linkages between atmospheric, ecological and biogeochemical variables in the changing Arctic are analyzed using long-term measurements near Utqiaġvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska. Two key variables are the date when snow disappears in spring, as determined primarily by atmospheric dynamics, precipitation, air temperature, winter snow accumulation and cloud cover, as well as the date of onset of snowpack in autumn that is additionally influenced by ocean temperature and sea ice extent. In 2015 and 2016 the snow melted early at Utqiaġvik due mainly to anomalous warmth during May of both years attributed to atmospheric circulation patterns, with 2016 having the record earliest snowmelt. These years are discussed in the context of a 115-year snowmelt record at Utqiaġvik with a trend toward earlier melting since the mid- 1970s (-2.86 days/decade, 1975-2016). At nearby Cooper Island, where a colony of seabirds, Black Guillemots, have been monitored since 1975, timing of egg laying is correlated with Utqiaġvik snowmelt with 2015 and 2016 being the earliest years in the 42-year record. Ice-out at a nearby freshwater lagoon is also correlated with Utqiaġvik snowmelt. The date when snow begins to accumulate in autumn at Utqiaġvik shows a trend towards later dates (+4.6 days/decade, 1975-2016), with 2016 the latest on record. The relationships between the lengthening snow-free season and regional phenology, soil temperatures, fluxes of gases from the tundra, and to regional sea ice conditions are discussed. Better understanding of these interactions is needed to predict the annual snow cycles in the region at seasonal to decadal scales, and to anticipate coupled environmental responses.

  16. Snow cover distribution over elevation zones in a mountainous catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagoulia, D.; Panagopoulos, Y.

    2009-04-01

    A good understanding of the elevetional distribution of snow cover is necessary to predict the timing and volume of runoff. In a complex mountainous terrain the snow cover distribution within a watershed is highly variable in time and space and is dependent on elevation, slope, aspect, vegetation type, surface roughness, radiation load, and energy exchange at the snow-air interface. Decreases in snowpack due to climate change could disrupt the downstream urban and agricultural water supplies, while increases could lead to seasonal flooding. Solar and longwave radiation are dominant energy inputs driving the ablation process. Turbulent energy exchange at the snow cover surface is important during the snow season. The evaporation of blowing and drifting snow is strongly dependent upon wind speed. Much of the spatial heterogeneity of snow cover is the result of snow redistribution by wind. Elevation is important in determining temperature and precipitation gradients along hillslopes, while the temperature gradients determine where precipitation falls as rain and snow and contribute to variable melt rates within the hillslope. Under these premises, the snow accumulation and ablation (SAA) model of the US National Weather Service (US NWS) was applied to implement the snow cover extent over elevation zones of a mountainous catchment (the Mesochora catchment in Western-Central Greece), taking also into account the indirectly included processes of sublimation, interception, and snow redistribution. The catchment hydrology is controlled by snowfall and snowmelt and the simulated discharge was computed from the soil moisture accounting (SMA) model of the US NWS and compared to the measured discharge. The elevationally distributed snow cover extent presented different patterns with different time of maximization, extinction and return during the year, producing different timing of discharge that is a crucial factor for the control and management of water resources systems.

  17. Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gad, Ulrik Pram

    2014-01-01

    in 1979 and made the 1985 withdrawal possible. On 25 November 2008, a majority of the people of Greenland voted in favour of enhanced home rule – ‘self-government’ – still within formal Danish sovereignty. Denmark and Greenland alike are preparing for a future envisioned as involving climate change...

  18. Disentangling the Roles of Atmospheric and Oceanic Forcing on the Last Deglaciation of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keisling, B. A.; Deconto, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    Today the Greenland Ice Sheet loses mass via both oceanic and atmospheric processes. However, the relative importance of these mass balance components is debated, especially their potential impact on ongoing and future mass imbalance. Discerning the impact of oceanic versus atmospheric forcing during past periods of mass loss provides potential insight into the future behavior of the ice sheet. Here we present an ensemble of Greenland Ice Sheet simulations of the last deglaciation, designed to assess separately the roles of the ocean and the atmosphere in driving mass loss over the last twenty thousand years. We use twenty-eight different ocean forcing scenarios along with a cutting-edge reconstruction of time-evolving atmospheric conditions based on climate model output and δ15N-based temperature reconstructions to generate a range of ice-sheet responses during the deglaciation. We then compare the simulated timing of ice-retreat in individual catchments with estimates based on both 10Be (exposure) and 14C (minimum-limiting) dates. These experiments allow us to identify the ocean forcing scenario that best match the data on a local-to-regional (i.e., 100-1000 km) scales, providing an assessment of the relative importance of ocean and atmospheric forcing components around the periphery of Greenland. We use these simulations to quantify the importance of the three major mass balance terms (calving, oceanic melting, and surface melting) and assess the uncertainty of the relative influence of these factors during the most recent periods of major ice loss. Our results show that mass balance components around different sectors of the ice sheet respond differently to forcing, with oceanic components driving the majority of retreat in south and east Greenland and atmospheric forcing dominating in west and north Greenland In addition, we target three areas at high spatial resolution ( 1 km) around Greenland currently undergoing substantial change (Jakobshavn, Petermann

  19. The peopling of Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pereira, Vania; Tomas Mas, Carmen; Sanchez, Juan J

    2015-01-01

    The peopling of Greenland has a complex history shaped by population migrations, isolation and genetic drift. The Greenlanders present a genetic heritage with components of European and Inuit groups; previous studies using uniparentally inherited markers in Greenlanders have reported evidence...... of a sex-biased, admixed genetic background. This work further explores the genetics of the Greenlanders by analysing autosomal and X-chromosomal data to obtain deeper insights into the factors that shaped the genetic diversity in Greenlanders. Fourteen Greenlandic subsamples from multiple geographical...... settlements were compared to assess the level of genetic substructure in the Greenlandic population. The results showed low levels of genetic diversity in all sets of the genetic markers studied, together with an increased number of X-chromosomal loci in linkage disequilibrium in relation to the Danish...

  20. The electrical self-potential method is a non-intrusive snow-hydrological sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, S. S.; Kulessa, B.; Essery, R. L. H.; Lüthi, M. P.

    2015-08-01

    Our ability to measure, quantify and assimilate hydrological properties and processes of snow in operational models is disproportionally poor compared to the significance of seasonal snowmelt as a global water resource and major risk factor in flood and avalanche forecasting. Encouraged by recent theoretical, modelling and laboratory work, we show here that the diurnal evolution of aerially-distributed self-potential magnitudes closely track those of bulk meltwater fluxes in melting in-situ snowpacks at Rhone and Jungfraujoch glaciers, Switzerland. Numerical modelling infers temporally-evolving liquid water contents in the snowpacks on successive days in close agreement with snow-pit measurements. Muting previous concerns, the governing physical and chemical properties of snow and meltwater became temporally invariant for modelling purposes. Because measurement procedure is straightforward and readily automated for continuous monitoring over significant spatial scales, we conclude that the self-potential geophysical method is a highly-promising non-intrusive snow-hydrological sensor for measurement practice, modelling and operational snow forecasting.

  1. Towards Improved Snow Water Equivalent Estimation via GRACE Assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forman, Bart; Reichle, Rofl; Rodell, Matt

    2011-01-01

    Passive microwave (e.g. AMSR-E) and visible spectrum (e.g. MODIS) measurements of snow states have been used in conjunction with land surface models to better characterize snow pack states, most notably snow water equivalent (SWE). However, both types of measurements have limitations. AMSR-E, for example, suffers a loss of information in deep/wet snow packs. Similarly, MODIS suffers a loss of temporal correlation information beyond the initial accumulation and final ablation phases of the snow season. Gravimetric measurements, on the other hand, do not suffer from these limitations. In this study, gravimetric measurements from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission are used in a land surface model data assimilation (DA) framework to better characterize SWE in the Mackenzie River basin located in northern Canada. Comparisons are made against independent, ground-based SWE observations, state-of-the-art modeled SWE estimates, and independent, ground-based river discharge observations. Preliminary results suggest improved SWE estimates, including improved timing of the subsequent ablation and runoff of the snow pack. Additionally, use of the DA procedure can add vertical and horizontal resolution to the coarse-scale GRACE measurements as well as effectively downscale the measurements in time. Such findings offer the potential for better understanding of the hydrologic cycle in snow-dominated basins located in remote regions of the globe where ground-based observation collection if difficult, if not impossible. This information could ultimately lead to improved freshwater resource management in communities dependent on snow melt as well as a reduction in the uncertainty of river discharge into the Arctic Ocean.

  2. Spring snow conditions on Arctic sea ice north of Svalbard, during the Norwegian Young Sea ICE (N-ICE2015) expedition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallet, Jean-Charles; Merkouriadi, Ioanna; Liston, Glen E.; Polashenski, Chris; Hudson, Stephen; Rösel, Anja; Gerland, Sebastian

    2017-10-01

    Snow is crucial over sea ice due to its conflicting role in reflecting the incoming solar energy and reducing the heat transfer so that its temporal and spatial variability are important to estimate. During the Norwegian Young Sea ICE (N-ICE2015) campaign, snow physical properties and variability were examined, and results from April until mid-June 2015 are presented here. Overall, the snow thickness was about 20 cm higher than the climatology for second-year ice, with an average of 55 ± 27 cm and 32 ± 20 cm on first-year ice. The average density was 350-400 kg m-3 in spring, with higher values in June due to melting. Due to flooding in March, larger variability in snow water equivalent was observed. However, the snow structure was quite homogeneous in spring due to warmer weather and lower amount of storms passing over the field camp. The snow was mostly consisted of wind slab, faceted, and depth hoar type crystals with occasional fresh snow. These observations highlight the more dynamic character of evolution of snow properties over sea ice compared to previous observations, due to more variable sea ice and weather conditions in this area. The snowpack was isothermal as early as 10 June with the first onset of melt clearly identified in early June. Based on our observations, we estimate than snow could be accurately represented by a three to four layers modeling approach, in order to better consider the high variability of snow thickness and density together with the rapid metamorphose of the snow in springtime.

  3. Satellite Remote Sensing of Snow/Ice Albedo over the Himalayas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, N. Christina; Gautam, Ritesh

    2012-01-01

    The Himalayan glaciers and snowpacks play an important role in the hydrological cycle over Asia. The seasonal snow melt from the Himalayan glaciers and snowpacks is one of the key elements to the livelihood of the downstream densely populated regions of South Asia. During the pre-monsoon season (April-May-June), South Asia not only experiences the reversal of the regional meridional tropospheric temperature gradient (i.e., the onset of the summer monsoon), but also is being bombarded by dry westerly airmass that transports mineral dust from various Southwest Asian desert and arid regions into the Indo-Gangetic Plains in northern India. Mixed with heavy anthropogenic pollution, mineral dust constitutes the bulk of regional aerosol loading and forms an extensive and vertically extended brown haze lapping against the southern slopes of the Himalayas. Episodic dust plumes are advected over the Himalayas, and are discernible in satellite imagery, resulting in dust-capped snow surface. Motivated by the potential implications of accelerated snowmelt, we examine the changes in radiative energetics induced by aerosol transport over the Himalayan snow cover by utilizing space borne observations. Our objective lies in the investigation of potential impacts of aerosol solar absorption on the Top-of-Atmosphere (TOA) spectral reflectivity and the broadband albedo, and hence the accelerated snowmelt, particularly in the western Himalayas. Lambertian Equivalent Reflectivity (LER) in the visible and near-infrared wavelengths, derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer radiances, is used to generate statistics for determining perturbation caused due to dust layer over snow surface in over ten years of continuous observations. Case studies indicate significant reduction of LER ranging from 5 to 8% in the 412-860nm spectra. Broadband flux observations, from the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System, are also used to investigate changes in shortwave TOA flux over

  4. Dust in Snow in the Colorado River Basin: Spatial Variability in Dust Concentrations, Radiative Forcing, and Snowmelt Rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skiles, M.; Painter, T.; Deems, J. S.; Landry, C.; Bryant, A.

    2012-12-01

    Since the disturbance of the western US that began with the Anglo settlement in the mid 19th century, the mountain snow cover of the Colorado River Basin (CRB) has been subject to five-fold greater dust loading. This dust deposition accelerates snowmelt through its direct reduction of albedo and its further reduction of albedo by accelerating the growth of snow effective grain size. We have previously quantified the impacts of dust in snow using a 6-year record of dust concentration and energy balance fluxes at the alpine and subalpine towers in the Senator Beck Basin Study Area (SBBSA), San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, USA. Dust loading exhibited interannual variability, and end of year dust concentrations were not necessarily related to the number of dust deposition events. Radiative forcing enhanced springtime melt by 21 to 51 days with the magnitude of advanced loss being linearly related to total dust concentration at the end of snow cover. To expand our understanding of dust on snow deposition patterns we utilize collections of dust concentration at the Colorado Dust on Snow (CODOS) study sites, established in 2009 along the western side of the CRB, to assess spatial variability in dust loading. In situ sampling of dust stratigraphy and concentration occurs twice each season, once over peak snow water equivalent (15 April), and again during melt (15 May). Dust loading occurs at all sites; dust concentrations are always higher in May, vary between sites, and the highest and lowest dust years were 2009 and 2012, respectively. In the absence of regular sampling and energy balance instrumentation these sites do not allow us to quantify the advanced melt due to dust. To facilitate this a new energy balance site, Grand Mesa Study plot (GMSP), was established for water year 2010 in west central Colorado, 150 km north of SBBSA. Back trajectories indicate similar Colorado Plateau dust sources at both SBBSA and GMSP, yet GMSP exhibits slightly lower dust

  5. High fidelity remote sensing of snow properties from MODIS and the Airborne Snow Observatory: Snowflakes to Terabytes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Painter, T.; Mattmann, C. A.; Brodzik, M.; Bryant, A. C.; Goodale, C. E.; Hart, A. F.; Ramirez, P.; Rittger, K. E.; Seidel, F. C.; Zimdars, P. A.

    2012-12-01

    The response of the cryosphere to climate forcings largely determines Earth's climate sensitivity. However, our understanding of the strength of the simulated snow albedo feedback varies by a factor of three in the GCMs used in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, mainly caused by uncertainties in snow extent and the albedo of snow-covered areas from imprecise remote sensing retrievals. Additionally, the Western US and other regions of the globe depend predominantly on snowmelt for their water supply to agriculture, industry and cities, hydroelectric power, and recreation, against rising demand from increasing population. In the mountains of the Upper Colorado River Basin, dust radiative forcing in snow shortens snow cover duration by 3-7 weeks. Extended to the entire upper basin, the 5-fold increase in dust load since the late-1800s results in a 3-week earlier peak runoff and a 5% annual loss of total runoff. The remotely sensed dynamics of snow cover duration and melt however have not been factored into hydrological modeling, operational forecasting, and policymaking. To address these deficiencies in our understanding of snow properties, we have developed and validated a suite of MODIS snow products that provide accurate fractional snow covered area and radiative forcing of dust and carbonaceous aerosols in snow. The MODIS Snow Covered Area and Grain size (MODSCAG) and MODIS Dust Radiative Forcing in Snow (MODDRFS) algorithms, developed and transferred from imaging spectroscopy techniques, leverage the complete MODIS surface reflectance spectrum. The two most critical properties for understanding snowmelt runoff and timing are the spatial and temporal distributions of snow water equivalent (SWE) and snow albedo. We have created the Airborne Snow Observatory (ASO), an imaging spectrometer and scanning LiDAR system, to quantify SWE and snow albedo, generate unprecedented knowledge of snow properties, and provide complete

  6. Improved retrieval of land ice topography from CryoSat-2 data and its impact for volume-change estimation of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nilsson, Johan; Gardner, Alex; Sørensen, Louise Sandberg

    2016-01-01

    of the snow/ice surface with lower sensitivity to changes in near-surface dielectric properties. To demonstrate the utility of the new processing methodology we produce elevations, elevation changes, and total volume changes from CryoSat-2 data for the Greenland Ice Sheet during the period January 2011...... to January 2015. We find that the Greenland Ice Sheet decreased in volume at a rate of 289 ± 20km3 a-1, with high interannual variability and spatial heterogeneity in rates of loss. This rate is 65km3 a-1 more negative than rates determined from ESA's L2 product, highlighting the importance of CryoSat-2...

  7. The observed katabatic flow at the edge of the Greenland ice sheet during GIMEX-91

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broeke, M.R. van den; Duynkerke, P.G.; Oerlemans, J.

    1994-01-01

    Observations performed in the melting zone of the Greenland ice sheet and over the adjacent tundra in the summer of 1991 are described. The experimental area is the region near St ndre Stromfjord (67°N, 54°W), which is relatively dry and sunny, resulting in the highest mean temperature in

  8. Glacier Melt Detection in Complex Terrain Using New AMSR-E Calibrated Enhanced Daily EASE-Grid 2.0 Brightness Temperature (CETB) Earth System Data Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramage, J. M.; Brodzik, M. J.; Hardman, M.

    2016-12-01

    Passive microwave (PM) 18 GHz and 36 GHz horizontally- and vertically-polarized brightness temperatures (Tb) channels from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) have been important sources of information about snow melt status in glacial environments, particularly at high latitudes. PM data are sensitive to the changes in near-surface liquid water that accompany melt onset, melt intensification, and refreezing. Overpasses are frequent enough that in most areas multiple (2-8) observations per day are possible, yielding the potential for determining the dynamic state of the snow pack during transition seasons. AMSR-E Tb data have been used effectively to determine melt onset and melt intensification using daily Tb and diurnal amplitude variation (DAV) thresholds. Due to mixed pixels in historically coarse spatial resolution Tb data, melt analysis has been impractical in ice-marginal zones where pixels may be only fractionally snow/ice covered, and in areas where the glacier is near large bodies of water: even small regions of open water in a pixel severely impact the microwave signal. We use the new enhanced-resolution Calibrated Passive Microwave Daily EASE-Grid 2.0 Brightness Temperature (CETB) Earth System Data Record product's twice daily obserations to test and update existing snow melt algorithms by determining appropriate melt thresholds for both Tb and DAV for the CETB 18 and 36 GHz channels. We use the enhanced resolution data to evaluate melt characteristics along glacier margins and melt transition zones during the melt seasons in locations spanning a wide range of melt scenarios, including the Patagonian Andes, the Alaskan Coast Range, and the Russian High Arctic icecaps. We quantify how improvement of spatial resolution from the original 12.5 - 25 km-scale pixels to the enhanced resolution of 3.125 - 6.25 km improves the ability to evaluate melt timing across boundaries and transition zones in diverse glacial environments.

  9. Impacts of Synoptic Weather Patterns on Snow Albedo at Sites in New England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adolph, A. C.; Albert, M. R.; Lazarcik, J.; Dibb, J. E.; Amante, J.; Price, A. N.

    2015-12-01

    Winter snow in the northeastern United States has changed over the last several decades, resulting in shallower snow packs, fewer days of snow cover and increasing precipitation falling as rain in the winter. In addition to these changes which cause reductions in surface albedo, increasing winter temperatures also lead to more rapid snow grain growth, resulting in decreased snow reflectivity. We present in-situ measurements and analyses to test the sensitivity of seasonal snow albedo to varying weather conditions at sites in New England. In particular, we investigate the impact of temperature on snow albedo through melt and grain growth, the impact of precipitation event frequency on albedo through snow "freshening," and the impact of storm path on snow structure and snow albedo. Over three winter seasons between 2013 and 2015, in-situ snow characterization measurements were made at three non-forested sites across New Hampshire. These near-daily measurements include spectrally resolved albedo, snow optical grain size determined through contact spectroscopy, snow depth, snow density and local meteorological parameters. Combining this information with storm tracks derived from HYSPLIT modeling, we quantify the current sensitivity of northeastern US snow albedo to temperature as well as precipitation type, frequency and path. Our analysis shows that southerly winter storms result in snow with a significantly lower albedo than storms which come from across the continental US or the Atlantic Ocean. Interannual variability in temperature and statewide spatial variability in snowfall rates at our sites show the relative importance of snowfall amount and temperatures in albedo evolution over the course of the winter.

  10. TopoGreenland: Lithospheric structure and topography in Central-Eastern Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thybo, H.; Shulgin, A.; Kraft, H. A.; Vinnik, L. P.

    2017-12-01

    We present models of the seismic structure of the crust and upper mantle in the interior of Greenland based on new seismological data from the TopoGreenland experiment. Until this experiment, all seismic data in Greenland was acquired close to the coast, where the crustal structure is affected by oceanic break-up. The TopoGreenland data acquisition programme in central-eastern Greenland included the first controlled source seismic experiment in interior Greenland and deployment of 24 broadband (BB) onshore stations for 3 years, partly on the ice cap. The 320 km long seismic refraction/wide-angle reflection profile was acquired on the ice cap by a team of six people during two-months in summer of 2011. We present a 2D velocity model of the crust based on tomographic inversion and forward ray tracing modelling of the controlled source data. It shows a decrease of crustal thickness from 47 km below the centre of Greenland in the western to 40 km in its eastern part of the profile. High lower crustal velocities (Vp 6.8 - 7.3 km/s) below central Greenland may result from past collision tectonics or be related to the passage of the Iceland mantle plume. Crustal receiver functions in the surrounding area demonstrate constant structure along the coast and pronounced, relatively sharp variation in crustal thickness around the mountains at the edge of the ice cap. Surprisingly the thickest crust is observed below the lowest topography under the ice cap, whereas the crust is thin below the high mountains at its edge, and thins further below elevated topography out to the coast. Receiver Function interpretation of the mantle and transition zone structure shows a complicated mosaic variation that cannot be correlated to the variation in topography. The origin of the pronounced mountain ranges around the North Atlantic Ocean with average elevation above 1500 m and peak elevations of more than 3.5 km near Scoresby Sund in Eastern Greenland, is unknown. Our new results demonstrate

  11. Comparison of modelled runoff with observed proglacial discharge across the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, S.; Rennermalm, A.; van As, D.; Overeem, I.; Tedesco, M.; Mote, T. L.; Koenig, L.; Smith, L. C.; Hagedorn, B.; Sletten, R. S.; Mikkelsen, A. B.; Hasholt, B.; Hall, D. K.; Fettweis, X.; Pitcher, L. H.; Hubbard, A.

    2017-12-01

    Greenland ice sheet surface ablation now dominates its total mass loss contributions to sea-level rise. Despite the increasing importance of Greenland's sea-level contribution, a quantitative inter-comparison between modeled and measured melt, runoff and discharge across multiple drainage basins is conspicuously lacking. Here we investigate the accuracy of model discharge estimates from the Modèle Atmosphérique Régionale (MAR v3.5.2) regional climate model by comparison with in situ proglacial river discharge measurements at three West Greenland drainage basins - North River (Thule), Watson River (Kangerlussuaq), and Naujat Kuat River (Nuuk). At each target catchment, we: 1) determine optimal drainage basin delineations; 2) assess primary drivers of melt; 3) evaluate MAR at daily, 5-, 10- and 20-day time scales; and 4) identify potential sources for model-observation discrepancies. Our results reveal that MAR resolves daily discharge variability poorly in the Nuuk and Thule basins (r2 = 0.4-0.5), but does capture variability over 5-, 10-, and 20-day means (r2 > 0.7). Model agreement with river flow data, though, is reduced during periods of peak discharge, particularly for the exceptional melt and discharge events of July 2012. Daily discharge is best captured by MAR across the Watson River basin, whilst there is lower correspondence between modeled and observed discharge at the Thule and Naujat Kuat River basins. We link the main source of model error to an underestimation of cloud cover, overestimation of surface albedo, and apparent warm bias in near-surface air temperatures. For future inter-comparison, we recommend using observations from catchments that have a self-contained and well-defined drainage area and an accurate discharge record over variable years coincident with a reliable automatic weather station record. Our study highlights the importance of improving MAR modeled surface albedo, cloud cover representation, and delay functions to reduce model

  12. Snow Cover Monitoring Using MODIS Data in Liaoning Province, Northeastern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Lu

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the results of snow cover monitoring studies in Liaoning Province, northeastern China, using MODIS data. Snow cover plays an important role in both the regional water balance and soil moisture properties during the early spring in northeastern China. In addition, heavy snowfalls commonly trigger hazards such as flooding, caused by rapid snow melt, or crop failure, resulting from fluctuations in soil temperature associated with changes in the snow cover. The latter is a function of both regional, or global, climatic changes, as well as fluctuations in the albedo resulting from variations in the Snow Covered Area (SCA. These impacts are crucial to human activities, especially to those living in middle-latitude areas such as Liaoning Province. Thus, SCA monitoring is currently an important tool in studies of global climate change, particularly because satellite remote sensing data provide timely and efficient snow cover information for large areas. In this study, MODIS L1B data, MODIS Daily Snow Products (MOD10A1 and MODIS 8-day Snow Products (MOD10A2 were used to monitor the SCA of Liaoning Province over the winter months of November–April, 2006–2008. The effects of cloud masking and forest masking on the snow monitoring results were also assessed. The results show that the SCA percentage derived from MODIS L1B data is relatively consistent, but slightly higher than that obtained from MODIS Snow Products. In situ data from 25 snow stations were used to assess the accuracy of snow cover monitoring from the SCA compared to the results from MODIS Snow Products. The studies found that the SCA results were more reliable than MODIS Snow Products in the study area.

  13. On the importance of the albedo parameterization for the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in EC-Earth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helsen, Michiel M.; Van De Wal, Roderik S.W.; Reerink, Thomas J.; Bintanja, Richard; Madsen, Marianne S.; Yang, Shuting; Li, Qiang; Zhang, Qiong

    2017-01-01

    The albedo of the surface of ice sheets changes as a function of time due to the effects of deposition of new snow, ageing of dry snow, bare ice exposure, melting and run-off. Currently, the calculation of the albedo of ice sheets is highly parameterized within the earth system model ECEarth by

  14. Elevation change of the Greenland Ice Sheet due to surface mass balance and firn processes, 1960-2014

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuipers Munneke, P.; Ligtenberg, S. R M; Noël, B. P Y; Howat, I. M.; Box, J. E.; Mosley-Thompson, E.; McConnell, J. R.; Steffen, K.; Harper, J. T.; Das, S. B.; Van Den Broeke, M. R.

    2015-01-01

    Observed changes in the surface elevation of the Greenland Ice Sheet are caused by ice dynamics, basal elevation change, basal melt, surface mass balance (SMB) variability, and by compaction of the overlying firn. The last two contributions are quantified here using a firn model that includes

  15. Post-colonial identity in Greenland?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gad, Ulrik Pram

    2009-01-01

    could be furthered by bringing politics back in. Based on a discourse analysis of the Greenlandic debate on language, this paper makes three claims: First, the identity projects promoted in Greenland are based on an essentialist conception of identity. Secondly, Greenlandic identity discourse combines......In the gradual unravelling of Greenland’s colonial relationship to Denmark, an essentialist conceptualization of Greenlandic identity has played a significant role. However, both our scholarly understanding of post-colonial Greenlandic identity and the process towards independence for Greenland...... elements of traditional Inuit culture and elements of colonial modernity. Thirdly, monolingual Greenlanders are those with the most to gain from abandoning the dichotomy of essentialist identities. Strategically, the paper suggests a post-post-colonial Greenlandic identity as a means of avoiding...

  16. The Electrical Self-Potential Method as a Non-Intrusive Snow-Hydrological Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulessa, B.; Thompson, S. S.; Luethi, M. P.; Essery, R.

    2015-12-01

    Building on growing momentum in the application of geophysical techniques to snow problems and, specifically, on new theory and an electrical geophysical snow hydrological model published recently; we demonstrate for the first time that the electrical self-potential geophysical technique can sense in-situ bulk meltwater fluxes. This has broad and immediate implications for snow measurement practice, modelling and operational snow forecasting. Our ability to measure, quantify and assimilate hydrological properties and processes of snow in operational models is disproportionally poor compared to the significance of seasonal snowmelt as a global water resource and major risk factor in flood and avalanche forecasting. Encouraged by recent theoretical, modelling and laboratory work, we show here that the diurnal evolution of aerially-distributed self-potential magnitudes closely track those of bulk meltwater fluxes in melting in-situ snowpacks at Rhone and Jungfraujoch glaciers, Switzerland. Numerical modelling infers temporally-evolving liquid water contents in the snowpacks on successive days in close agreement with snow-pit measurements. Muting previous concerns, the governing physical and chemical properties of snow and meltwater became temporally invariant for modelling purposes. Because measurement procedure is straightforward and readily automated for continuous monitoring over significant spatial scales, we conclude that the self-potential geophysical method is a highly-promising non-intrusive snow-hydrological sensor for measurement practice, modelling and operational snow forecasting.

  17. Monitoring snow cover and its effect on runoff regime in the Jizera Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulasova, Alena

    2015-04-01

    The Jizera Mountains in the northern Bohemia are known by its rich snow cover. Winter precipitation represents usually a half of the precipitation in the hydrological year. Gradual snow accumulation and melt depends on the course of the particular winter period, the topography of the catchments and the type of vegetation. During winter the snow depth, and especially the snow water equivalent, are affected by the changing character of the falling precipitation, air and soil temperatures and the wind. More rapid snowmelt occurs more on the slopes without forest oriented to the South, while a gradual snowmelt occurs on the locations turned to the North and in forest. Melting snow recharges groundwater and affects water quality in an important way. In case of extreme situation the snowmelt monitoring is important from the point of view of flood protection of communities and property. Therefore the immediate information on the amount of water in snow is necessary. The way to get this information is the continuous monitoring of the snow depth and snow water equivalent. In the Jizera Mountains a regular monitoring of snow cover has been going on since the end of the 19th century. In the 80s of the last century the Jizera Mountains were affected by the increased fallout of pollutants in the air. There followed a gradual dieback of the forest cover and cutting down the upper part of the ridges. In order to get data for the quantification of runoff regime changes in the changing natural environment, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI) founded in the upper part of the Mountains several experimental catchments. One of the activities of the employees of the experimental basis is the regular measurement of snow cover at selected sites from 1982 up to now. At the same time snow cover is being observed using snow pillows, where its mass is monitored with the help of pressure sensors. In order to improve the reliability of the continuous measurement of the snow water

  18. Rainfall and snow-melt triggered glacial lake outbursts: a systematic analysis of the Kedarnath (Uttarakhand, India), June 2013 disaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Simon; Rastner, Philipp; Arora, Manohar; Huggel, Christian; Stoffel, Markus

    2015-04-01

    Heavy rainfall in early June 2013 triggered flash flooding and landslides throughout the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, killing more than 6000 people. The destruction of roads and trekking routes left around 100,000 pilgrims and tourists stranded. Most fatalities and damages resulted directly from a lake outburst and debris flow disaster originating from above the village of Kedarnath on June 16 and 17. Here we provide a first systematic analysis of the contributing factors leading to the Kedarnath disaster, both in terms of hydro-meteorological triggering (rainfall, snowmelt, and temperature) and topographic predisposition. Specifically, the topographic characteristics of the Charobari lake watershed above Kedarnath are compared with other glacial lakes across the northwestern Indian Himalayan states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and implications for glacier lake outburst hazard assessment in a changing climate are discussed. Our analysis suggests that the early onset of heavy monsoon rainfall (390 mm, June 10 - 17) immediately following a prolonged four week period of unusually rapid snow cover depletion and elevated streamflow is the crucial hydro-meteorological factor, resulting in slope saturation and significant runoff into the small seasonal glacial lake. Over a four week period the MODIS-derived snow covered area above Kedarnath decreased nearly 50%, from above average coverage in mid-May to well below average coverage by the second week of June. Such a rapid decrease has not been observed in the previous 13-year record, where the average decrease in snow covered area over the same four week window is only 15%. The unusual situation of the lake being dammed in a steep, unstable paraglacial environment, but fed entirely from snow-melt and rainfall within a fluvial dominated watershed is important in the context of this disaster. A simple scheme enabling large-scale recognition of such an unfavorable topographic setting is presented, and on the

  19. Performance tests of snow-related variables over the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayas using a new version of NASA GEOS-5 land surface model that includes the snow darkening effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasunari, T. J.; Lau, W. K.; Koster, R. D.; Suarez, M.; Mahanama, S. P.; da Silva, A.; Colarco, P. R.

    2011-12-01

    The snow darkening effect, i.e. the reduction of snow albedo, is caused by absorption of solar radiation by absorbing aerosols (dust, black carbon, and organic carbon) deposited on the snow surface. This process is probably important over Himalayan and Tibetan glaciers due to the transport of highly polluted Atmospheric Brown Cloud (ABC) from the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP). This effect has been incorporated into the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System model, version 5 (GEOS-5) atmospheric transport model. The Catchment land surface model (LSM) used in GEOS-5 considers 3 snow layers. Code was developed to track the mass concentration of aerosols in the three layers, taking into account such processes as the flushing of the compounds as liquid water percolates through the snowpack. In GEOS-5, aerosol emissions, transports, and depositions are well simulated in the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) module; we recently made the connection between GOCART and the GEOS-5 system fitted with the revised LSM. Preliminary simulations were performed with this new system in "replay" mode (i.e., with atmospheric dynamics guided by reanalysis) at 2x2.5 degree horizontal resolution, covering the period 1 November 2005 - 31 December 2009; we consider the final three years of simulation here. The three simulations used the following variants of the LSM: (1) the original Catchment LSM with a fixed fresh snowfall density of 150 kg m-3; (2) the LSM fitted with the new snow albedo code, used here without aerosol deposition but with changes in density formulation and melting water effect on snow specific surface area, (3) the LSM fitted with the new snow albedo code as same as (2) but with fixed aerosol deposition rates (computed from GOCART values averaged over the Tibetan Plateau domain [lon.: 60-120E; lat.: 20-50N] during March-May 2008) applied to all grid points at every time step. For (2) and (3), the same setting on the fresh snowfall density as in (1) was

  20. Responses of Plant Community Composition to Long-term Changes in Snow Depth at the Great Basin Desert - Sierra Nevada ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loik, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Snowfall is the dominant hydrologic input for many high-elevation ecosystems of the western United States. Many climate models envision changes in California's Sierra Nevada snow pack characteristics, which would severely impact the storage and release of water for one of the world's largest economies. Given the importance of snowfall for future carbon cycling in high elevation ecosystems, how will these changes affect seedling recruitment, plant mortality, and community composition? To address this question, experiments utilize snow fences to manipulate snow depth and melt timing at a desert-montane ecotone in eastern California, USA. Long-term April 1 snow pack depth averages 1344 mm (1928-2015) but is highly variable from year to year. Snow fences increased equilibrium drift snow depth by 100%. Long-term changes in snow depth and melt timing are associated with s shift from shurbs to graminoids where snow depth was increased for >50 years. Changes in snow have impacted growth for only three plant species. Moreover, annual growth ring increments of the conifers Pinus jeffreyi and Pi. contorta were not equally sensitive to snow depth. There were over 8000 seedlings of the shrubs Artemisia tridentata and Purshia tridentata found in 6300 m2 in summer 2009, following about 1400 mm of winter snow and spring rain. The frequency of seedlings of A. tridentata and P. tridentata were much lower on increased-depth plots compared to ambient-depth, and reduced-depth plots. Survival of the first year was lowest for A. tridentata. Survival of seedlings from the 2008 cohort was much higher for P. tridentata than A. tridentata during the 2011-2015 drought. Results indicate complex interactions between snow depth and plant community characteristics, and that responses of plants at this ecotone may not respond similarly to increases vs. decreases in snow depth. These changes portend altered carbon uptake in this region under future snowfall scenarios.

  1. On the importance of the albedo parameterization for the mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet in EC-Earth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helsen, Michiel M.; van de Wal, Roderik S. W.; Reerink, Thomas J.; Bintanja, Richard; Madsen, Marianne S.; Yang, Shuting; Li, Qiang; Zhang, Qiong

    2017-01-01

    The albedo of the surface of ice sheets changes as a function of time due to the effects of deposition of new snow, ageing of dry snow, bare ice exposure, melting and run-off. Currently, the calculation of the albedo of ice sheets is highly parameterized within the earth system model EC-Earth by

  2. The impact of organochlorines cycling in the cryosphere on global distributions and fate – 2. Land ice and temporary snow cover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hofmann, Lorenz; Stemmler, Irene; Lammel, Gerhard

    2012-01-01

    Global fate and transport of γ-HCH and DDT was studied using a global multicompartment chemistry-transport model, MPI-MCTM, with and without inclusion of land ice (in Antarctica and Greenland) or snow cover (dynamic). MPI-MCTM is based on coupled ocean and atmosphere general circulation models. After a decade of simulation 4.2% γ-HCH and 2.3% DDT are stored in land ice and snow. Neglection of land ice and snow in modelling would underestimate the total environmental residence time, τ ov , of γ-HCH and overestimate τ ov for DDT, both on the order of 1% and depending on actual compartmental distribution. Volatilisation of DDT from boreal, seasonally snow covered land is enhanced throughout the year, while volatilisation of γ-HCH is only enhanced during the snow-free season. Including land ice and snow cover in modelling matters in particular for the Arctic, where higher burdens are predicted to be stored. - Highlights: ► Land ice and snow hosts 2–4% of the global environmental burden of γ-HCH and DDT. ► Inclusion of land ice and snow cover matters for global environmental residence time. ► Including of land ice and snow cover matters in particular for the Arctic. - The inclusion of cycling in temporary snow cover and land ice in the model is found relevant for predicted POPs multicompartmental distribution and fate in the Arctic and on the global scale.

  3. Mass Balance of the Greenland Ice Sheet at High Elevations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas; Akins; Csatho; Fahnestock; Gogineni; Kim; Sonntag

    2000-07-21

    Comparison of ice discharge from higher elevation areas of the entire Greenland Ice Sheet with total snow accumulation gives estimates of ice thickening rates over the past few decades. On average, the region has been in balance, but with thickening of 21 centimeters per year in the southwest and thinning of 30 centimeters per year in the southeast. The north of the ice sheet shows less variability, with average thickening of 2 centimeters per year in the northeast and thinning of about 5 centimeters per year in the northwest. These results agree well with those from repeated altimeter surveys, except in the extreme south, where we find substantially higher rates of both thickening and thinning.

  4. Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance: evaluating simulations and making projections with regional climate models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. G. L. Rae

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Four high-resolution regional climate models (RCMs have been set up for the area of Greenland, with the aim of providing future projections of Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance (SMB, and its contribution to sea level rise, with greater accuracy than is possible from coarser-resolution general circulation models (GCMs. This is the first time an intercomparison has been carried out of RCM results for Greenland climate and SMB. Output from RCM simulations for the recent past with the four RCMs is evaluated against available observations. The evaluation highlights the importance of using a detailed snow physics scheme, especially regarding the representations of albedo and meltwater refreezing. Simulations with three of the RCMs for the 21st century using SRES scenario A1B from two GCMs produce trends of between −5.5 and −1.1 Gt yr−2 in SMB (equivalent to +0.015 and +0.003 mm sea level equivalent yr−2, with trends of smaller magnitude for scenario E1, in which emissions are mitigated. Results from one of the RCMs whose present-day simulation is most realistic indicate that an annual mean near-surface air temperature increase over Greenland of ~ 2°C would be required for the mass loss to increase such that it exceeds accumulation, thereby causing the SMB to become negative, which has been suggested as a threshold beyond which the ice sheet would eventually be eliminated.

  5. A Climate-Data Record (CDR) of the "Clear-Sky" Surface Temperature of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Comiso, Josefino C.; DiGirolamo, Nocolo E.; Shuman, Christopher A.

    2011-01-01

    We have developed a climate-data record (CDR) of "clear-sky" ice-surface temperature (IST) of the Greenland Ice Sheet using Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data. The CDR provides daily and monthly-mean IST from March 2000 through December 2010 on a polar stereographic projection at a resolution of 6.25 km. The CDR is amenable to extension into the future using Visible/Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) data. Regional "clear-sky" surface temperature increases since the early 1980s in the Arctic, measured using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) infrared data, range from 0.57 +/- 0.02 to 0.72 +/- 0.1 c per decade. Arctic warming has important implications for ice-sheet mass balance because much of the periphery of the Greenland Ice Sheet is already near O C during the melt season, and is thus vulnerable to rapid melting if temperatures continue to increase. An increase in melting of the ice sheet would accelerate sea-level rise, an issue affecting potentially billions of people worldwide. The IST CDR will provide a convenient data set for modelers and for climatologists to track changes of the surface temperature of the ice sheet as a whole and of the individual drainage basins on the ice sheet. The daily and monthly maps will provide information on surface melt as well as "clear-sky" temperature. The CDR will be further validated by comparing results with automatic-weather station data and with satellite-derived surface-temperature products.

  6. Canadian snow and sea ice: historical trends and projections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudryk, Lawrence R.; Derksen, Chris; Howell, Stephen; Laliberté, Fred; Thackeray, Chad; Sospedra-Alfonso, Reinel; Vionnet, Vincent; Kushner, Paul J.; Brown, Ross

    2018-04-01

    The Canadian Sea Ice and Snow Evolution (CanSISE) Network is a climate research network focused on developing and applying state of the art observational data to advance dynamical prediction, projections, and understanding of seasonal snow cover and sea ice in Canada and the circumpolar Arctic. Here, we present an assessment from the CanSISE Network on trends in the historical record of snow cover (fraction, water equivalent) and sea ice (area, concentration, type, and thickness) across Canada. We also assess projected changes in snow cover and sea ice likely to occur by mid-century, as simulated by the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) suite of Earth system models. The historical datasets show that the fraction of Canadian land and marine areas covered by snow and ice is decreasing over time, with seasonal and regional variability in the trends consistent with regional differences in surface temperature trends. In particular, summer sea ice cover has decreased significantly across nearly all Canadian marine regions, and the rate of multi-year ice loss in the Beaufort Sea and Canadian Arctic Archipelago has nearly doubled over the last 8 years. The multi-model consensus over the 2020-2050 period shows reductions in fall and spring snow cover fraction and sea ice concentration of 5-10 % per decade (or 15-30 % in total), with similar reductions in winter sea ice concentration in both Hudson Bay and eastern Canadian waters. Peak pre-melt terrestrial snow water equivalent reductions of up to 10 % per decade (30 % in total) are projected across southern Canada.

  7. ESA GlobSnow Snow Water Equivalent (SWE)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The European Space Agency (ESA) Global Snow Monitoring for Climate Research (GlobSnow) snow water equivalent (SWE) v2.0 data record contains snow information derived...

  8. The Thermodynamic Structure of Arctic Coastal Fog Occurring During the Melt Season over East Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilson, Gaëlle F.; Jiskoot, Hester; Cassano, John J.; Gultepe, Ismail; James, Timothy D.

    2018-05-01

    An automated method to classify Arctic fog into distinct thermodynamic profiles using historic in-situ surface and upper-air observations is presented. This classification is applied to low-resolution Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive (IGRA) soundings and high-resolution Arctic Summer Cloud Ocean Study (ASCOS) soundings in low- and high-Arctic coastal and pack-ice environments. Results allow investigation of fog macrophysical properties and processes in coastal East Greenland during melt seasons 1980-2012. Integrated with fog observations from three synoptic weather stations, 422 IGRA soundings are classified into six fog thermodynamic types based on surface saturation ratio, type of temperature inversion, fog-top height relative to inversion-base height and stability using the virtual potential temperature gradient. Between 65-80% of fog observations occur with a low-level inversion, and statically neutral or unstable surface layers occur frequently. Thermodynamic classification is sensitive to the assigned dew-point depression threshold, but categorization is robust. Despite differences in the vertical resolution of radiosonde observations, IGRA and ASCOS soundings yield the same six fog classes, with fog-class distribution varying with latitude and environmental conditions. High-Arctic fog frequently resides within an elevated inversion layer, whereas low-Arctic fog is more often restricted to the mixed layer. Using supplementary time-lapse images, ASCOS microwave radiometer retrievals and airmass back-trajectories, we hypothesize that the thermodynamic classes represent different stages of advection fog formation, development, and dissipation, including stratus-base lowering and fog lifting. This automated extraction of thermodynamic boundary-layer and inversion structure can be applied to radiosonde observations worldwide to better evaluate fog conditions that affect transportation and lead to improvements in numerical models.

  9. A simple algorithm for identifying periods of snow accumulation on a radiometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapo, Karl E.; Hinkelman, Laura M.; Landry, Christopher C.; Massmann, Adam K.; Lundquist, Jessica D.

    2015-09-01

    Downwelling solar, Qsi, and longwave, Qli, irradiances at the earth's surface are the primary energy inputs for many hydrologic processes, and uncertainties in measurements of these two terms confound evaluations of estimated irradiances and negatively impact hydrologic modeling. Observations of Qsi and Qli in cold environments are subject to conditions that create additional uncertainties not encountered in other climates, specifically the accumulation of snow on uplooking radiometers. To address this issue, we present an automated method for estimating these periods of snow accumulation. Our method is based on forest interception of snow and uses common meteorological observations. In this algorithm, snow accumulation must exceed a threshold to obscure the sensor and is only removed through scouring by wind or melting. The algorithm is evaluated at two sites representing different mountain climates: (1) Snoqualmie Pass, Washington (maritime) and (2) the Senator Beck Basin Study Area, Colorado (continental). The algorithm agrees well with time-lapse camera observations at the Washington site and with multiple measurements at the Colorado site, with 70-80% of observed snow accumulation events correctly identified. We suggest using the method for quality controlling irradiance observations in snow-dominated climates where regular, daily maintenance is not possible.

  10. Exploring the Potential Impact of Greenland Meltwater on Stratification, Photosynthetically Active Radiation, and Primary Production in the Labrador Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Hilde; Luo, Hao; Castelao, Renato M.; van Dijken, Gert L.; Mattingly, Kyle S.; Rosen, Joshua J.; Mote, Thomas L.; Arrigo, Kevin R.; Rennermalm, Åsa K.; Tedesco, Marco; Yager, Patricia L.

    2018-04-01

    In July 2012, the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) melted to an extent unprecedented over the last 100 years; we questioned the potential for such an extreme melt event to impact marine phytoplankton offshore. We hypothesized that stratification from meltwater could reduce light limitation for phytoplankton, and used a suite of numerical models to quantify the impact for 2003-2012. Because much of the 2012 meltwater discharged from southern Greenland, our study focused on the southwestern and southeastern coasts of Greenland, and the Labrador Sea. A 1-D phytoplankton model used output from a Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) coupled with a Regional Climate Model and a hydrological model of meltwater from runoff sources on the ice sheet, peripheral glaciers, and tundra. ROMS was run with and without meltwater to test the sensitivity of phytoplankton photosynthetic rates to the meltwater input. With meltwater, the pycnocline was shallower during late summer and early fall and thus light limitation on photosynthesis was reduced. Averaged over all years, added meltwater had the potential to increase gross primary production by 3-12% in the summer (July-August), and 13-60% in the fall (September-October). This meltwater effect was amplified when light was more limiting, and thus was greatest in the fall, under cloudier conditions, with higher self-shading, and with more light-sensitive phytoplankton groups. As the GrIS melt is projected to increase, late summer primary production in this region has the potential to increase as well, which could constitute an important biosphere response to high-latitude climate change.

  11. Sea ice and pollution-modulated changes in Greenland ice core methanesulfonate and bromine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maselli, Olivia J.; Chellman, Nathan J.; Grieman, Mackenzie; Layman, Lawrence; McConnell, Joseph R.; Pasteris, Daniel; Rhodes, Rachael H.; Saltzman, Eric; Sigl, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Reconstruction of past changes in Arctic sea ice extent may be critical for understanding its future evolution. Methanesulfonate (MSA) and bromine concentrations preserved in ice cores have both been proposed as indicators of past sea ice conditions. In this study, two ice cores from central and north-eastern Greenland were analysed at sub-annual resolution for MSA (CH3SO3H) and bromine, covering the time period 1750-2010. We examine correlations between ice core MSA and the HadISST1 ICE sea ice dataset and consult back trajectories to infer the likely source regions. A strong correlation between the low-frequency MSA and bromine records during pre-industrial times indicates that both chemical species are likely linked to processes occurring on or near sea ice in the same source regions. The positive correlation between ice core MSA and bromine persists until the mid-20th century, when the acidity of Greenland ice begins to increase markedly due to increased fossil fuel emissions. After that time, MSA levels decrease as a result of declining sea ice extent but bromine levels increase. We consider several possible explanations and ultimately suggest that increased acidity, specifically nitric acid, of snow on sea ice stimulates the release of reactive Br from sea ice, resulting in increased transport and deposition on the Greenland ice sheet.

  12. Role of Snow Deposition of Perfluoroalkylated Substances at Coastal Livingston Island (Maritime Antarctica).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casal, Paulo; Zhang, Yifeng; Martin, Jonathan W; Pizarro, Mariana; Jiménez, Begoña; Dachs, Jordi

    2017-08-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous in the environment, including remote polar regions. To evaluate the role of snow deposition as an input of PFAS to Maritime Antarctica, fresh snow deposition, surface snow, streams from melted snow, coastal seawater, and plankton samples were collected over a three-month period (December 2014-February 2015) at Livingston Island. Local sources of PFASs were significant for perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs) and C7-14 perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) in snow but limited to the transited areas of the research station. The concentrations of 14 ionizable PFAS (∑PFAS) in freshly deposited snow (760-3600 pg L -1 ) were 1 order of magnitude higher than those in background surface snow (82-430 pg L -1 ). ∑PFAS ranged from 94 to 420 pg L -1 in seawater and from 3.1 to 16 ng g dw -1 in plankton. Ratios of individual PFAS concentrations in freshly deposited snow relative to surface snow (C SD /C Snow ), snowmelt (C SD /C SM ), and seawater (C SD /C SW ) were close to 1 (from 0.44 to 1.4) for all perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) isomers, suggesting that snowfall does not contribute significantly to PFOS in seawater. Conversely, these ratios for PFCAs ranged from 1 to 33 and were positively correlated with the number of carbons in the PFCA alkylated chain. These trends suggest that snow deposition, scavenging sea-salt aerosol bound PFAS, plays a role as a significant input of PFCAs to the Maritime Antarctica.

  13. A distributed snow-evolution modeling system (SnowModel)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glen E. Liston; Kelly. Elder

    2006-01-01

    SnowModel is a spatially distributed snow-evolution modeling system designed for application in landscapes, climates, and conditions where snow occurs. It is an aggregation of four submodels: MicroMet defines meteorological forcing conditions, EnBal calculates surface energy exchanges, SnowPack simulates snow depth and water-equivalent evolution, and SnowTran-3D...

  14. A webgis supported snow information system with long time satellite data for Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surer, S.; Bolat, K.; Akyurek, Z.

    2012-04-01

    KARBILSIS is an online platform which is developed in order to provide end-users with daily remote sensing snow products for Turkey (www.karbilsis.com). The project has been started as a research activity after an award by Ministry of Science and Technology has been granted to our company. At the first stage of our project MODIS atmospherically corrected reflectance data has been downloaded covering the period of 2000-2011 which makes more than ten years of satellite imagery for Turkey. The archived MODIS data that have been obtained from National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) is mainly MOD09GA product that includes seven spectral bands. Only the tiles which are covering Turkey have been archived namely 19&20 horizontal and 4&5 vertical ones. In order to provide scientists with a website giving the availability of analysis of snow covered area for long terms based on their area of interests, a fractional snow extent (FSE) product has been generated. For FSE product a normalized difference snow index (NDSI) based algorithm has been developed using daily land surface reflectance values (MOD09GA). In addition to MODIS data, four different Landsat images belonging to different days of snowy period (January, March, and May) have been used during algorithm development taking into account a better representation of different reflectance values of snow which highly varies depending on the accumulation and melting periods. Landsat images were used as reference images. First the Landsat images were orthorectified and mapped to a cartographic projection. Then image segmentation was applied to obtain homogeneous tiles, where the homogeneity is defined as similarity in pixel values. The mean-shift segmentation approach, where each pixel was associated with a significant mode of the joint domain density located in its neighborhood, was applied. After segmentation, the image was classified into snow and no-snow classes with Maximum Likelihood Classification Method. FSE

  15. Snow cover dynamics and water balance in complex high alpine terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warscher, Michael; Kraller, Gabriele; Kunstmann, Harald; Strasser, Ulrich; Franz, Helmut

    2010-05-01

    considerable improvement in modeling the spatial and temporal distribution of the snow cover and an enhanced reproduction of the runoff dynamics influenced by melting snow.

  16. Variations in Below Canopy Turbulent Flux From Snow in North American Mountain Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essery, R.; Marks, D.; Pomeroy, J.; Grangere, R.; Reba, M.; Hedstrom, N.; Link, T.; Winstral, A.

    2004-12-01

    Sensible and latent heat and mass fluxes from the snow surface are modulated by site canopy density and structure. Forest and shrub canopies reduce wind speeds and alter the radiation and thermal environment which will alter the below canopy energetics that control the magnitude of turbulent fluxes between the snow surface and the atmosphere. In this study eddy covariance (EC) systems were located in three experimental catchments along a mountain transect through the North American Cordillera. Within each catchment, a variety of sites representing the local range of climate, weather, and canopy conditions were selected for measurement of sensible and latent heat and mass flux from the snow surface. EC measurements were made 1) below a uniform pine canopy (2745m) in the Fraser Experimental Forest in Colorado from February through June melt-out in 2003; 2) at an open, unforested site (2100m), and below an Aspen canopy (2055m) within a small headwater catchment in the Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, Owyhee Mts., Idaho from October, 2003, through June melt-out, 2004; and 3) at five sites, representing a range of conditions: a) below a dense spruce forest (750m); b) a north-facing shrub-tundra slope (1383m); c) a south-facing shrub-tundra slope; d) the valley bottom between b) and c) (1363m); and e) a tundra site (1402m) in the Wolf Creek Research Basin (WCRB) in the Yukon, Canada during the 2001 and 2002 snow seasons. Summary data from all sites are presented and compared including the relative significance of sublimation losses at each site, the importance of interception losses to the snowcover mass balance, and the occurrence of condensation events. Site and weather conditions that inhibit or enhance flux from the snow surface are discussed. This research will improve snow modeling by allowing better representation of turbulent fluxes from snow in forested regions, and improved simulation of the snowcover mass balance over low deposition, high latitude sites

  17. Modelling seasonal meltwater forcing of the velocity of land-terminating margins of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koziol, Conrad P.; Arnold, Neil

    2018-03-01

    Surface runoff at the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) drains to the ice-sheet bed, leading to enhanced summer ice flow. Ice velocities show a pattern of early summer acceleration followed by mid-summer deceleration due to evolution of the subglacial hydrology system in response to meltwater forcing. Modelling the integrated hydrological-ice dynamics system to reproduce measured velocities at the ice margin remains a key challenge for validating the present understanding of the system and constraining the impact of increasing surface runoff rates on dynamic ice mass loss from the GrIS. Here we show that a multi-component model incorporating supraglacial, subglacial, and ice dynamic components applied to a land-terminating catchment in western Greenland produces modelled velocities which are in reasonable agreement with those observed in GPS records for three melt seasons of varying melt intensities. This provides numerical support for the hypothesis that the subglacial system develops analogously to alpine glaciers and supports recent model formulations capturing the transition between distributed and channelized states. The model shows the growth of efficient conduit-based drainage up-glacier from the ice sheet margin, which develops more extensively, and further inland, as melt intensity increases. This suggests current trends of decadal-timescale slowdown of ice velocities in the ablation zone may continue in the near future. The model results also show a strong scaling between average summer velocities and melt season intensity, particularly in the upper ablation area. Assuming winter velocities are not impacted by channelization, our model suggests an upper bound of a 25 % increase in annual surface velocities as surface melt increases to 4 × present levels.

  18. Sources of light-absorbing aerosol in arctic snow and their seasonal variation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dean A. Hegg

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Two data sets consisting of measurements of light absorbing aerosols (LAA in arctic snow together with suites of other corresponding chemical constituents are presented; the first from Siberia, Greenland and near the North Pole obtained in 2008, and the second from the Canadian arctic obtained in 2009. A preliminary differentiation of the LAA into black carbon (BC and non-BC LAA is done. Source attribution of the light absorbing aerosols was done using a positive matrix factorization (PMF model. Four sources were found for each data set (crop and grass burning, boreal biomass burning, pollution and marine. For both data sets, the crops and grass biomass burning was the main source of both LAA species, suggesting the non-BC LAA was brown carbon. Depth profiles at most of the sites allowed assessment of the seasonal variation in the source strengths. The biomass burning sources dominated in the spring but pollution played a more significant (though rarely dominant role in the fall, winter and, for Greenland, summer. The PMF analysis is consistent with trajectory analysis and satellite fire maps.

  19. Oxygen isotope ratios in the shell of Mytilus edulis: Archives of glacier meltwater in Greenland?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Versteegh, E.A.A.; Blicher, M.E.; Mortensen, J.

    2012-01-01

    Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is accelerating and will contribute significantly to global sea level rise during the 21st century. Instrumental data on GrIS melting only cover the last few decades, and proxy data extending our knowledge into the past are vital for validating models...... these variations, because it precipitates its shell calcite in oxygen isotopic equilibrium with ambient seawater. As M. edulis shells are known to occur in raised shorelines and archaeological shell middens from previous Holocene warm periods, this species may be ideal in reconstructing past meltwater dynamics. We...

  20. Snapshots of circum-Greenland elevation change, viewed from the PROMICE airborne surveys in 2007, 2011, and 2015

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Simonsen, Sebastian Bjerregaard; Forsberg, René; Hvidegaard, Sine Munk

    For the Greenland ice sheet, the period from 2007-2015 is characterized by a large variability in climate conditions, with record-breaking melt in 2010 and 2012 and minor net mass loss in 2013. As a part of the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) funded by the Danish...... along the flight-path. As the only one of its kind, the repeat surveys have been performed in late summer, to coincide with the end of the balance year. With the third survey successfully conducted in 2015, a unique opportunity for evaluating elevation changes at a consistent and tailored circum...... observations from satellites to target the balance year....

  1. Dynamic-stochastic modeling of snow cover formation on the European territory of Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. N. Gelfan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A dynamic-stochastic model, which combines a deterministic model of snow cover formation with a stochastic weather generator, has been developed. The deterministic snow model describes temporal change of the snow depth, content of ice and liquid water, snow density, snowmelt, sublimation, re-freezing of melt water, and snow metamorphism. The model has been calibrated and validated against the long-term data of snow measurements over the territory of the European Russia. The model showed good performance in simulating time series of the snow water equivalent and snow depth. The developed weather generator (NEsted Weather Generator, NewGen includes nested generators of annual, monthly and daily time series of weather variables (namely, precipitation, air temperature, and air humidity. The parameters of the NewGen have been adjusted through calibration against the long-term meteorological data in the European Russia. A disaggregation procedure has been proposed for transforming parameters of the annual weather generator into the parameters of the monthly one and, subsequently, into the parameters of the daily generator. Multi-year time series of the simulated daily weather variables have been used as an input to the snow model. Probability properties of the snow cover, such as snow water equivalent and snow depth for return periods of 25 and 100 years, have been estimated against the observed data, showing good correlation coefficients. The described model has been applied to different landscapes of European Russia, from steppe to taiga regions, to show the robustness of the proposed technique.

  2. Greenland and Natural Resources

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyck, Lise

    Greenland policy can delay and maybe change the future of the forecasted development of the use of natural resources. This book is relevant for anyone interested in Greenland in general and the development of Greenland both politically and economically and in relation natural resources....

  3. Efficient meltwater drainage through supraglacial streams and rivers on the southwest Greenland ice sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Laurence C; Chu, Vena W; Yang, Kang; Gleason, Colin J; Pitcher, Lincoln H; Rennermalm, Asa K; Legleiter, Carl J; Behar, Alberto E; Overstreet, Brandon T; Moustafa, Samiah E; Tedesco, Marco; Forster, Richard R; LeWinter, Adam L; Finnegan, David C; Sheng, Yongwei; Balog, James

    2015-01-27

    Thermally incised meltwater channels that flow each summer across melt-prone surfaces of the Greenland ice sheet have received little direct study. We use high-resolution WorldView-1/2 satellite mapping and in situ measurements to characterize supraglacial water storage, drainage pattern, and discharge across 6,812 km(2) of southwest Greenland in July 2012, after a record melt event. Efficient surface drainage was routed through 523 high-order stream/river channel networks, all of which terminated in moulins before reaching the ice edge. Low surface water storage (3.6 ± 0.9 cm), negligible impoundment by supraglacial lakes or topographic depressions, and high discharge to moulins (2.54-2.81 cm⋅d(-1)) indicate that the surface drainage system conveyed its own storage volume every drainage to true outflow from the ice edge. However, Isortoq discharges tended lower than runoff simulations from the Modèle Atmosphérique Régional (MAR) regional climate model (0.056-0.112 km(3)⋅d(-1) vs. ∼0.103 km(3)⋅d(-1)), and when integrated over the melt season, totaled just 37-75% of MAR, suggesting nontrivial subglacial water storage even in this melt-prone region of the ice sheet. We conclude that (i) the interior surface of the ice sheet can be efficiently drained under optimal conditions, (ii) that digital elevation models alone cannot fully describe supraglacial drainage and its connection to subglacial systems, and (iii) that predicting outflow from climate models alone, without recognition of subglacial processes, may overestimate true meltwater export from the ice sheet to the ocean.

  4. Improving Understanding of Glacier Melt Contribution to High Asian River Discharge through Collaboration and Capacity Building with High Asian CHARIS Partner Institutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Richard; Brodzik, Mary Jo; Armstrong, Betsy; Barrett, Andrew; Fetterer, Florence; Hill, Alice; Jodha Khalsa, Siri; Racoviteanu, Adina; Raup, Bruce; Rittger, Karl; Williams, Mark; Wilson, Alana; Ye, Qinghua

    2017-04-01

    The Contribution to High Asia Runoff from Ice & Snow (CHARIS) project uses remote sensing data combined with modeling from 2000 to the present to improve proportional estimates of melt from glaciers and seasonal snow surfaces. Based at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, the CHARIS project objectives are twofold: 1) capacity-building efforts with CHARIS partners from eight High Asian countries to better forecast future availability and vulnerability of water resources in the region, and 2) improving our ability to systematically assess the role of glaciers and seasonal snow in the freshwater resources of High Asia. Capacity-building efforts include working with CHARIS partners from Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Our capacity-building activities include training, data sharing, supporting fieldwork, graduate student education and infrastructure development. Because of the scarcity of in situ data in this High Asian region, we are using the wealth of available remote sensing data to characterize digital elevation, daily maps of fractional snow-cover, annual maps of glacier and permanent snow cover area and downscaled reanalysis temperature data in snow melt models to estimate the relative proportions of river runoff from glacierized and seasonally snow-covered surfaces. Current collaboration with Qinghua Ye, visiting scientist at NSIDC from the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, focuses on remote sensing methods to detect changes in the mountain cryosphere. Collaboration with our Asian partners supports the systematic analysis of the annual cycle of seasonal snow and glacier ice melt across the High Mountain Asia region. With our Asian partners, we have derived reciprocal benefits, learning from their specialized local knowledge and obtaining access to their in situ data. We expect that the improved understanding of runoff from snow and glacier surfaces will

  5. Greenland plays a large role in the gloomy picture painted of probable future sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna, Edward

    2012-12-01

    Goelzer et al (2012) paint a portentous picture of what is likely to happen to the global sea-level over the next 1000 years. This worrying assessment is based on our current best understanding of how the world's giant ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, as well as a quarter of a million smaller glacial ice masses, and the ocean collectively respond to ongoing climate change. Theirs is a state of the science study that integrates these key contributors of sea-level change based on the latest models and current understanding, and an integrated Earth systems modelling approach termed LOVECLIM. As they point out in their study, only a handful of global climate models to date—i.e. models that are used to make predictions of future climate change—incorporate dynamically (fully) coupled ice-sheet models. According to the scenarios presented by Goelzer et al (2012), we could see between 2.1 and 6.8 m of global sea-level rise by 3000 AD, compared with 'just' 1.1 m if the atmosphere is stabilised at 2000 CO2 levels. Much, up to some 4 m, of this contribution comes from increased melting and mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet, which is several times more sensitive than the Antarctic ice sheet to warming temperatures in these simulations. Interestingly, dynamical ice mass losses through iceberg calving become increasingly less significant for Greenland as the ice sheet retreats further inland during the 1000 yr runs (Sole et al 2008). The latest modelling studies show that around a half, perhaps more, of the recent Greenland mass losses (Barletta et al 2012, Rignot et al 2011) are already through increased melt and runoff (Hanna et al 2008, 2012, van den Broeke et al 2009); note also the recent (summer 2012) record surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet (Nghiem et al 2012) caused by atmospheric forcing (Overland et al 2012) and the potential of such events to impact on ice flow (Bartholomew et al 2011). By contrast, the greatest sea-level rise reported for

  6. Modeling the response of Northwest Greenland to enhanced ocean thermal forcing and subglacial discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morlighem, M.; Wood, M.; Seroussi, H. L.; Bondzio, J. H.; Rignot, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    Glacier-front dynamics is an important control on Greenland's ice mass balance. Warm and salty Atlantic water, which is typically found at a depth below 200-300 m, has the potential to trigger ice-front retreats of marine-terminating glaciers, and the corresponding loss in resistive stress leads to glacier acceleration and thinning. It remains unclear, however, which glaciers are currently stable but may retreat in the future, and how far inland and how fast they will retreat. Here, we quantify the sensitivity and vulnerability of marine-terminating glaciers along the Northwest coast of Greenland (from 72.5° to 76°N) to ocean forcing using the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), and its new ice front migration capability. We rely on the ice melt parameterization from Rignot et al. 2016, and use ocean temperature and salinity from high-resolution ECCO2 simulations on the continental shelf to constrain the thermal forcing. The ice flow model includes a calving law based on a Von Mises criterion. We investigate the sensitivity of Northwest Greenland to enhanced ocean thermal forcing and subglacial discharge. We find that some glaciers, such as Dietrichson Gletscher or Alison Gletscher, are sensitive to small increases in ocean thermal forcing, while others, such as Illullip Sermia or Qeqertarsuup Sermia, are very difficult to destabilize, even with a quadrupling of the melt. Under the most intense melt experiment, we find that Hayes Gletscher retreats by more than 50 km inland into a deep trough and its velocity increases by a factor of 10 over only 15 years. The model confirms that ice-ocean interactions are the triggering mechanism of glacier retreat, but the bed controls its magnitude. This work was performed at the University of California Irvine under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Cryospheric Sciences Program (#NNX15AD55G), and the National Science Foundation's ARCSS program (#1504230).

  7. Human exposure to contaminants in the traditional Greenland diet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johansen, Poul; Muir, Derek; Asmund, Gert; Riget, Frank

    2004-01-01

    The traditional diet is a significant source of contaminants to people in Greenland, although contaminant levels vary widely among species and tissue from very low in many to very high in a few. Our study has included cadmium, mercury, selenium, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), dichlorophenyltrichloroethane (DDT), chlordane, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH), chlorobenzenes, dieldrin and toxaphene in the major species and tissues consumed by Greenlanders. In general, the levels of these are very low in terrestrial species and in muscle of many marine species. High organochlorines concentrations are typically found in blubber of marine mammals and high metal levels in liver and kidney of seals and whales. In this study, the mean intakes of cadmium, chlordanes and toxaphene significantly exceed 'acceptable/tolerable intakes' (ADI/TDI) by a factor between 2.5 and 6. Mean intakes of mercury, PCB and dieldrin also exceed ADI/TDI by up to approximately 50%. However as these figures are mean intakes and as variation in both food intake and contaminant levels is large, the variation of contaminant intake among individuals is also large, and some individuals will be exposed to significantly higher intakes. The mean intakes of DDT, HCH and chlorobenzenes are well below the ADI/TDI values, and it seems unlikely that the TDI for these contaminants normally is exceeded in the Greenland population. The evaluation of contaminant intake in this study points to seal muscle, seal liver, seal kidney, seal blubber and whale blubber as the dominant contributors of contaminants in the traditional diet. Levels in liver from Greenland halibut, snow crab, king eider, kittiwake, beluga and narwhal and kidney of beluga and narwhal are also high but were, with the exception of toxaphene in Greenland halibut liver, not important sources in this study, because they were eaten in low quantities. A way to minimize contaminant intake would be to avoid or limit the consumption of diet items with high

  8. Human exposure to contaminants in the traditional Greenland diet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johansen, Poul; Muir, Derek; Asmund, Gert; Riget, Frank

    2004-09-20

    The traditional diet is a significant source of contaminants to people in Greenland, although contaminant levels vary widely among species and tissue from very low in many to very high in a few. Our study has included cadmium, mercury, selenium, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), dichlorophenyltrichloroethane (DDT), chlordane, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCH), chlorobenzenes, dieldrin and toxaphene in the major species and tissues consumed by Greenlanders. In general, the levels of these are very low in terrestrial species and in muscle of many marine species. High organochlorines concentrations are typically found in blubber of marine mammals and high metal levels in liver and kidney of seals and whales. In this study, the mean intakes of cadmium, chlordanes and toxaphene significantly exceed 'acceptable/tolerable intakes' (ADI/TDI) by a factor between 2.5 and 6. Mean intakes of mercury, PCB and dieldrin also exceed ADI/TDI by up to approximately 50%. However as these figures are mean intakes and as variation in both food intake and contaminant levels is large, the variation of contaminant intake among individuals is also large, and some individuals will be exposed to significantly higher intakes. The mean intakes of DDT, HCH and chlorobenzenes are well below the ADI/TDI values, and it seems unlikely that the TDI for these contaminants normally is exceeded in the Greenland population. The evaluation of contaminant intake in this study points to seal muscle, seal liver, seal kidney, seal blubber and whale blubber as the dominant contributors of contaminants in the traditional diet. Levels in liver from Greenland halibut, snow crab, king eider, kittiwake, beluga and narwhal and kidney of beluga and narwhal are also high but were, with the exception of toxaphene in Greenland halibut liver, not important sources in this study, because they were eaten in low quantities. A way to minimize contaminant intake would be to avoid or limit the consumption of diet items

  9. Use of machine learning techniques for modeling of snow depth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. V. Ayzel

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Snow exerts significant regulating effect on the land hydrological cycle since it controls intensity of heat and water exchange between the soil-vegetative cover and the atmosphere. Estimating of a spring flood runoff or a rain-flood on mountainous rivers requires understanding of the snow cover dynamics on a watershed. In our work, solving a problem of the snow cover depth modeling is based on both available databases of hydro-meteorological observations and easily accessible scientific software that allows complete reproduction of investigation results and further development of this theme by scientific community. In this research we used the daily observational data on the snow cover and surface meteorological parameters, obtained at three stations situated in different geographical regions: Col de Porte (France, Sodankyla (Finland, and Snoquamie Pass (USA.Statistical modeling of the snow cover depth is based on a complex of freely distributed the present-day machine learning models: Decision Trees, Adaptive Boosting, Gradient Boosting. It is demonstrated that use of combination of modern machine learning methods with available meteorological data provides the good accuracy of the snow cover modeling. The best results of snow cover depth modeling for every investigated site were obtained by the ensemble method of gradient boosting above decision trees – this model reproduces well both, the periods of snow cover accumulation and its melting. The purposeful character of learning process for models of the gradient boosting type, their ensemble character, and use of combined redundancy of a test sample in learning procedure makes this type of models a good and sustainable research tool. The results obtained can be used for estimating the snow cover characteristics for river basins where hydro-meteorological information is absent or insufficient.

  10. Different bulk and active bacterial communities in cryoconite from the margin and interior of the Greenland ice sheet

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stibal, Marek; Schostag, Morten; Cameron, Karen A.

    2015-01-01

    composition of cryoconite over a melt season at two contrasting sites at the margin and in the interior of the Greenland ice sheet, using sequence analysis and quantitative polymerase chain reaction of coextracted 16S rDNA and rRNA. Significant differences were found between bulk (rDNA) and potentially active...

  11. Telemedicine in Greenland: Citizens' Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Lasse O; Krebs, Hans J; Albert, Nancy M; Anderson, Nick; Catz, Sheryl; Hale, Timothy M; Hansen, John; Hounsgaard, Lise; Kim, Tae Youn; Lindeman, David; Spindler, Helle; Marcin, James P; Nesbitt, Thomas; Young, Heather M; Dinesen, Birthe

    2017-05-01

    Telemedicine may have the possibility to provide better access to healthcare delivery for the citizens. Telemedicine in arctic remote areas must be tailored according to the needs of the local population. Therefore, we need more knowledge about their needs and their view of telemedicine. The aim of this study has been to explore how citizens living in the Greenlandic settlements experience the possibilities and challenges of telemedicine when receiving healthcare delivery in everyday life. Case study design was chosen as the overall research design. Qualitative interviews (n = 14) were performed and participant observations (n = 80 h) carried out in the local healthcare center in the settlements and towns. A logbook was kept and updated each day during the field research in Greenland. Observations were made of activities in the settlements. Data collected on citizens' views about the possibilities of using telemedicine in Greenland revealed the following findings: Greenlandic citizens are positive toward telemedicine, and telemedicine can help facilitate improved access to healthcare for residents in these Greenlandic settlements. Regarding challenges in using telemedicine in Greenland, the geographical and cultural context hinders accessibility to the Greenlandic healthcare system, and telemedicine equipment is not sufficiently mobile. Greenlandic citizens are positive toward telemedicine and regard telemedicine as a facilitator for improved access for healthcare in the Greenlandic settlements. We have identified challenges, such as geographical and cultural context, that hinder accessibility to the Greenlandic healthcare system.

  12. Greenland plateau jets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George William Kent Moore

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The high ice-covered topography of Greenland represents a significant barrier to atmospheric flow and, as a direct and indirect result, it plays a crucial role in the coupled climate system. The wind field over Greenland is important in diagnosing regional weather and climate, thereby providing information on the mass balance of the ice sheet as well as assisting in the interpretation of ice core data. Here, we identify a number of hitherto unrecognised features of the three-dimensional wind field over Greenland; including a 2500-km-long jet along the central ice sheet's western margin that extends from the surface into the middle-troposphere, as well as a similar but smaller scale and less intense feature along its eastern margin. We refer to these features as Greenland Plateau Jets. The jets are coupled to the downslope katabatic flow and we argue that they are maintained by the zonal temperature gradients associated with the strong temperature inversion over the central ice sheet. Their importance for Greenland's regional climate is discussed.

  13. Causes of Glacier Melt Extremes in the Alps Since 1949

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thibert, E.; Dkengne Sielenou, P.; Vionnet, V.; Eckert, N.; Vincent, C.

    2018-01-01

    Recent record-breaking glacier melt values are attributable to peculiar extreme events and long-term warming trends that shift averages upward. Analyzing one of the world's longest mass balance series with extreme value statistics, we show that detrending melt anomalies makes it possible to disentangle these effects, leading to a fairer evaluation of the return period of melt extreme values such as 2003, and to characterize them by a more realistic bounded behavior. Using surface energy balance simulations, we show that three independent drivers control melt: global radiation, latent heat, and the amount of snow at the beginning of the melting season. Extremes are governed by large deviations in global radiation combined with sensible heat. Long-term trends are driven by the lengthening of melt duration due to earlier and longer-lasting melting of ice along with melt intensification caused by trends in long-wave irradiance and latent heat due to higher air moisture.

  14. Remote Sensing-based Methodologies for Snow Model Adjustments in Operational Streamflow Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, S.; Miller, W. P.; Bernard, B.; Stokes, M.; Oaida, C. M.; Painter, T. H.

    2015-12-01

    Water management agencies rely on hydrologic forecasts issued by operational agencies such as NOAA's Colorado Basin River Forecast Center (CBRFC). The CBRFC has partnered with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under funding from NASA to incorporate research-oriented, remotely-sensed snow data into CBRFC operations and to improve the accuracy of CBRFC forecasts. The partnership has yielded valuable analysis of snow surface albedo as represented in JPL's MODIS Dust Radiative Forcing in Snow (MODDRFS) data, across the CBRFC's area of responsibility. When dust layers within a snowpack emerge, reducing the snow surface albedo, the snowmelt rate may accelerate. The CBRFC operational snow model (SNOW17) is a temperature-index model that lacks explicit representation of snowpack surface albedo. CBRFC forecasters monitor MODDRFS data for emerging dust layers and may manually adjust SNOW17 melt rates. A technique was needed for efficient and objective incorporation of the MODDRFS data into SNOW17. Initial development focused in Colorado, where dust-on-snow events frequently occur. CBRFC forecasters used retrospective JPL-CBRFC analysis and developed a quantitative relationship between MODDRFS data and mean areal temperature (MAT) data. The relationship was used to generate adjusted, MODDRFS-informed input for SNOW17. Impacts of the MODDRFS-SNOW17 MAT adjustment method on snowmelt-driven streamflow prediction varied spatially and with characteristics of the dust deposition events. The largest improvements occurred in southwestern Colorado, in years with intense dust deposition events. Application of the method in other regions of Colorado and in "low dust" years resulted in minimal impact. The MODDRFS-SNOW17 MAT technique will be implemented in CBRFC operations in late 2015, prior to spring 2016 runoff. Collaborative investigation of remote sensing-based adjustment methods for the CBRFC operational hydrologic forecasting environment will continue over the next several years.

  15. Use of gamma surveys from the aircraft for hydrological forecasts on the area with irregular snow pack

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vershinina, L K

    1979-01-01

    Gamma snow surveys from the aircraft based on the measurements of the attenuation of gamma-radiation of soils by the snow pack are discussed. Radiation rate depends on the amount of water on the soil surface and in the top layer 30 to 40 cm deep. Therefore, if measurements are made twice (without snow and with snow pack available) water equivalent of snow cover may be determined only when soil moisture content changes do not occur during the period between the dates of gamma surveys. In the areas with frequent winter thaws, standard land snow surveys do not provide snow storage evaluation with the accuracy sufficient for spring flow prediction. It is shown that when gamma-radiation of absolutely dry soils determined at the laboratory is known as well as of naturally moistened soils during the periods of gamma surveys of the snow pack from the aircraft, and when data is available on soil moisture content obtained from the measurements at the base land network, then a reliable estimation of snow storage on the watershed surfaces in the regions with irregular snow cover is quite possible. This ensures a significant accuracy increase of spring snow melt flood forecasting, particularly concerning winters with little snow.

  16. Use of gamma surveys from the airraft for hydrological forecasts on the area with irregular snow pack

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vershinina, L K [State Hydrological Institute, Leningrad (USSR)

    1979-01-01

    Gamma snow surveys from aircraft based on the measurement of the attenuation of gamma-radiation of soils by the snow pack are discussed. Radiation rate depends on the amount of water on the soil surface and in the top layer 30 to 40 cm deep. Therefore, if measurements are made twice (without snow and with snow pack available) the water equivalent of the snow cover may be determined only in cases when soil moisture content changes do not occur during the period between the dates of gamma surveys. In areas with frequent winter thaws standard land snow surveys do not provide snow storage evaluation with accuracy sufficient for spring flow prediction. It is shown that when gamma-radiation of absolutely dry soils determined at the laboratory is known, as well as of naturally moistened soils during the periods of gamma surveys of the snow pack from aircraft, and when data is available on soil moisture content obtained from measurements at the base land network, then a reliable estimation of snow storage on the watershed surfaces in regions with irregular snow cover is quite possible. This ensures a significant accuracy increase in spring snow melt flood forecasting, in particular during winters with little snow.

  17. Telemedicine in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Lasse Overballe; Krebs, Hans Jørgen; Albert, Nancy M.

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Telemedicine may have the possibility to provide better access to healthcare delivery for the citizens. Telemedicine in arctic remote areas must be tailored according to the needs of the local population. Therefore, we need more knowledge about their needs and their view of telemedicine......: Data collected on citizens' views about the possibilities of using telemedicine in Greenland revealed the following findings: Greenlandic citizens are positive toward telemedicine, and telemedicine can help facilitate improved access to healthcare for residents in these Greenlandic settlements...

  18. Brief communication: Getting Greenland's glaciers right - a new data set of all official Greenlandic glacier names

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjørk, A. A.; Kruse, L. M.; Michaelsen, P. B.

    2015-12-01

    Place names in Greenland can be difficult to get right, as they are a mix of Greenlandic, Danish, and other foreign languages. In addition, orthographies have changed over time. With this new data set, we give the researcher working with Greenlandic glaciers the proper tool to find the correct name for glaciers and ice caps in Greenland and to locate glaciers described in the historic literature with the old Greenlandic orthography. The data set contains information on the names of 733 glaciers, 285 originating from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) and 448 from local glaciers and ice caps (LGICs).

  19. Greenland climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Masson-Delmotte, Valérie; Swingedouw, Didier; Landais, Amaëlle

    2012-01-01

    Climate archives available from deep-sea and marine shelf sediments, glaciers, lakes and ice cores in and around Greenland allow us to place the current trends in regional climate, ice sheet dynamics, and land surface changes in a broader perspective. We show that during the last decade (2000s......), atmospheric and sea-surface temperatures are reaching levels last encountered millennia ago when northern high latitude summer insolation was higher due to a different orbital configuration. Concurrently, records from lake sediments in southern Greenland document major environmental and climatic conditions...... regional climate and ice sheet dynamics. The magnitude and rate of future changes in Greenland temperature, in response to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, may be faster than any past abrupt events occurring under interglacial conditions. Projections indicate that within one century Greenland may...

  20. Algae Drive Enhanced Darkening of Bare Ice on the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stibal, Marek; Box, Jason E.; Cameron, Karen A.; Langen, Peter L.; Yallop, Marian L.; Mottram, Ruth H.; Khan, Alia L.; Molotch, Noah P.; Chrismas, Nathan A. M.; Calı Quaglia, Filippo; Remias, Daniel; Smeets, C. J. P. Paul; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; Ryan, Jonathan C.; Hubbard, Alun; Tranter, Martyn; van As, Dirk; Ahlstrøm, Andreas P.

    2017-11-01

    Surface ablation of the Greenland ice sheet is amplified by surface darkening caused by light-absorbing impurities such as mineral dust, black carbon, and pigmented microbial cells. We present the first quantitative assessment of the microbial contribution to the ice sheet surface darkening, based on field measurements of surface reflectance and concentrations of light-absorbing impurities, including pigmented algae, during the 2014 melt season in the southwestern part of the ice sheet. The impact of algae on bare ice darkening in the study area was greater than that of nonalgal impurities and yielded a net albedo reduction of 0.038 ± 0.0035 for each algal population doubling. We argue that algal growth is a crucial control of bare ice darkening, and incorporating the algal darkening effect will improve mass balance and sea level projections of the Greenland ice sheet and ice masses elsewhere.

  1. Estimating snow depth of alpine snowpack via airborne multifrequency passive microwave radiance observations: Colorado, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, R. S.; Durand, M. T.; Li, D.; Baldo, E.; Margulis, S. A.; Dumont, M.; Morin, S.

    2017-12-01

    This paper presents a newly-proposed snow depth retrieval approach for mountainous deep snow using airborne multifrequency passive microwave (PM) radiance observation. In contrast to previous snow depth estimations using satellite PM radiance assimilation, the newly-proposed method utilized single flight observation and deployed the snow hydrologic models. This method is promising since the satellite-based retrieval methods have difficulties to estimate snow depth due to their coarse resolution and computational effort. Indeed, this approach consists of particle filter using combinations of multiple PM frequencies and multi-layer snow physical model (i.e., Crocus) to resolve melt-refreeze crusts. The method was performed over NASA Cold Land Processes Experiment (CLPX) area in Colorado during 2002 and 2003. Results showed that there was a significant improvement over the prior snow depth estimates and the capability to reduce the prior snow depth biases. When applying our snow depth retrieval algorithm using a combination of four PM frequencies (10.7,18.7, 37.0 and 89.0 GHz), the RMSE values were reduced by 48 % at the snow depth transects sites where forest density was less than 5% despite deep snow conditions. This method displayed a sensitivity to different combinations of frequencies, model stratigraphy (i.e. different number of layering scheme for snow physical model) and estimation methods (particle filter and Kalman filter). The prior RMSE values at the forest-covered areas were reduced by 37 - 42 % even in the presence of forest cover.

  2. Application of radar polarimetry techniques for retrieval snow and rain characteristics in remote sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Darvishi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The presence of snow cover has significant impacts on the both global and regional climate and water balance on earth. The accurate estimation of snow cover area can be used for forecasting runoff due to snow melt and output of hydroelectric power. With development of remote sensing techniques at different scopes in earth science, enormous algorithms for retrieval hydrometeor parameters have been developed. Some of these algorithms are used to provide snow cover map such as NLR with AVHRR/MODIS sensor for Norway, Finnish with AVHRR sensor for Finland and NASA with MODIS sensor for global maps. Monitoring snow cover at different parts of spectral electromagnetic is detectable (visible, near and thermal infrared, passive and active microwave. Recently, specific capabilities of active microwave remote sensing such as snow extent map, snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE, snow state (wet/dry and discrimination between rain and snow region were given a strong impetus for using this technology in snow monitoring, hydrology, climatology, avalanche research and etc. This paper evaluates the potentials and feasibility of polarimetric ground microwave measurements of snow in active remote sensing field. We will consider the behavior co- and cross-polarized backscattering coefficients of snowpack response with polarimetric scatterometer in Ku and L band at the different incident angles. Then we will show how to retrieve snow cover depth, snow permittivity and density parameters at the local scale with ground-based SAR (GB-SAR. Finally, for the sake of remarkable significant the transition region between rain and snow; the variables role of horizontal reflectivity (ZHH and differential reflectivity (ZDR in delineation boundary between snow and rain and some others important variables at polarimetric weather radar are presented.

  3. A century of variation in the dependence of Greenland iceberg calving on ice sheet surface mass balance and regional climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigg, G R; Wei, H L; Wilton, D J; Zhao, Y; Billings, S A; Hanna, E; Kadirkamanathan, V

    2014-06-08

    Iceberg calving is a major component of the total mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS). A century-long record of Greenland icebergs comes from the International Ice Patrol's record of icebergs (I48N) passing latitude 48° N, off Newfoundland. I48N exhibits strong interannual variability, with a significant increase in amplitude over recent decades. In this study, we show, through a combination of nonlinear system identification and coupled ocean-iceberg modelling, that I48N's variability is predominantly caused by fluctuation in GrIS calving discharge rather than open ocean iceberg melting. We also demonstrate that the episodic variation in iceberg discharge is strongly linked to a nonlinear combination of recent changes in the surface mass balance (SMB) of the GrIS and regional atmospheric and oceanic climate variability, on the scale of the previous 1-3 years, with the dominant causal mechanism shifting between glaciological (SMB) and climatic (ocean temperature) over time. We suggest that this is a change in whether glacial run-off or under-ice melting is dominant, respectively. We also suggest that GrIS calving discharge is episodic on at least a regional scale and has recently been increasing significantly, largely as a result of west Greenland sources.

  4. Contribution of glacier melt to sea-level rise since AD 1865: a regionally differentiated calculation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuo, Z.; Oerlemans, J.

    1997-01-01

    The contribution of glacier melt, including the Greenland ice-sheet, to sea-level change since AD 1865 is estimated on the basis of modelled sensitivity of glacier mass balance to climate change and historical temperature data. Calculations are done in a regionally differentiated manner to overcome

  5. Direct measurements of meltwater runoff on the Greenland ice sheet surface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Laurence C; Yang, Kang; Pitcher, Lincoln H; Overstreet, Brandon T; Chu, Vena W; Rennermalm, Åsa K; Ryan, Jonathan C; Cooper, Matthew G; Gleason, Colin J; Tedesco, Marco; Jeyaratnam, Jeyavinoth; van As, Dirk; van den Broeke, Michiel R; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Noël, Brice; Langen, Peter L; Cullather, Richard I; Zhao, Bin; Willis, Michael J; Hubbard, Alun; Box, Jason E; Jenner, Brittany A; Behar, Alberto E

    2017-12-12

    Meltwater runoff from the Greenland ice sheet surface influences surface mass balance (SMB), ice dynamics, and global sea level rise, but is estimated with climate models and thus difficult to validate. We present a way to measure ice surface runoff directly, from hourly in situ supraglacial river discharge measurements and simultaneous high-resolution satellite/drone remote sensing of upstream fluvial catchment area. A first 72-h trial for a 63.1-km 2 moulin-terminating internally drained catchment (IDC) on Greenland's midelevation (1,207-1,381 m above sea level) ablation zone is compared with melt and runoff simulations from HIRHAM5, MAR3.6, RACMO2.3, MERRA-2, and SEB climate/SMB models. Current models cannot reproduce peak discharges or timing of runoff entering moulins but are improved using synthetic unit hydrograph (SUH) theory. Retroactive SUH applications to two older field studies reproduce their findings, signifying that remotely sensed IDC area, shape, and supraglacial river length are useful for predicting delays in peak runoff delivery to moulins. Applying SUH to HIRHAM5, MAR3.6, and RACMO2.3 gridded melt products for 799 surrounding IDCs suggests their terminal moulins receive lower peak discharges, less diurnal variability, and asynchronous runoff timing relative to climate/SMB model output alone. Conversely, large IDCs produce high moulin discharges, even at high elevations where melt rates are low. During this particular field experiment, models overestimated runoff by +21 to +58%, linked to overestimated surface ablation and possible meltwater retention in bare, porous, low-density ice. Direct measurements of ice surface runoff will improve climate/SMB models, and incorporating remotely sensed IDCs will aid coupling of SMB with ice dynamics and subglacial systems. Copyright © 2017 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

  6. Direct measurements of meltwater runoff on the Greenland ice sheet surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Laurence C.; Yang, Kang; Pitcher, Lincoln H.; Overstreet, Brandon T.; Chu, Vena W.; Rennermalm, Åsa K.; Ryan, Jonathan C.; Cooper, Matthew G.; Gleason, Colin J.; Tedesco, Marco; Jeyaratnam, Jeyavinoth; van As, Dirk; van den Broeke, Michiel R.; van de Berg, Willem Jan; Noël, Brice; Langen, Peter L.; Cullather, Richard I.; Zhao, Bin; Willis, Michael J.; Hubbard, Alun; Box, Jason E.; Jenner, Brittany A.; Behar, Alberto E.

    2017-12-01

    Meltwater runoff from the Greenland ice sheet surface influences surface mass balance (SMB), ice dynamics, and global sea level rise, but is estimated with climate models and thus difficult to validate. We present a way to measure ice surface runoff directly, from hourly in situ supraglacial river discharge measurements and simultaneous high-resolution satellite/drone remote sensing of upstream fluvial catchment area. A first 72-h trial for a 63.1-km2 moulin-terminating internally drained catchment (IDC) on Greenland's midelevation (1,207–1,381 m above sea level) ablation zone is compared with melt and runoff simulations from HIRHAM5, MAR3.6, RACMO2.3, MERRA-2, and SEB climate/SMB models. Current models cannot reproduce peak discharges or timing of runoff entering moulins but are improved using synthetic unit hydrograph (SUH) theory. Retroactive SUH applications to two older field studies reproduce their findings, signifying that remotely sensed IDC area, shape, and supraglacial river length are useful for predicting delays in peak runoff delivery to moulins. Applying SUH to HIRHAM5, MAR3.6, and RACMO2.3 gridded melt products for 799 surrounding IDCs suggests their terminal moulins receive lower peak discharges, less diurnal variability, and asynchronous runoff timing relative to climate/SMB model output alone. Conversely, large IDCs produce high moulin discharges, even at high elevations where melt rates are low. During this particular field experiment, models overestimated runoff by +21 to +58%, linked to overestimated surface ablation and possible meltwater retention in bare, porous, low-density ice. Direct measurements of ice surface runoff will improve climate/SMB models, and incorporating remotely sensed IDCs will aid coupling of SMB with ice dynamics and subglacial systems.

  7. Temporal trend of the snow-related variables in Sierra Nevada in the last years: An analysis combining Earth Observation and hydrological modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio J.; Herrero, Javier; Bonet, Francisco J.; Pérez-Pérez, Ramón

    2016-04-01

    Climate change is causing declines in snow-cover extent and duration in European mountain ranges. This is especially important in Mediterranean mountain ranges where the observed trends towards precipitation and higher temperatures can provoke problems of water scarcity. In this work, we analyzed temporal trends (2000 to 2014) of snow-related variables obtained from satellite and modelling data in Sierra Nevada, a Mediterranean high-mountain range located in Southern Spain, at 37°N. Snow cover indicators (snow-cover duration, snow-cover onset dates and snow-cover melting dates) were obtained by processing images of MOD10A2 MODIS product using an automated workflow. Precipitation data were obtained using WiMMed, a complete and fully distributed hydrological model that is used to map the annual rainfall and snowfall with a resolution of 30x30 m over the whole study area. It uses expert algorithms to interpolate precipitation and temperature at an hourly scale, and simulates partition of precipitation into snowfall with several methods. For each snow-related indicator (snow-covers and snowfall), a trend analysis was applied at the MODIS pixel scale during the study period (2000-2014). We applied Mann-Kendall test and Theil-Sen slope estimation in each of the pixels comprising Sierra Nevada. The trend analysis assesses the intensity, magnitude and degree of statistical significance during the period analysed. The spatial pattern of these trends was explored according to elevation ranges. Finally, we explored the relationship between trends of snow-cover related indicators and precipitation trends. Our results show that snow-cover has undergone significant changes in the last 14 years. 80 % of the pixels covering Sierra Nevada showed a negative trend in the duration of snow-cover. We also observed a delay in the snow-cover onset date (68.03 % pixels showing a positive trend in the snow-cover onset date) and an advance in the melt date (80.72 % of pixels followed a

  8. Are we biologically safe with snow precipitation? A case study in beijing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fangxia Shen

    Full Text Available In this study, the bacterial and fungal abundances, diversities, conductance levels as well as total organic carbon (TOC were investigated in the snow samples collected from five different snow occurrences in Beijing between January and March, 2010. The collected snow samples were melted and cultured at three different temperatures (4, 26 and 37°C. The culturable bacterial concentrations were manually counted and the resulting colony forming units (CFUs at 26°C were further studied using V3 region of 16 S rRNA gene-targeted polymerase chain reaction -denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE. The clone library was constructed after the liquid culturing of snow samples at 26°C. And microscopic method was employed to investigate the fungal diversity in the samples. In addition, outdoor air samples were also collected using mixed cellulose ester (MCE filters and compared with snow samples with respect to described characteristics. The results revealed that snow samples had bacterial concentrations as much as 16000 CFU/ml for those cultured at 26°C, and the conductance levels ranged from 5.6×10(-6 to 2.4×10(-5 S. PCR-DGGE, sequencing and microscopic analysis revealed remarkable bacterial and fungal diversity differences between the snow samples and the outdoor air samples. In addition, DGGE banding profiles for the snow samples collected were also shown distinctly different from one another. Absent from the outdoor air, certain human, plant, and insect fungal pathogens were found in the snow samples. By calculation, culturable bacteria accounted for an average of 3.38% (±1.96% of TOC for the snow samples, and 0.01% for that of outdoor air samples. The results here suggest that snow precipitations are important sources of fungal pathogens and ice nucleators, thus could affect local climate, human health and agriculture security.

  9. Are We Biologically Safe with Snow Precipitation? A Case Study in Beijing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Fangxia; Yao, Maosheng

    2013-01-01

    In this study, the bacterial and fungal abundances, diversities, conductance levels as well as total organic carbon (TOC) were investigated in the snow samples collected from five different snow occurrences in Beijing between January and March, 2010. The collected snow samples were melted and cultured at three different temperatures (4, 26 and 37°C). The culturable bacterial concentrations were manually counted and the resulting colony forming units (CFUs) at 26°C were further studied using V3 region of 16 S rRNA gene-targeted polymerase chain reaction -denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). The clone library was constructed after the liquid culturing of snow samples at 26°C. And microscopic method was employed to investigate the fungal diversity in the samples. In addition, outdoor air samples were also collected using mixed cellulose ester (MCE) filters and compared with snow samples with respect to described characteristics. The results revealed that snow samples had bacterial concentrations as much as 16000 CFU/ml for those cultured at 26°C, and the conductance levels ranged from 5.6×10−6 to 2.4×10−5 S. PCR-DGGE, sequencing and microscopic analysis revealed remarkable bacterial and fungal diversity differences between the snow samples and the outdoor air samples. In addition, DGGE banding profiles for the snow samples collected were also shown distinctly different from one another. Absent from the outdoor air, certain human, plant, and insect fungal pathogens were found in the snow samples. By calculation, culturable bacteria accounted for an average of 3.38% (±1.96%) of TOC for the snow samples, and 0.01% for that of outdoor air samples. The results here suggest that snow precipitations are important sources of fungal pathogens and ice nucleators, thus could affect local climate, human health and agriculture security. PMID:23762327

  10. Melt compositions and processes in the kimberlite provience of southern West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pilbeam, Llewellyn; Nielsen, Troels; Waight, Tod Earle

    2011-01-01

    ] whilst the silica content and H2O/CO2 ratio of the bulk rocks increases towards Sisimuit [2, 3]. A common carbonatite rich end-member is implicated [2]. This is in contrast to the prevailing dogma of a continuum from carbonatite though aillikite to kimberlite with increasing melting degree [4......]. The authors have demonstrated that a process of DFC (digestion fractional crystallisation) whereby the cognate olivine crystallisation is coupled to entrained xenocrystic orthopyroxene assimilation is a key process during the formation of the Majugaa occurrence of the Manitsoq region [5]. Mass balance...... considerations are here applied to the Majuagaa bulk rock in term of the DFC mechanism obtaining an estimate of parental melt and magma composition for the Majuagaa kimberlite. We use bulk rock major and trace element geochemistry together with mineral chemistry to investigate the range of melt compositions...

  11. Spatial and temporal melt variability at Helheim Glacier, East Greenland, and its effect on ice dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, M. L.; Larsen, T. B.; Nettles, M.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the behavior of large outlet glaciers draining the Greenland Ice Sheet is critical for assessing the impact of climate change on sea level rise. The flow of marine-terminating outlet glaciers is partly governed by calving-related processes taking place at the terminus but is also in...

  12. Inorganic carbon dynamics of melt pond-covered first year sea ice in the Canadian Arctic

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geilfus, Nicolas-Xavier; Galley, R.J.; Crabeck, O.

    2014-01-01

    Melt pond formation is a common feature of the spring and summer Arctic sea ice. However, the role of the melt ponds formation and the impact of the sea ice melt on both the direction and size of CO2 flux between air and sea is still unknown. Here we describe the CO2-carbonate chemistry of melting...... a strong decrease of the total alkalinity (TA), total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2) and partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) within the bulk sea ice and the brine. Later on, melt pond formation affects both the bulk sea ice and the brine system. As melt ponds are formed from melted snow the in situ melt pond...

  13. Extreme temperature events on Greenland in observations and the MAR regional climate model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leeson, Amber A.; Eastoe, Emma; Fettweis, Xavier

    2018-03-01

    Meltwater from the Greenland Ice Sheet contributed 1.7-6.12 mm to global sea level between 1993 and 2010 and is expected to contribute 20-110 mm to future sea level rise by 2100. These estimates were produced by regional climate models (RCMs) which are known to be robust at the ice sheet scale but occasionally miss regional- and local-scale climate variability (e.g. Leeson et al., 2017; Medley et al., 2013). To date, the fidelity of these models in the context of short-period variability in time (i.e. intra-seasonal) has not been fully assessed, for example their ability to simulate extreme temperature events. We use an event identification algorithm commonly used in extreme value analysis, together with observations from the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net), to assess the ability of the MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) RCM to reproduce observed extreme positive-temperature events at 14 sites around Greenland. We find that MAR is able to accurately simulate the frequency and duration of these events but underestimates their magnitude by more than half a degree Celsius/kelvin, although this bias is much smaller than that exhibited by coarse-scale Era-Interim reanalysis data. As a result, melt energy in MAR output is underestimated by between 16 and 41 % depending on global forcing applied. Further work is needed to precisely determine the drivers of extreme temperature events, and why the model underperforms in this area, but our findings suggest that biases are passed into MAR from boundary forcing data. This is important because these forcings are common between RCMs and their range of predictions of past and future ice sheet melting. We propose that examining extreme events should become a routine part of global and regional climate model evaluation and that addressing shortcomings in this area should be a priority for model development.

  14. Possible contribution of ice-sheet/lithosphere interactions to past glaciological changes in Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alley, R. B.; Parizek, B. R.; Anandakrishnan, S.; Pollard, D.; Stevens, N. T.; Pourpoint, M.

    2017-12-01

    Ice-lithosphere interactions may have influenced the history of ice-sheet sensitivity to climate change. The Greenland ice sheet (GIS) is sensitive to warming, and is likely to be largely removed if subjected to relatively small additional temperature increases. The recent report (Schaefer et al., 2016, Nature) of near-complete GIS removal under modest Pleistocene forcing suggests that GIS sensitivity may be even greater than generally modeled, but lack of major Holocene retreat is more consistent with existing models. As shown by Stevens et al. (2016, JGR), peak lithospheric flexural stresses associated with ice-age GIS cycling are of the same order as dike-driving stresses in plutonic systems, and migrate over ice-age cycles. The full analysis by Stevens et al. suggests the possibility that the onset of cyclic ice-sheet loading allowed deep melt associated with the passage of the Icelandic hot spot beneath Greenland to work up though the crust to or near the base of the ice sheet, helping explain the anomalous geothermal heat fluxes observed at the head of the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream and elsewhere in the northern part of GIS. If ice-age cycling aided extraction of an existing reservoir of melted rock, then geothermal heat flux would have risen with the onset of extraction and migration, but with a subsequent fall associated with reservoir depletion. Simple parameterized flow-model simulations confirm intuition that a higher geothermal flux makes deglaciation easier, with the northern part of the ice sheet especially important. Large uncertainties remain in quantification, but we suggest the hypothesis that, following the onset of ice-age cycling, deglaciation of the GIS first became easier and then more difficult in response to feedbacks involving the ice sheet and the geological system beneath. In turn, this suggests that evidence of past deglaciation under moderate forcing is consistent with existing ice-sheet models.

  15. Data Fusion of Gridded Snow Products Enhanced with Terrain Covariates and a Simple Snow Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snauffer, A. M.; Hsieh, W. W.; Cannon, A. J.

    2017-12-01

    Hydrologic planning requires accurate estimates of regional snow water equivalent (SWE), particularly areas with hydrologic regimes dominated by spring melt. While numerous gridded data products provide such estimates, accurate representations are particularly challenging under conditions of mountainous terrain, heavy forest cover and large snow accumulations, contexts which in many ways define the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada. One promising avenue of improving SWE estimates is a data fusion approach which combines field observations with gridded SWE products and relevant covariates. A base artificial neural network (ANN) was constructed using three of the best performing gridded SWE products over BC (ERA-Interim/Land, MERRA and GLDAS-2) and simple location and time covariates. This base ANN was then enhanced to include terrain covariates (slope, aspect and Terrain Roughness Index, TRI) as well as a simple 1-layer energy balance snow model driven by gridded bias-corrected ANUSPLIN temperature and precipitation values. The ANN enhanced with all aforementioned covariates performed better than the base ANN, but most of the skill improvement was attributable to the snow model with very little contribution from the terrain covariates. The enhanced ANN improved station mean absolute error (MAE) by an average of 53% relative to the composing gridded products over the province. Interannual peak SWE correlation coefficient was found to be 0.78, an improvement of 0.05 to 0.18 over the composing products. This nonlinear approach outperformed a comparable multiple linear regression (MLR) model by 22% in MAE and 0.04 in interannual correlation. The enhanced ANN has also been shown to estimate better than the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model calibrated and run for four BC watersheds, improving MAE by 22% and correlation by 0.05. The performance improvements of the enhanced ANN are statistically significant at the 5% level across the province and

  16. Balance Mass Flux and Velocity Across the Equilibrium Line in Ice Drainage Systems of Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwally, H. Jay; Giovinetto, Mario B.; Koblinsky, Chester J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Estimates of balance mass flux and the depth-averaged ice velocity through the cross-section aligned with the equilibrium line are produced for each of six drainage systems in Greenland. (The equilibrium line, which lies at approximately 1200 m elevation on the ice sheet, is the boundary between the area of net snow accumulation at higher elevations and the areas of net melting at lower elevations around the ice sheet.) Ice drainage divides and six major drainage systems are delineated using surface topography from ERS (European Remote Sensing) radar altimeter data. The net accumulation rate in the accumulation zone bounded by the equilibrium line is 399 Gt/yr and net ablation rate in the remaining area is 231 Gt/yr. (1 GigaTon of ice is 1090 kM(exp 3). The mean balance mass flux and depth-averaged ice velocity at the cross-section aligned with the modeled equilibrium line are 0.1011 Gt kM(exp -2)/yr and 0.111 km/yr, respectively, with little variation in these values from system to system. The ratio of the ice mass above the equilibrium line to the rate of mass output implies an effective exchange time of approximately 6000 years for total mass exchange. The range of exchange times, from a low of 3 ka in the SE drainage system to 14 ka in the NE, suggests a rank as to which regions of the ice sheet may respond more rapidly to climate fluctuations.

  17. MODIS Snow Cover Mapping Decision Tree Technique: Snow and Cloud Discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, George A.; Hall, Dorothy K.

    2010-01-01

    Accurate mapping of snow cover continues to challenge cryospheric scientists and modelers. The Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow data products have been used since 2000 by many investigators to map and monitor snow cover extent for various applications. Users have reported on the utility of the products and also on problems encountered. Three problems or hindrances in the use of the MODIS snow data products that have been reported in the literature are: cloud obscuration, snow/cloud confusion, and snow omission errors in thin or sparse snow cover conditions. Implementation of the MODIS snow algorithm in a decision tree technique using surface reflectance input to mitigate those problems is being investigated. The objective of this work is to use a decision tree structure for the snow algorithm. This should alleviate snow/cloud confusion and omission errors and provide a snow map with classes that convey information on how snow was detected, e.g. snow under clear sky, snow tinder cloud, to enable users' flexibility in interpreting and deriving a snow map. Results of a snow cover decision tree algorithm are compared to the standard MODIS snow map and found to exhibit improved ability to alleviate snow/cloud confusion in some situations allowing up to about 5% increase in mapped snow cover extent, thus accuracy, in some scenes.

  18. Impacts of 1, 1.5, and 2 Degree Warming on Arctic Terrestrial Snow and Sea Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derksen, C.; Mudryk, L.; Howell, S.; Flato, G. M.; Fyfe, J. C.; Gillett, N. P.; Sigmond, M.; Kushner, P. J.; Dawson, J.; Zwiers, F. W.; Lemmen, D.; Duguay, C. R.; Zhang, X.; Fletcher, C. G.; Dery, S. J.

    2017-12-01

    The 2015 Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established the global temperature goal of "holding the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels." In this study, we utilize multiple gridded snow and sea ice products (satellite retrievals; assimilation systems; physical models driven by reanalyses) and ensembles of climate model simulations to determine the impacts of observed warming, and project the relative impacts of the UNFCC future warming targets on Arctic seasonal terrestrial snow and sea ice cover. Observed changes during the satellite era represent the response to approximately 1°C of global warming. Consistent with other studies, analysis of the observational record (1970's to present) identifies changes including a shorter snow cover duration (due to later snow onset and earlier snow melt), significant reductions in spring snow cover and summer sea ice extent, and the loss of a large proportion of multi-year sea ice. The spatial patterns of observed snow and sea ice loss are coherent across adjacent terrestrial/marine regions. There are strong pattern correlations between snow and temperature trends, with weaker association between sea ice and temperature due to the additional influence of dynamical effects such wind-driven redistribution of sea ice. Climate model simulations from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5(CMIP-5) multi-model ensemble, large initial condition ensembles of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and Canadian Earth System Model (CanESM2) , and warming stabilization simulations from CESM were used to identify changes in snow and ice under further increases to 1.5°C and 2°C warming. The model projections indicate these levels of warming will be reached over the coming 2-4 decades. Warming to 1.5°C results in an increase in the

  19. Long-term variability in Northern Hemisphere snow cover and associations with warmer winters

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCabe, Gregory J.; Wolock, David M.

    2010-01-01

    A monthly snow accumulation and melt model is used with gridded monthly temperature and precipitation data for the Northern Hemisphere to generate time series of March snow-covered area (SCA) for the period 1905 through 2002. The time series of estimated SCA for March is verified by comparison with previously published time series of SCA for the Northern Hemisphere. The time series of estimated Northern Hemisphere March SCA shows a substantial decrease since about 1970, and this decrease corresponds to an increase in mean winter Northern Hemisphere temperature. The increase in winter temperature has caused a decrease in the fraction of precipitation that occurs as snow and an increase in snowmelt for some parts of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly the mid-latitudes, thus reducing snow packs and March SCA. In addition, the increase in winter temperature and the decreases in SCA appear to be associated with a contraction of the circumpolar vortex and a poleward movement of storm tracks, resulting in decreased precipitation (and snow) in the low- to mid-latitudes and an increase in precipitation (and snow) in high latitudes. If Northern Hemisphere winter temperatures continue to warm as they have since the 1970s, then March SCA will likely continue to decrease.

  20. Greenland ice sheet surface mass-balance modeling in a 131-Yr perspective, 1950-2080

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mernild, Sebastian H.; Liston, Glen E.; Hiemstra, Christopher A.

    2010-01-01

    to simulate variations in theGrISmelt extent, surfacewater balance components, changes inSMB, and freshwater influx to the ocean. The simulations are based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario A1B modeled by the HIRHAM4 regional climate model (RCM) using boundary conditions from the ECHAM...... and correct RCM output data before they were used as input for SnowModel. Satellite observations and independent SMB studies were used to validate the SnowModel output and confirmthemodel's robustness. The authors simulated an ~90% increase in end-of-summer surface melt extent (0.483 × 106 km2) from 1950...

  1. Light-induced bird strikes on vessels in Southwest Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Merkel, Flemming Ravn; Johansen, Kasper Lambert

    2011-01-01

    Light-induced bird strikes are known to occur when vessels navigate during darkness in icy waters using powerful searchlight. In Southwest Greenland, which is important internationally for wintering seabirds, we collected reports of incidents of bird strikes over 2–3 winters (2006–2009) from navy...... vessels, cargo vessels and trawlers (total n = 19). Forty-one incidents were reported: mainly close to land (birds were reported killed in a single incident. All occurred between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. and significantly more birds were involved when...... visibility was poor (snow) rather than moderate or good. Among five seabird species reported, the common eider (Somateria mollissima) accounted for 95% of the bird casualties. Based on spatial analyses of data on vessel traffic intensity and common eider density we are able to predict areas with high risk...

  2. Metabolome-mediated biocryomorphic evolution promotes carbon fixation in Greenlandic cryoconite holes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Joseph M; Edwards, Arwyn; Bulling, Mark; Mur, Luis A J; Cook, Sophie; Gokul, Jarishma K; Cameron, Karen A; Sweet, Michael; Irvine-Fynn, Tristram D L

    2016-12-01

    Microbial photoautotrophs on glaciers engineer the formation of granular microbial-mineral aggregates termed cryoconite which accelerate ice melt, creating quasi-cylindrical pits called 'cryoconite holes'. These act as biogeochemical reactors on the ice surface and provide habitats for remarkably active and diverse microbiota. Evolution of cryoconite holes towards an equilibrium depth is well known, yet interactions between microbial activity and hole morphology are currently weakly addressed. Here, we experimentally perturbed the depths and diameters of cryoconite holes on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Cryoconite holes responded by sensitively adjusting their shapes in three dimensions ('biocryomorphic evolution') thus maintaining favourable conditions for net autotrophy at the hole floors. Non-targeted metabolomics reveals concomitant shifts in cyclic AMP and fucose metabolism consistent with phototaxis and extracellular polymer synthesis indicating metabolomic-level granular changes in response to perturbation. We present a conceptual model explaining this process and suggest that it results in remarkably robust net autotrophy on the Greenland Ice Sheet. We also describe observations of cryoconite migrating away from shade, implying a degree of self-regulation of carbon budgets over mesoscales. Since cryoconite is a microbe-mineral aggregate, it appears that microbial processes themselves form and maintain stable autotrophic habitats on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet. © 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Development and testing of a snow interceptometer to quantify canopy water storage and interception processes in the rain/snow transition zone of the North Cascades, Washington, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Kael A.; Van Stan, John T.; Dickerson-Lange, Susan E.; Lutz, James A.; Berman, Jeffrey W.; Gersonde, Rolf; Lundquist, Jessica D.

    2013-06-01

    Tree canopy snow interception is a significant hydrological process, capable of removing up to 60% of snow from the ground snowpack. Our understanding of canopy interception has been limited by our ability to measure whole canopy water storage in an undisturbed forest setting. This study presents a relatively inexpensive technique for directly measuring snow canopy water storage using an interceptometer, adapted from Friesen et al. (2008). The interceptometer is composed of four linear motion position sensors distributed evenly around the tree trunk. We incorporate a trunk laser-mapping installation method for precise sensor placement to reduce signal error due to sensor misalignment. Through calibration techniques, the amount of canopy snow required to produce the measured displacements can be calculated. We demonstrate instrument performance on a western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) for a snow interception event in November 2011. We find a snow capture efficiency of 83 ± 15% of accumulated ground snowfall with a maximum storage capacity of 50 ± 8 mm snow water equivalent (SWE). The observed interception event is compared to simulated interception, represented by the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) hydrologic model. The model generally underreported interception magnitude by 33% using a leaf area index (LAI) of 5 and 16% using an LAI of 10. The interceptometer captured intrastorm accumulation and melt rates up to 3 and 0.75 mm SWE h-1, respectively, which the model failed to represent. While further implementation and validation is necessary, our preliminary results indicate that forest interception magnitude may be underestimated in maritime areas.

  4. Modelling the surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet and neighbouring ice caps : A dynamical and statistical downscaling approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noël, B.P.Y.

    2018-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) is the world’s second largest ice mass, storing about one tenth of the Earth’s freshwater. If totally melted, global sea level would rise by 7.4 m, affecting low-lying regions worldwide. Since the mid-1990s, increased atmospheric and oceanic temperatures have

  5. Measurement of loss rates of organic compounds in snow using in situ experiments and isotopically labelled compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika von Schneidemesser

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Organic molecular marker compounds are widely used to identify emissions from anthropogenic and biogenic air pollution sources in atmospheric samples and in deposition. Specific organic compounds have been detected in polar regions, but their fate after deposition to snow is poorly characterized. Within this context, a series of exposure experiments were carried out to observe the post-depositional processing of organic compounds under real-world conditions in snow on the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet, at the Summit research station. Snow was prepared from water spiked with isotopically labelled organic compounds, representative of typical molecular marker compounds emitted from anthropogenic activities. Reaction rate constants and reaction order were determined based on a decrease in concentration to a stable, non-zero, threshold concentration. Fluoranthene-d10, docosane-d46, hexadecanoic acid-d31, docosanoic acid-d43 and azelaic acid-d14 were estimated to have first order loss rates within surface snow with reaction rate constants of 0.068, 0.040, 0.070, 0.067 and 0.047 h−1, respectively. No loss of heptadecane-d36 was observed. Overall, these results suggest that organic contaminants are archived in polar snow, although significant post-depositional losses of specific organic compounds occur. This has implications for the environmental fate of organic contaminants, as well as for ice-core studies that seek to use organic molecular markers to infer past atmospheric loadings, and source emissions.

  6. Enhanced melting of the Greenland ice sheet and its impact on the Subpolar North Atlantic and AMOC

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bamber, J.L.; Behrens, E.; Boening, C.; van den Broeke, M.; Lenaerts, J.; Ettema, J.; Rignot, E.

    2012-01-01

    Freshwater (FW) fluxes from river runoff and precipitation minus evaporation for the pan Arctic seas are relatively well documented and prescribed in ocean GCMs. Fluxes from Greenland on the other hand are generally ignored altogether, despite their potential impacts on ocean circulation and marine

  7. A multilayer physically based snowpack model simulating direct and indirect radiative impacts of light-absorbing impurities in snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuzet, Francois; Dumont, Marie; Lafaysse, Matthieu; Picard, Ghislain; Arnaud, Laurent; Voisin, Didier; Lejeune, Yves; Charrois, Luc; Nabat, Pierre; Morin, Samuel

    2017-11-01

    Light-absorbing impurities (LAIs) decrease snow albedo, increasing the amount of solar energy absorbed by the snowpack. Its most intuitive and direct impact is to accelerate snowmelt. Enhanced energy absorption in snow also modifies snow metamorphism, which can indirectly drive further variations of snow albedo in the near-infrared part of the solar spectrum because of the evolution of the near-surface snow microstructure. New capabilities have been implemented in the detailed snowpack model SURFEX/ISBA-Crocus (referred to as Crocus) to account for impurities' deposition and evolution within the snowpack and their direct and indirect impacts. Once deposited, the model computes impurities' mass evolution until snow melts out, accounting for scavenging by meltwater. Taking advantage of the recent inclusion of the spectral radiative transfer model TARTES (Two-stream Analytical Radiative TransfEr in Snow model) in Crocus, the model explicitly represents the radiative impacts of light-absorbing impurities in snow. The model was evaluated at the Col de Porte experimental site (French Alps) during the 2013-2014 snow season against in situ standard snow measurements and spectral albedo measurements. In situ meteorological measurements were used to drive the snowpack model, except for aerosol deposition fluxes. Black carbon (BC) and dust deposition fluxes used to drive the model were extracted from simulations of the atmospheric model ALADIN-Climate. The model simulates snowpack evolution reasonably, providing similar performances to our reference Crocus version in terms of snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE), near-surface specific surface area (SSA) and shortwave albedo. Since the reference empirical albedo scheme was calibrated at the Col de Porte, improvements were not expected to be significant in this study. We show that the deposition fluxes from the ALADIN-Climate model provide a reasonable estimate of the amount of light-absorbing impurities deposited on the

  8. MASS BALANCE CHANGES AND ICE DYNAMICS OF GREENLAND AND ANTARCTIC ICE SHEETS FROM LASER ALTIMETRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. S. Babonis

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available During the past few decades the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have lost ice at accelerating rates, caused by increasing surface temperature. The melting of the two big ice sheets has a big impact on global sea level rise. If the ice sheets would melt down entirely, the sea level would rise more than 60 m. Even a much smaller rise would cause dramatic damage along coastal regions. In this paper we report about a major upgrade of surface elevation changes derived from laser altimetry data, acquired by NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite mission (ICESat and airborne laser campaigns, such as Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM and Land, Vegetation and Ice Sensor (LVIS. For detecting changes in ice sheet elevations we have developed the Surface Elevation Reconstruction And Change detection (SERAC method. It computes elevation changes of small surface patches by keeping the surface shape constant and considering the absolute values as surface elevations. We report about important upgrades of earlier results, for example the inclusion of local ice caps and the temporal extension from 1993 to 2014 for the Greenland Ice Sheet and for a comprehensive reconstruction of ice thickness and mass changes for the Antarctic Ice Sheets.

  9. Greenland ice sheet mass balance: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Shfaqat A; Aschwanden, Andy; Bjørk, Anders A; Wahr, John; Kjeldsen, Kristian K; Kjær, Kurt H

    2015-04-01

    Over the past quarter of a century the Arctic has warmed more than any other region on Earth, causing a profound impact on the Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) and its contribution to the rise in global sea level. The loss of ice can be partitioned into processes related to surface mass balance and to ice discharge, which are forced by internal or external (atmospheric/oceanic/basal) fluctuations. Regardless of the measurement method, observations over the last two decades show an increase in ice loss rate, associated with speeding up of glaciers and enhanced melting. However, both ice discharge and melt-induced mass losses exhibit rapid short-term fluctuations that, when extrapolated into the future, could yield erroneous long-term trends. In this paper we review the GrIS mass loss over more than a century by combining satellite altimetry, airborne altimetry, interferometry, aerial photographs and gravimetry data sets together with modelling studies. We revisit the mass loss of different sectors and show that they manifest quite different sensitivities to atmospheric and oceanic forcing. In addition, we discuss recent progress in constructing coupled ice-ocean-atmosphere models required to project realistic future sea-level changes.

  10. Response of the Atlantic Ocean circulation to Greenland Ice Sheet melting in a strongly-eddying ocean model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Weijer, W.; Maltrud, M.E.; Hecht, M.W.; Dijkstra, H.A.; Kliphuis, M.

    2012-01-01

    The sensitivity of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) to high-latitude freshwater input is one of the key uncertainties in the climate system. Considering the importance of the AMOC for global heat transports, and the vulnerability of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) to global

  11. Water availability forecasting for Naryn River using ground-based and satellite snow cover data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Y. Kalashnikova

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The main source of river nourishment in arid regions of Central Asia is the melting of seasonal snow accu‑ mulated in mountains during the cold period. In this study, we analyzed data on seasonal snow cover by ground‑based observations from Kyrgyzhydromet network, as well as from MODIS satellite imagery for the period of 2000–2015. This information was used to compile the forecast methods of water availability of snow‑ice and ice‑snow fed rivers for the vegetation period. The Naryn river basin was chosen as a study area which is the main tributary of Syrdarya River and belongs to the Aral Sea basin. The representative mete‑ orological stations with ground‑based observations of snow cover were identified and regression analysis between mean discharge for the vegetation period and number of snow covered days, maximum snow depth based on in‑situ data as well as snow cover area based on MODIS images was conducted. Based on this infor‑ mation, equations are derived for seasonal water availability forecasting using multiple linear regression anal‑ ysis. Proposed equations have high correlation coefficients (R = 0.89÷0.92 and  and fore‑ casting accuracy. The methodology was implemented in Kyrgyzhydromet and is used for forecasting of water availability in Naryn basin and water inflow into Toktogul Reservoir.

  12. Photovoltaic cell electrical heating system for removing snow on panel including verification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Agnes; Weiss, Helmut

    2017-11-16

    Small photovoltaic plants in private ownership are typically rated at 5 kW (peak). The panels are mounted on roofs at a decline angle of 20° to 45°. In winter time, a dense layer of snow at a width of e.g., 10 cm keeps off solar radiation from the photovoltaic cells for weeks under continental climate conditions. Practically, no energy is produced over the time of snow coverage. Only until outside air temperature has risen high enough for a rather long-time interval to allow partial melting of snow; the snow layer rushes down in an avalanche. Following this proposal, snow removal can be arranged electrically at an extremely positive energy balance in a fast way. A photovoltaic cell is a large junction area diode inside with a threshold voltage of about 0.6 to 0.7 V (depending on temperature). This forward voltage drop created by an externally driven current through the modules can be efficiently used to provide well-distributed heat dissipation at the cell and further on at the glass surface of the whole panel. The adhesion of snow on glass is widely reduced through this heating in case a thin water film can be produced by this external short time heating. Laboratory experiments provided a temperature increase through rated panel current of more than 10 °C within about 10 min. This heating can initiate the avalanche for snow removal on intention as described before provided the clamping effect on snow at the edge of the panel frame is overcome by an additional heating foil. Basics of internal cell heat production, heating thermal effects in time course, thermographic measurements on temperature distribution, power circuit opportunities including battery storage elements and snow-removal under practical conditions are described.

  13. Application of SNODAS and hydrologic models to enhance entropy-based snow monitoring network design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keum, Jongho; Coulibaly, Paulin; Razavi, Tara; Tapsoba, Dominique; Gobena, Adam; Weber, Frank; Pietroniro, Alain

    2018-06-01

    Snow has a unique characteristic in the water cycle, that is, snow falls during the entire winter season, but the discharge from snowmelt is typically delayed until the melting period and occurs in a relatively short period. Therefore, reliable observations from an optimal snow monitoring network are necessary for an efficient management of snowmelt water for flood prevention and hydropower generation. The Dual Entropy and Multiobjective Optimization is applied to design snow monitoring networks in La Grande River Basin in Québec and Columbia River Basin in British Columbia. While the networks are optimized to have the maximum amount of information with minimum redundancy based on entropy concepts, this study extends the traditional entropy applications to the hydrometric network design by introducing several improvements. First, several data quantization cases and their effects on the snow network design problems were explored. Second, the applicability the Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS) products as synthetic datasets of potential stations was demonstrated in the design of the snow monitoring network of the Columbia River Basin. Third, beyond finding the Pareto-optimal networks from the entropy with multi-objective optimization, the networks obtained for La Grande River Basin were further evaluated by applying three hydrologic models. The calibrated hydrologic models simulated discharges using the updated snow water equivalent data from the Pareto-optimal networks. Then, the model performances for high flows were compared to determine the best optimal network for enhanced spring runoff forecasting.

  14. Assimilation of snow cover and snow depth into a snow model to estimate snow water equivalent and snowmelt runoff in a Himalayan catchment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stigter, Emmy E.; Wanders, Niko; Saloranta, Tuomo M.; Shea, Joseph M.; Bierkens, M.F.P.; Immerzeel, W.W.

    2017-01-01

    Snow is an important component of water storage in the Himalayas. Previous snowmelt studies in the Himalayas have predominantly relied on remotely sensed snow cover. However, snow cover data provide no direct information on the actual amount of water stored in a snowpack, i.e., the snow water

  15. Features of Duration and Borders of the Bedding of Snow Cover in the Conditions of Climatic Changes in the Territory of Northern Kazakhstan According to Land and Space Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salnikov, Vitaliy; Turulina, Galina; Polyakova, Svetlana; Muratova, Nadiya; Kauazov, Azamat; Abugalieva, Aigul; Tazhibayeva, Tamara

    2014-05-01

    Precipitation and air temperature datasets from 34 meteorological stations were analyzed to reveal the regional climate changes at the territory in North Kazakhstan over the last 58 years (i.e., 1950-2008). Peculiarities and conditions of snow cover formation and melting have been analyzed at territory of Northern Kazakhstan using surface and space monitoring data. Methods of both the geo-informational processing of remote probing data and statistical processing of databases on snow cover, air temperature and precipitations have been used. Analysis of snow cover observations data for territory of Northern Kazakhstan has shown that the stable snow cover might be observed since the middle of November till the beginning of April. In a few last decades the tendency is observed for longevity decrease of snow cover bedding that appears to be on the background air temperature increase and insignificant increase of cold period precipitations due to the later bedding of the snow cover and its earlier destruction. Peculiarities of atmospheric circulation in Atlantic-Eurasian sector of Northern Semi sphere and their influence of formation of snow cover at territory of Northern Kazakhstan. The higher longevity of the snow cover bedding is defined by the predominance of E form circulation and lower longevity - by the predominance of W+C circulation form. Analysis conducted of the highest height of snow cover bedding has shown that for period of 1936-2012 in the most cases the statistically reliable decreasing trends are observed with the linear trend coefficients of 0,50 - 0,60 cm/year. The method is offered for determination of probable characteristics of the snow cover decade height. Using data of space monitoring are allocated the frontiers of snow cover bedding for the period of snow melting 1982-2008 and the snow cover melting maps are developed. The results further confirm the proposition that snow cover availability is an important and limiting factor in the generation

  16. Understanding snow-transport processes shaping the mountain snow-cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Mott

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Mountain snow-cover is normally heterogeneously distributed due to wind and precipitation interacting with the snow cover on various scales. The aim of this study was to investigate snow deposition and wind-induced snow-transport processes on different scales and to analyze some major drift events caused by north-west storms during two consecutive accumulation periods. In particular, we distinguish between the individual processes that cause specific drifts using a physically based model approach. Very high resolution wind fields (5 m were computed with the atmospheric model Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS and used as input for a model of snow-surface processes (Alpine3D to calculate saltation, suspension and preferential deposition of precipitation. Several flow features during north-west storms were identified with input from a high-density network of permanent and mobile weather stations and indirect estimations of wind directions from snow-surface structures, such as snow dunes and sastrugis. We also used Terrestrial and Airborne Laser Scanning measurements to investigate snow-deposition patterns and to validate the model. The model results suggest that the in-slope deposition patterns, particularly two huge cross-slope cornice-like drifts, developed only when the prevailing wind direction was northwesterly and were formed mainly due to snow redistribution processes (saltation-driven. In contrast, more homogeneous deposition patterns on a ridge scale were formed during the same periods mainly due to preferential deposition of precipitation. The numerical analysis showed that snow-transport processes were sensitive to the changing topography due to the smoothing effect of the snow cover.

  17. Seasonal changes in Fe along a glaciated Greenlandic fjord.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark James Hopwood

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Greenland’s ice sheet is the second largest on Earth, and is under threat from a warming Arctic climate. An increase in freshwater discharge from Greenland has the potential to strongly influence the composition of adjacent water masses with the largest impact on marine ecosystems likely to be found within the glaciated fjords. Here we demonstrate that physical and chemical estuarine processes within a large Greenlandic fjord are critical factors in determining the fate of meltwater derived nutrients and particles, especially for non-conservative elements such as Fe. Concentrations of Fe and macronutrients in surface waters along Godthåbsfjord, a southwest Greenlandic fjord with freshwater input from 6 glaciers, changed markedly between the onset and peak of the meltwater season due to the development of a thin (<10 m, outflowing, low-salinity surface layer. Dissolved (<0.2 µm Fe concentrations in meltwater entering Godthåbsfjord (200 nM, in freshly melted glacial ice (mean 38 nM and in surface waters close to a land terminating glacial system (80 nM all indicated high Fe inputs into the fjord in summer. Total dissolvable (unfiltered at pH <2.0 Fe was similarly high with concentrations always in excess of 100 nM throughout the fjord and reaching up to 5.0 µM close to glacial outflows in summer. Yet, despite the large seasonal freshwater influx into the fjord, Fe concentrations near the fjord mouth in the out-flowing surface layer were similar in summer to those measured before the meltwater season. Furthermore, turbidity profiles indicated that sub-glacial particulate Fe inputs may not actually mix into the outflowing surface layer of this fjord. Emphasis has previously been placed on the possibility of increased Fe export from Greenland as meltwater fluxes increase. Here we suggest that in-fjord processes may be effective at removing Fe from surface waters before it can be exported to coastal seas.

  18. Observations of Pronounced Greenland Ice Sheet Firn Warming and Implications for Runoff Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polashenski, Chris; Courville, Zoe; Benson, Carl; Wagner, Anna; Chen, Justin; Wong, Gifford; Hawley, Robert; Hall, Dorothy

    2014-01-01

    Field measurements of shallow borehole temperatures in firn across the northern Greenland ice sheet are collected during May 2013. Sites first measured in 19521955 are revisited, showing long-term trends in firn temperature. Results indicate a pattern of substantial firn warming (up to +5.7C) at midlevel elevations (1400-2500 m) and little temperature change at high elevations (2500 m). We find that latent heat transport into the firn due to meltwater percolation drives the observed warming. Modeling shows that heat is stored at depth for several years, and energy delivered from consecutive melt events accumulates in the firn. The observed warming is likely not yet in equilibrium with recent melt production rates but captures the progression of sites in the percolation facies toward net runoff production.

  19. Experience with cochlear implants in Greenlanders with profound hearing loss living in Greenland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Preben Homøe

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Objective. Cochlear implant (CI treatment was introduced to the world in the 1980s and has become a routine treatment for congenital or acquired severe-to-profound hearing loss. CI treatment requires access to a highly skilled team of ear, nose and throat specialists, audiologists and speech-language pathologists for evaluation, surgery and rehabilitation. In particular, children treated with CI are in need of long-term post-operative auditory training and other follow-up support. Design. The study is retrospective with updated information on present performance. Results. Since 2001, a total of 11 Greenlandic patients living in Greenland have been treated with CI, 7 children and 4 adults. Of these children, 4 use oral communication only and are full-time CI-users, 2 with full-time use of CI are still in progress with use of oral communication, and 1 has not acquired oral language yet, but has started auditory and speech training. Six children attend mainstream public school while one child is in kindergarten. Of the adults, only 1 has achieved good speech perception with full-time use of CI while 3 do not use the CI. Discussion. From an epidemiological point of view, approximately 1–3 children below 6 years are in need of a CI every second year in Greenland often due to sequelae from meningitis, which may cause postinfectious deafness. Screening of new-borns for hearing has been started in Greenland establishing the basis for early diagnosis of congenital hearing impairment and subsequent intervention. The logistics and lack of availability of speech therapists in Greenland hampers possibilities for optimal language and speech therapy of CI patients in Greenland. This study aims at describing the results of CI treatment in Greenlanders and the outcome of the CI operations along with the auditory and speech/language outcomes. Finally, we present a suggestion for the future CI treatment and recommendations for an increased effort in the

  20. Spatiotemporal variability of oxygen isotope compositions in three contrasting glacier river catchments in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, N. Tvis; Yde, J.C.; Steffensen, J.P.

    2015-01-01

    composition is controlled by the proportion between snowmelt and ice melt with episodic inputs of rainwater and occasional storage and release of a specific water component due to changes in the subglacial drainage system. At Kuannersuit Glacier River on the island Qeqertarsuaq, the δ18O characteristics were......Analysis of stable oxygen isotope (δ18O) characteristics is a useful tool to investigate water provenance in glacier river systems. In order to attain knowledge on the diversity of spatio-temporal δ18O variations in glacier rivers, we have examined three glacierized catchments in Greenland...... of diurnal oscillations, and in 2003 there were large diurnal fluctuations in δ18O. At Watson River, a large catchment at the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet, the spatial distribution of δ18O in the river system was applied to fingerprint the relative runoff contributions from sub-catchments. Spot...

  1. TopoGreenland: crustal structure in central-eastern Greenland along a new refraction profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shulgin, Alexey; Thybo, Hans; Field Team TopoGreenland

    2013-04-01

    We present the seismic structure in the interior of Greenland based on the first measurements by the seismic refraction/wide angle reflection method. Previous seismic surveys have only been carried out offshore and near the coast of Greenland, where the crustal structure is affected by oceanic break-up and may not be representative of the interior of the island. Acquisition of geophysical data in onshore Greenland is logistically complicated by the presence of an up to 3.4 km thick ice sheet, permanently covering most of the land mass. The seismic data was acquired by a team of six people during a two-month long experiment in summer of 2011 on the ice cap in the interior of central-eastern Greenland. The EW-trending profile extends 310 km inland from the approximate edge of the stable ice cap near Scoresby Sund across the center of the ice cap. The planned extension of the profile by use of OBSs and air gun shooting in Scoresbysund Fjord to the east coast of Greenland was unfortunately canceled, because navigation was prevented by ice drift. 350 Reftek Texan receivers recorded high-quality seismic data from 8 equidistant shots along the profile. Explosive charge sizes were 1 ton at the ends and ca. 500 kg along the profile, loaded with about 125 kg at 35-85 m depth in individual boreholes. Two-dimensional velocity model based on tomographic inversion and forward ray tracing modeling shows a decrease of crustal thickness from 47 km below the center of Greenland in the western part to 40 km in the eastern part of the profile. Earlier studies show that crustal thickness further decreases eastward to ca. 30 km below the fjord system, but details of the changes are unknown. Relatively high lower crustal velocities (Vp 6.8 - 7.3) in the western part of the TopoGreenland profile may indicate past collision tectonics or may be related or to the passage of the Iceland mantle plume. The origin of the pronounced circum-Atlantic mountain ranges in Norway and eastern Greenland

  2. Models and observations of Arctic melt ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, K. M.

    2016-12-01

    During the Arctic melt season, the sea ice surface undergoes a striking transformation from vast expanses of snow covered ice to complex mosaics of ice and melt ponds. Sea ice albedo, a key parameter in climate modeling, is largely determined by the complex evolution of melt pond configurations. In fact, ice-albedo feedback has played a significant role in the recent declines of the summer Arctic sea ice pack. However, understanding melt pond evolution remains a challenge to improving climate projections. It has been found that as the ponds grow and coalesce, the fractal dimension of their boundaries undergoes a transition from 1 to about 2, around a critical length scale of 100 square meters in area. As the ponds evolve they take complex, self-similar shapes with boundaries resembling space-filling curves. I will outline how mathematical models of composite materials and statistical physics, such as percolation and Ising models, are being used to describe this evolution and predict key geometrical parameters that agree very closely with observations.

  3. Subpixel Snow-covered Area Including Differentiated Grain Size from AVIRIS Data Over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, R.; Calvin, W. M.; Harpold, A. A.

    2016-12-01

    Mountain snow storage is the dominant source of water for humans and ecosystems in western North America. Consequently, the spatial distribution of snow-covered area is fundamental to both hydrological, ecological, and climate models. Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data were collected along the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range extending from north of Lake Tahoe to south of Mt. Whitney during the 2015 and 2016 snow-covered season. The AVIRIS dataset used in this experiment consists of 224 contiguous spectral channels with wavelengths ranging 400-2500 nanometers at a 15-meter spatial pixel size. Data from the Sierras were acquired on four days: 2/24/15 during a very low snow year, 3/24/16 near maximum snow accumulation, and 5/12/16 and 5/18/16 during snow ablation and snow loss. Previous retrieval of subpixel snow-covered area in alpine regions used multiple snow endmembers due to the sensitivity of snow spectral reflectance to grain size. We will present a model that analyzes multiple endmembers of varying snow grain size, vegetation, rock, and soil in segmented regions along the Sierra Nevada to determine snow-cover spatial extent, snow sub-pixel fraction and approximate grain size or melt state. The root mean squared error will provide a spectrum-wide assessment of the mixture model's goodness-of-fit. Analysis will compare snow-covered area and snow-cover depletion in the 2016 year, and annual variation from the 2015 year. Field data were also acquired on three days concurrent with the 2016 flights in the Sagehen Experimental Forest and will support ground validation of the airborne data set.

  4. Concentrations and source regions of light-absorbing particles in snow/ice in northern Pakistan and their impact on snow albedo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gul, Chaman; Praveen Puppala, Siva; Kang, Shichang; Adhikary, Bhupesh; Zhang, Yulan; Ali, Shaukat; Li, Yang; Li, Xiaofei

    2018-04-01

    Black carbon (BC), water-insoluble organic carbon (OC), and mineral dust are important particles in snow and ice which significantly reduce albedo and accelerate melting. Surface snow and ice samples were collected from the Karakoram-Himalayan region of northern Pakistan during 2015 and 2016 in summer (six glaciers), autumn (two glaciers), and winter (six mountain valleys). The average BC concentration overall was 2130 ± 1560 ng g-1 in summer samples, 2883 ± 3439 ng g-1 in autumn samples, and 992 ± 883 ng g-1 in winter samples. The average water-insoluble OC concentration overall was 1839 ± 1108 ng g-1 in summer samples, 1423 ± 208 ng g-1 in autumn samples, and 1342 ± 672 ng g-1 in winter samples. The overall concentration of BC, OC, and dust in aged snow samples collected during the summer campaign was higher than the concentration in ice samples. The values are relatively high compared to reports by others for the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. This is probably the result of taking more representative samples at lower elevation where deposition is higher and the effects of ageing and enrichment are more marked. A reduction in snow albedo of 0.1-8.3 % for fresh snow and 0.9-32.5 % for aged snow was calculated for selected solar zenith angles during daytime using the Snow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiation (SNICAR) model. The daily mean albedo was reduced by 0.07-12.0 %. The calculated radiative forcing ranged from 0.16 to 43.45 W m-2 depending on snow type, solar zenith angle, and location. The potential source regions of the deposited pollutants were identified using spatial variance in wind vector maps, emission inventories coupled with backward air trajectories, and simple region-tagged chemical transport modeling. Central, south, and west Asia were the major sources of pollutants during the sampling months, with only a small contribution from east Asia. Analysis based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-STEM) chemical transport model identified a

  5. Isotopes in Greenland Precipitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Faber, Anne-Katrine

    Greenland ice cores offer a unique opportunity to investigate the climate system behaviour. The objective of this PhD project is to investigate isotope modelling of present- day conditions and conduct model-data comparison using Greenland ice cores. Thus this thesis investigates how the integration...... of model and data can be used to improve the understanding of climate changes. This is done through analysis of isotope modelling, observations and ice core measurements. This dissertation comprises three projects: (1) Modelling the isotopic response to changes in Arctic sea surface conditions, (2......) Constructing a new Greenland database of observations and present-day ice core measurements, and (3) Performance test of isotope-enabled CAM5 for Greenland. The recent decades of rapid Arctic sea ice decline are used as a basis for an observational-based model experiment using the isotope-enabled CAM model 3...

  6. Greenland Fracture Zone-East Greenland Ridge(s) revisited: Indications of a C22-change in plate motion?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Døssing, Arne; Funck, T.

    2012-01-01

    a reinterpretation of the Greenland Fracture Zone -East Greenland Ridge based on new and existing geophysical data. Evidence is shown for two overstepping ridge segments (Segments A and B) of which Segment A corresponds to the already known East Greenland Ridge while Segment B was not detected previously......Changes in the lithospheric stress field, causing axial rift migration and reorientation of the transform, are generally proposed as an explanation for anomalously old crust and/or major aseismic valleys in oceanic ridge-transform-ridge settings. Similarly, transform migration of the Greenland...... Fracture Zone and separation of the 200-km-long, fracture-zone-parallel continental East Greenland Ridge from the Eurasia plate is thought to be related to a major change in relative plate motions between Greenland and Eurasia during the earliest Oligocene (Chron 13 time). This study presents...

  7. Sustainable Mobile Tourist Hut for Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qu, Jing; Villumsen, O.; Villumsen, Arne

    Greenland is experiencing growing tourism in recent years, which increases demand for tourists’ accommodation. Small huts are a traditional way for overnight stays in Greenland due to scattered population and lack of infrastructure. However, the existing huts in Greenland cannot provide satisfact...

  8. Inuit dietary patterns in modern Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerregaard, Peter; Jeppesen, Charlotte

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to apply two different approaches of dietary pattern definition to data from Greenland and to analyse the contemporary dietary patterns of the Inuit in Greenland in relation to urbanization and socio-economic positions.......The purpose of the study was to apply two different approaches of dietary pattern definition to data from Greenland and to analyse the contemporary dietary patterns of the Inuit in Greenland in relation to urbanization and socio-economic positions....

  9. Dissolved organic carbon fractionation accelerates glacier-melting: A case study in the northern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Zhaofu; Kang, Shichang; Yan, Fangping; Zhang, Yulan; Li, Yang; Chen, Pengfei; Qin, Xiang; Wang, Kun; Gao, Shaopeng; Li, Chaoliu

    2018-06-15

    In glacierized regions, melting process has a significant effect on concentrations and light absorption characteristics of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), potentially resulting in variations of its radiative forcing, which is not yet relevant research at glacier region of the Tibetan Plateau (TP). In this study, DOC fractionation and its radiative forcing change during the melting process were investigated at Laohugou glacier No. 12 (LHG glacier) in western Qilian Mts., northern TP. DOC concentrations in fresh snow, snowpit and surface ice samples were 0.38 ± 0.06, 0.22 ± 0.11 and 0.60 ± 0.21 mg L -1 , respectively. Their mass absorption cross-section at 365 nm (MAC 365 ) were 0.65 ± 0.16, 4.71 ± 3.68 and 1.44 ± 0.52 m 2  g -1 , respectively. The MAC 365 values of snowpit samples showed a significant negative correlation with DOC concentrations, indicating DOC with high MAC 365 values were likely to be kept in snow during the melting process. Topsoil samples of LHG glacierized region likely contributed a lot to snowpit DOC with high MAC 365 values due to their similar absorption spectra. Spatially, the DOC concentration of surface ice samples increased from terminus to the upper part of the glacier. Correspondingly, the MAC 365 value showed decreased trend. In the freezing experiment on surface ice and topsoil samples, small part of DOC with high MAC 365 value was also likely to enter first frozen solid phase. In addition, the radiative forcing caused by snowpit and surface ice DOC increased around 7.64 ± 2.93 and 4.95 ± 1.19 times relative to fresh snow DOC, indicating the snow/ice melting caused by increased light-absorbing DOC needs to be considered in the future research. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Inuit health in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerregaard, P; Curtis, T; Borch-Johnsen, K

    2003-01-01

    During 1997-2001 a population survey was carried out amongst Greenland Inuit living in Denmark and West Greenland (Nuuk, Sisimiut, Qasigiannguit and four villages in Uummannaq municipality). Data collection comprised an interview, a questionnaire, clinical examinations and sampling of biological ...

  11. Assessing the ability of operational snow models to predict snowmelt runoff extremes (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, A. W.; Restrepo, P. J.; Clark, M. P.

    2013-12-01

    In the western US, the snow accumulation and melt cycle of winter and spring plays a critical role in the region's water management strategies. Consequently, the ability to predict snowmelt runoff at time scales from days to seasons is a key input for decisions in reservoir management, whether for avoiding flood hazards or supporting environmental flows through the scheduling of releases in spring, or for allocating releases for multi-state water distribution in dry seasons of year (using reservoir systems to provide an invaluable buffer for many sectors against drought). Runoff forecasts thus have important benefits at both wet and dry extremes of the climatological spectrum. The importance of the prediction of the snow cycle motivates an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the US's central operational snow model, SNOW17, in contrast to process-modeling alternatives, as they relate to simulating observed snowmelt variability and extremes. To this end, we use a flexible modeling approach that enables an investigation of different choices in model structure, including model physics, parameterization and degree of spatiotemporal discretization. We draw from examples of recent extreme events in western US watersheds and an overall assessment of retrospective model performance to identify fruitful avenues for advancing the modeling basis for the operational prediction of snow-related runoff extremes.

  12. Involving International Student Teams in GPS and GRS Surveys to Study Cryospheric Change in Greenland and the Colorado Front Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzfeld, U. C.; Mayer, H.

    2009-12-01

    In the course of research programs to develop a methodology for the study of microtopography of ice and snow surfaces, we placed a strong emphasis on the involvement of students. This project provided the opportunity to engage students in every step from building the instrument through development of the data processing, the actual field measurements, processing of the resultant data, their evaluation and interpretation to the final publication in scientific journals. The development of the Glacier Roughness Sensor (GRS) incorporating Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and the fieldwork on the Greenland Inland Ice were particularly fascinating and instructive for students. In a related snow-hydrological research project on Niwot Ridge in the Colorado Front Range, we involved students in two season-long measurement campaigns in a high alpine environment. Students from the Universität Trier, Germany, and the University of Colorado Boulder participated in this project to learn about the value of international collaboration in science. Funding was provided by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Antarctic and Arctic Program) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (Hydrological Sciences Program). Students participated in preparatory classes and field camps, selected their own research projects and received university credit towards their degrees in geography or environmental sciences. All student participants in the MICROTOP projects have gone on to higher university education and become professionally exceptionally successful. Students setting up camp on the Greenland Ice Sheet during expedition MICROTOP 99.

  13. Meteorological and snow distribution data in the Izas Experimental Catchment (Spanish Pyrenees) from 2011 to 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revuelto, Jesús; Azorin-Molina, Cesar; Alonso-González, Esteban; Sanmiguel-Vallelado, Alba; Navarro-Serrano, Francisco; Rico, Ibai; López-Moreno, Juan Ignacio

    2017-12-01

    This work describes the snow and meteorological data set available for the Izas Experimental Catchment in the Central Spanish Pyrenees, from the 2011 to 2017 snow seasons. The experimental site is located on the southern side of the Pyrenees between 2000 and 2300 m above sea level, covering an area of 55 ha. The site is a good example of a subalpine environment in which the evolution of snow accumulation and melt are of major importance in many mountain processes. The climatic data set consists of (i) continuous meteorological variables acquired from an automatic weather station (AWS), (ii) detailed information on snow depth distribution collected with a terrestrial laser scanner (TLS, lidar technology) for certain dates across the snow season (between three and six TLS surveys per snow season) and (iii) time-lapse images showing the evolution of the snow-covered area (SCA). The meteorological variables acquired at the AWS are precipitation, air temperature, incoming and reflected solar radiation, infrared surface temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, atmospheric air pressure, surface temperature (snow or soil surface), and soil temperature; all were taken at 10 min intervals. Snow depth distribution was measured during 23 field campaigns using a TLS, and daily information on the SCA was also retrieved from time-lapse photography. The data set (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.848277) is valuable since it provides high-spatial-resolution information on the snow depth and snow cover, which is particularly useful when combined with meteorological variables to simulate snow energy and mass balance. This information has already been analyzed in various scientific studies on snow pack dynamics and its interaction with the local climatology or topographical characteristics. However, the database generated has great potential for understanding other environmental processes from a hydrometeorological or ecological perspective in which snow dynamics play a

  14. Calculation of new snow densities from sub-daily automated snow measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helfricht, Kay; Hartl, Lea; Koch, Roland; Marty, Christoph; Lehning, Michael; Olefs, Marc

    2017-04-01

    In mountain regions there is an increasing demand for high-quality analysis, nowcasting and short-range forecasts of the spatial distribution of snowfall. Operational services, such as for avalanche warning, road maintenance and hydrology, as well as hydropower companies and ski resorts need reliable information on the depth of new snow (HN) and the corresponding water equivalent (HNW). However, the ratio of HNW to HN can vary from 1:3 to 1:30 because of the high variability of new snow density with respect to meteorological conditions. In the past, attempts were made to calculate new snow densities from meteorological parameters mainly using daily values of temperature and wind. Further complex statistical relationships have been used to calculate new snow densities on hourly to sub-hourly time intervals to drive multi-layer snow cover models. However, only a few long-term in-situ measurements of new snow density exist for sub-daily time intervals. Settling processes within the new snow due to loading and metamorphism need to be considered when computing new snow density. As the effect of these processes is more pronounced for long time intervals, a high temporal resolution of measurements is desirable. Within the pluSnow project data of several automatic weather stations with simultaneous measurements of precipitation (pluviometers), snow water equivalent (SWE) using snow pillows and snow depth (HS) measurements using ultrasonic rangers were analysed. New snow densities were calculated for a set of data filtered on the basis of meteorological thresholds. The calculated new snow densities were compared to results from existing new snow density parameterizations. To account for effects of settling of the snow cover, a case study based on a multi-year data set using the snow cover model SNOWPACK at Weissfluhjoch was performed. Measured median values of hourly new snow densities at the different stations range from 54 to 83 kgm-3. This is considerably lower than a 1

  15. Quantifying forest mortality with the remote sensing of snow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Emily Hewitt

    Greenhouse gas emissions have altered global climate significantly, increasing the frequency of drought, fire, and pest-related mortality in forests across the western United States, with increasing area affected each year. Associated changes in forests are of great concern for the public, land managers, and the broader scientific community. These increased stresses have resulted in a widespread, spatially heterogeneous decline of forest canopies, which in turn exerts strong controls on the accumulation and melt of the snowpack, and changes forest-atmosphere exchanges of carbon, water, and energy. Most satellite-based retrievals of summer-season forest data are insufficient to quantify canopy, as opposed to the combination of canopy and undergrowth, since the signals of the two types of vegetation greenness have proven persistently difficult to distinguish. To overcome this issue, this research develops a method to quantify forest canopy cover using winter-season fractional snow covered area (FSCA) data from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow covered area and grain size (MODSCAG) algorithm. In areas where the ground surface and undergrowth are completely snow-covered, a pixel comprises only forest canopy and snow. Following a snowfall event, FSCA initially rises, as snow is intercepted in the canopy, and then falls, as snow unloads. A select set of local minima in a winter F SCA timeseries form a threshold where canopy is snow-free, but forest understory is snow-covered. This serves as a spatially-explicit measurement of forest canopy, and viewable gap fraction (VGF) on a yearly basis. Using this method, we determine that MODIS-observed VGF is significantly correlated with an independent product of yearly crown mortality derived from spectral analysis of Landsat imagery at 25 high-mortality sites in northern Colorado. (r =0.96 +/-0.03, p =0.03). Additionally, we determine the lag timing between green-stage tree mortality and

  16. Alpine snow cover in a changing climate: a regional climate model perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steger, Christian; Kotlarski, Sven; Jonas, Tobias; Schär, Christoph

    2013-08-01

    An analysis is presented of an ensemble of regional climate model (RCM) experiments from the ENSEMBLES project in terms of mean winter snow water equivalent (SWE), the seasonal evolution of snow cover, and the duration of the continuous snow cover season in the European Alps. Two sets of simulations are considered, one driven by GCMs assuming the SRES A1B greenhouse gas scenario for the period 1951-2099, and the other by the ERA-40 reanalysis for the recent past. The simulated SWE for Switzerland for the winters 1971-2000 is validated against an observational data set derived from daily snow depth measurements. Model validation shows that the RCMs are capable of simulating the general spatial and seasonal variability of Alpine snow cover, but generally underestimate snow at elevations below 1,000 m and overestimate snow above 1,500 m. Model biases in snow cover can partly be related to biases in the atmospheric forcing. The analysis of climate projections for the twenty first century reveals high inter-model agreement on the following points: The strongest relative reduction in winter mean SWE is found below 1,500 m, amounting to 40-80 % by mid century relative to 1971-2000 and depending upon the model considered. At these elevations, mean winter temperatures