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Sample records for sea ice snow

  1. MODIS Snow and Sea Ice Products

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Dorothy K.; Riggs, George A.; Salomonson, Vincent V.

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe the suite of Earth Observing System (EOS) Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Terra and Aqua snow and sea ice products. Global, daily products, developed at Goddard Space Flight Center, are archived and distributed through the National Snow and Ice Data Center at various resolutions and on different grids useful for different communities Snow products include binary snow cover, snow albedo, and in the near future, fraction of snow in a 5OO-m pixel. Sea ice products include ice extent determined with two different algorithms, and sea ice surface temperature. The algorithms used to develop these products are described. Both the snow and sea ice products, available since February 24,2000, are useful for modelers. Validation of the products is also discussed.

  2. Microwave remote sensing of snow-covered sea ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borgeaud, M.; Kong, J. A.; Lin, F. C.

    1986-01-01

    Snow and ice are modeled as random media characterized by different dielectric constants and correlation functions. In order to model the brine inclusions of sea ice, the random medium is assumed to be anisotropic. A three-layer model is used to simulate a snow-covered ice field with the top layer being snow, the middle layer being ice, and the bottom layer being sea water. The theoretical results are illustrated for thick first-year sea ice covered by dry snow, and for artificial, thin first-year sea ice covered by wet snow as measured in controlled model tank experiments. The radar backscattering cross sections are seen to increase with snow cover for snow-covered sea ice owing to large volume scattering effects of snow.

  3. Spring Snow Depth on Arctic Sea Ice using the IceBridge Snow Depth Product (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, M.; Rigor, I. G.; Nghiem, S. V.; Kurtz, N. T.; Farrell, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    Snow has dual roles in the growth and decay of Arctic sea ice. In winter, it insulates sea ice from colder air temperatures, slowing its growth. From spring into summer, the albedo of snow determines how much insolation is transmitted through the sea ice and into the underlying ocean, ultimately impacting the progression of the summer ice melt. Knowing the snow thickness and distribution are essential for understanding and modeling sea ice thermodynamics and the surface heat budget. Therefore, an accurate assessment of the snow cover is necessary for identifying its impacts in the changing Arctic. This study assesses springtime snow conditions on Arctic sea ice using airborne snow thickness measurements from Operation IceBridge (2009-2012). The 2012 data were validated with coordinated in situ measurements taken in March 2012 during the BRomine, Ozone, and Mercury EXperiment field campaign. We find a statistically significant correlation coefficient of 0.59 and RMS error of 5.8 cm. The comparison between the IceBridge snow thickness product and the 1937, 1954-1991 Soviet drifting ice station data suggests that the snow cover has thinned by 33% in the western Arctic and 44% in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. A rudimentary estimation shows that a thinner snow cover in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas translates to a mid-December surface heat flux as high as 81 W/m2 compared to 32 W/m2. The relationship between the 2009-2012 thinner snow depth distribution and later sea ice freeze-up is statistically significant, with a correlation coefficient of 0.59. These results may help us better understand the surface energy budget in the changing Arctic, and may improve our ability to predict the future state of the sea ice cover.

  4. Seasonal Evolution of Snow Cover on Antarctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maksym, T.; Leonard, K. C.; Trujillo, E.; White, S.; Wilkinson, J.; Stammerjohn, S. E.; Mei, J.

    2015-12-01

    Snow cover on Antarctic sea ice plays a key role in the evolution of ice thickness, its estimation from space-borne altimeters, and structuring of sea ice ecosystems. Yet until recently, there have been very few continuous observations of the seasonal evolution of snow cover on Antarctic sea ice. We present observations of the seasonal evolution of the snow cover from ice mass balance buoys (IMBs) deployed between 2009 and 2013 in the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Amundsen Seas and the East Antarctic sector. In addition, automatic weather stations that provided direct observations of precipitation, accumulation, and blowing snow were deployed alongside IMBs in October, 2012 in the East Antarctic during the Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem eXperiment II (SIPEX II), and in July and August, 2013 in the Weddell Sea during the Antarctic Winter Ecosystem and Climate Study (AWECS). These buoys show markedly different snow accumulation regimes in each sector, although accumulation is also strongly controlled by the local morphology of the ice cover through snow erosion and deposition during blowing snow and precipitations events. Comparisons of snow accumulation from these buoys with estimates from atmospheric reanalysis and the direct measurements of precipitation and blowing snow show that precipitation is generally not a good estimator of snow accumulation. Improved treatment of blowing snow is needed if sea ice models are to accurately simulate Antarctic snow and sea ice mass balance. In summer, melting of the snow pack is relatively modest in most cases. Nevertheless, it appears to play an important role in governing sea ice hydrology and sea ice surface properties, and hence may play an important role in modulating sea ice primary productivity.

  5. Snow depth on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice derived from autonomous (Snow Buoy) measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Arndt, Stefanie; Hendricks, Stefan; Heygster, Georg; Huntemann, Marcus; Katlein, Christian; Langevin, Danielle; Rossmann, Leonard; Schwegmann, Sandra

    2016-04-01

    The snow cover on sea ice received more and more attention in recent sea ice studies and model simulations, because its physical properties dominate many sea ice and upper ocean processes. In particular; the temporal and spatial distribution of snow depth is of crucial importance for the energy and mass budgets of sea ice, as well as for the interaction with the atmosphere and the oceanic freshwater budget. Snow depth is also a crucial parameter for sea ice thickness retrieval algorithms from satellite altimetry data. Recent time series of Arctic sea ice volume only use monthly snow depth climatology, which cannot take into account annual changes of the snow depth and its properties. For Antarctic sea ice, no such climatology is available. With a few exceptions, snow depth on sea ice is determined from manual in-situ measurements with very limited coverage of space and time. Hence the need for more consistent observational data sets of snow depth on sea ice is frequently highlighted. Here, we present time series measurements of snow depths on Antarctic and Arctic sea ice, recorded by an innovative and affordable platform. This Snow Buoy is optimized to autonomously monitor the evolution of snow depth on sea ice and will allow new insights into its seasonality. In addition, the instruments report air temperature and atmospheric pressure directly into different international networks, e.g. the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) and the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP). We introduce the Snow Buoy concept together with technical specifications and results on data quality, reliability, and performance of the units. We highlight the findings from four buoys, which simultaneously drifted through the Weddell Sea for more than 1.5 years, revealing unique information on characteristic regional and seasonal differences. Finally, results from seven snow buoys co-deployed on Arctic sea ice throughout the winter season 2015/16 suggest the great importance of local

  6. Snow, Wind, Sun, and Time - How snow-driven processes control the Arctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polashenski, C.; Druckenmiller, M. L.; Perovich, D. K.

    2012-12-01

    Snowfall on Arctic sea ice is important for a number of reasons. The snowpack insulates sea ice from the cold winter atmosphere, redistribution of snow alters the surface roughness of the ice, light scattering in the snow increases ice albedo and reduces light transmission, and the weight of early season snow can result in ice surface flooding. An integrated set of field observations were collected to better understand how snowfall and, particularly, snow redistribution processes impact Arctic ice mass balance. Coincident measurements of snow depth and ice thickness on un-deformed first year ice indicate that snow dunes 'lock' in place early in the winter growth season, resulting in thinner ice beneath the dunes due to lower rates of energy loss. Coincident ground-based LiDAR measurements of surface topography and snow depth show that snow dune formation is largely responsible for the topographic relief of otherwise flat first year ice. Past work has shown that pond formation during the early melt season is strongly guided by the snow-controlled relative surface heights at a given site. Here multiple study sites are examined in an effort to better understand how differing patterns of snow redistribution can impact the overall extent of melt ponds, and therefore ice albedo. The results enhance basic knowledge of how snow processes control sea ice mass balance, and evoke several questions which must be answered in order to understand how changing precipitation regimes may affect sea ice in the Arctic.

  7. Interdecadal changes in snow depth on Arctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webster, Melinda A.; Rigor, Ignatius G.; Nghiem, Son V.; Kurtz, Nathan T.; Farrell, Sinead L.; Perovich, Donald K.; Sturm, Matthew

    2014-08-01

    Snow plays a key role in the growth and decay of Arctic sea ice. In winter, it insulates sea ice from cold air temperatures, slowing sea ice growth. From spring to summer, the albedo of snow determines how much insolation is absorbed by the sea ice and underlying ocean, impacting ice melt processes. Knowledge of the contemporary snow depth distribution is essential for estimating sea ice thickness and volume, and for understanding and modeling sea ice thermodynamics in the changing Arctic. This study assesses spring snow depth distribution on Arctic sea ice using airborne radar observations from Operation IceBridge for 2009-2013. Data were validated using coordinated in situ measurements taken in March 2012 during the Bromine, Ozone, and Mercury Experiment (BROMEX) field campaign. We find a correlation of 0.59 and root-mean-square error of 5.8 cm between the airborne and in situ data. Using this relationship and IceBridge snow thickness products, we compared the recent results with data from the 1937, 1954-1991 Soviet drifting ice stations. The comparison shows thinning of the snowpack, from 35.1 ± 9.4 to 22.2 ± 1.9 cm in the western Arctic, and from 32.8 ± 9.4 to 14.5 ± 1.9 cm in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. These changes suggest a snow depth decline of 37 ± 29% in the western Arctic and 56 ± 33% in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. Thinning is negatively correlated with the delayed onset of sea ice freezeup during autumn.

  8. The Effect of Excess Snow on Sea Ice in a Global Ice-Ocean Prediction System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winter, B.; Bélair, S.; Lemieux, J. F.

    2014-12-01

    Snow cover on sea ice acts as a thermal insulator, greatly reducing the upward heat flux from the ocean through the ice, specifically through thin ice. The treatment of snow in the CICE sea ice model does not include the effects of blowing snow, thereby leading to an unrealistically thick snow layer on the ice. We investigate the consequences of this excess snow for the upward heat fluxes throughout the year, and how this impacts forecast accuracy in a global ice-ocean prediction model (GIOPS). First results will be presented, and computationally efficient solutions will be discussed.

  9. Small scale variability of snow properties on Antarctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wever, Nander; Leonard, Katherine; Paul, Stephan; Jacobi, Hans-Werner; Proksch, Martin; Lehning, Michael

    2016-04-01

    Snow on sea ice plays an important role in air-ice-sea interactions, as snow accumulation may for example increase the albedo. Snow is also able to smooth the ice surface, thereby reducing the surface roughness, while at the same time it may generate new roughness elements by interactions with the wind. Snow density is a key property in many processes, for example by influencing the thermal conductivity of the snow layer, radiative transfer inside the snow as well as the effects of aerodynamic forcing on the snowpack. By comparing snow density and grain size from snow pits and snow micro penetrometer (SMP) measurements, highly resolved density and grain size profiles were acquired during two subsequent cruises of the RV Polarstern in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica, between June and October 2013. During the first cruise, SMP measurements were done along two approximately 40 m transects with a horizontal resolution of approximately 30 cm. During the second cruise, one transect was made with approximately 7.5 m resolution over a distance of 500 m. Average snow densities are about 300 kg/m3, but the analysis also reveals a high spatial variability in snow density on sea ice in both horizontal and vertical direction, ranging from roughly 180 to 360 kg/m3. This variability is expressed by coherent snow structures over several meters. On the first cruise, the measurements were accompanied by terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) on an area of 50x50 m2. The comparison with the TLS data indicates that the spatial variability is exhibiting similar spatial patterns as deviations in surface topology. This suggests a strong influence from surface processes, for example wind, on the temporal development of density or grain size profiles. The fundamental relationship between variations in snow properties, surface roughness and changes therein as investigated in this study is interpreted with respect to large-scale ice movement and the mass balance.

  10. Simulating Snow Over Sea Ice In Climate Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, James E. (Technical Monitor); Marshall, Susan; Oglesby, Robert J.; Drobot, Sheldon; Anderson, Mark

    2002-01-01

    We have evaluated two methods of simulating the seasonal cycle of snow over sea ice in and around the Arctic: The NCAR global climate model CCM3, with its standard snow hydrology, and the snow pack model SNTHERM, forced with hourly atmospheric output from CCM3. A new dataset providing dates for the onset of snow melt over Arctic sea ice provides a means for assessing basin-wide how well the models simulate melt onset, but contains no information on how long it then takes for all the snow to melt. Use of data from the SHEBA site provides very detailed information on the behavior of the snow before and during the melt season, but only for a very limited area. Russian drift data provide climatological data on the seasonal cycle of snow water equivalent and snow density, over multi-year sea ice in the central Arctic basin. These datasets are used to compare the two modeling methods, and to see if use of the more physically-realistic SNTHERM provides any significant improvements. Conclusions obtained so far include: 1. Both CCM3 and CCM3/SNTHERM do a good job overall of matching the onset of snow melt dataset; although CCM3/SNTHERM consistently trends to underestimate the date and CCM3 to overestimate it. 2. SHEBA and ice drift data for the Arctic show that CCM3/ SNTHERM does a better job than CCM3 at simulating the total melt period. 3. Ice drift snow density and accumulation data suggest that while providing superior results, CCM3/SNTHERM may still suffer from overly vigorous melting. 4. Both the large-scale atmospheric forcing and snow pack physical processes are important in proper simulation of the snow seasonal cycle. Ongoing work includes further diagnosis of CCM3/SNTHERM, use of more observational datasets, especially from marginal seas in the pan-Arctic, and full coupling of SNTHERM into CCM3 (work to date has all been off-line simulations).

  11. Airborne Surveys of Snow Depth over Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  12. Climate Records of Snow, Glaciers and Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballagh, L.; Dye, D.; Howard, A.; Fetterer, F.

    2005-12-01

    Cryospheric data can be used to study global climate change. For example, various environmental factors contribute to changes in annual and interannual snow cover, glacier terminus movement and anomalies of sea ice extent. Archiving and making the data easily accessible is important. At the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), three data sets in particular exhibit characteristics that allow for understanding global climate change. Users can analyze glacier retreat from historical glacier photographs, study changes in sea ice by reviewing historical ice charts, and review changes in the annual autumn snow cover onset and last day of snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere. By including a temporal component, the Timing and Statistics of Autumn and Spring Annual Snow Cover for the Northern Hemisphere data set is useful for analyzing statistics of snow cover timing and their relation to other environmental phenomena, for example, vegetation growth dynamics. The Online Glacier Photograph Database, which contains approximately 3,000 images, provides online search and order options for photographs that were previously in risk of deterioration. The Arctic Sea Ice Charts, 1953-1986: W. Dehn Collection data set includes ice charts of the Canadian and Alaskan Arctic Ocean that can be browsed by region and date range. Previously, these ice charts were archived in analog format and in need of long-term preservation. The NOAA Climate Database Modernization Program (CDMP) supported the digitization of both the historical photographs and the sea ice charts. By evaluating these data sets, users will have the opportunity to better interpret climatic change related to snow cover, sea ice and glacier retreat.

  13. The Effects of Snow Depth Forcing on Southern Ocean Sea Ice Simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powel, Dylan C.; Markus, Thorsten; Stoessel, Achim

    2003-01-01

    The spatial and temporal distribution of snow on sea ice is an important factor for sea ice and climate models. First, it acts as an efficient insulator between the ocean and the atmosphere, and second, snow is a source of fresh water for altering the already weak Southern Ocean stratification. For the Antarctic, where the ice thickness is relatively thin, snow can impact the ice thickness in two ways: a) As mentioned above snow on sea ice reduces the ocean-atmosphere heat flux and thus reduces freezing at the base of the ice flows; b) a heavy snow load can suppress the ice below sea level which causes flooding and, with subsequent freezing, a thickening of the sea ice (snow-to-ice conversion). In this paper, we compare different snow fall paramterizations (incl. the incorporation of satellite-derived snow depth) and study the effect on the sea ice using a sea ice model.

  14. Large-Scale Surveys of Snow Depth on Arctic Sea Ice from Operation IceBridge

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurtz, Nathan T.; Farrell, Sinead L.

    2011-01-01

    We show the first results of a large ]scale survey of snow depth on Arctic sea ice from NASA fs Operation IceBridge snow radar system for the 2009 season and compare the data to climatological snow depth values established over the 1954.1991 time period. For multiyear ice, the mean radar derived snow depth is 33.1 cm and the corresponding mean climatological snow depth is 33.4 cm. The small mean difference suggests consistency between contemporary estimates of snow depth with the historical climatology for the multiyear ice region of the Arctic. A 16.5 cm mean difference (climatology minus radar) is observed for first year ice areas suggesting that the increasingly seasonal sea ice cover of the Arctic Ocean has led to an overall loss of snow as the region has transitioned away from a dominantly multiyear ice cover.

  15. Thermodynamics of slush and snow-ice formation in the Antarctic sea-ice zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jutras, Mathilde; Vancoppenolle, Martin; Lourenço, Antonio; Vivier, Frédéric; Carnat, Gauthier; Madec, Gurvan; Rousset, Clément; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2016-09-01

    Snow over Antarctic sea ice is often flooded by brine or seawater, particularly in spring, forming slush and snow ice. Here, we evaluate the representation of the thermodynamics of slush and snow-ice formation in large-scale sea-ice models, using laboratory experiments (NaCl solutions poured into grated ice in an isolated container). Scaling analysis highlights latent heat as the main term of the energy budget. The temperature of the new sea ice immediately after flooding is found very close to the saltwater freezing point, whereas its bulk salinity is typically > 20 g / kg. Large-scale sea-ice models faithfully represent such physics, yet the uncertainty on the origin of flooding saltwater impacts the calculated new ice temperature, because of the different salinities of seawater and brine. The laboratory experiments also suggest a potential limitation to the existing physical representations of flooding: for brine fractions > 60 %, ice crystals start floating upon saltwater. Natural sea-ice observations suggest that the isolated system assumption holds for a few hours at most, after which rapid heat and salt exchanges mostly destroy the initial flooding signature on temperature and salinity. A small footprint on ice salinity remains however, natural snow ice is found 3-5 g/kg more saline than other forms of sea ice.

  16. Correlated declines in Pacific arctic snow and sea ice cover

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, Robert P.; Douglas, David C.; Belchansky, Gennady I.; Drobot, Sheldon

    2005-01-01

    Simulations of future climate suggest that global warming will reduce Arctic snow and ice cover, resulting in decreased surface albedo (reflectivity). Lowering of the surface albedo leads to further warming by increasing solar absorption at the surface. This phenomenon is referred to as “temperature–albedo feedback.” Anticipation of such a feedback is one reason why scientists look to the Arctic for early indications of global warming. Much of the Arctic has warmed significantly. Northern Hemisphere snow cover has decreased, and sea ice has diminished in area and thickness. As reported in the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment in 2004, the trends are considered to be outside the range of natural variability, implicating global warming as an underlying cause. Changing climatic conditions in the high northern latitudes have influenced biogeochemical cycles on a broad scale. Warming has already affected the sea ice, the tundra, the plants, the animals, and the indigenous populations that depend on them. Changing annual cycles of snow and sea ice also affect sources and sinks of important greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane), further complicating feedbacks involving the global budgets of these important constituents. For instance, thawing permafrost increases the extent of tundra wetlands and lakes, releasing greater amounts of methane into the atmosphere. Variable sea ice cover may affect the hemispheric carbon budget by altering the ocean–atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide. There is growing concern that amplification of global warming in the Arctic will have far-reaching effects on lower latitude climate through these feedback mechanisms. Despite the diverse and convincing observational evidence that the Arctic environment is changing, it remains unclear whether these changes are anthropogenically forced or result from natural variations of the climate system. A better understanding of what controls the seasonal distributions of snow and ice

  17. Sea Ice Thickness, Freeboard, and Snow Depth products from Operation IceBridge Airborne Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurtz, N. T.; Farrell, S. L.; Studinger, M.; Galin, N.; Harbeck, J. P.; Lindsay, R.; Onana, V. D.; Panzer, B.; Sonntag, J. G.

    2013-01-01

    The study of sea ice using airborne remote sensing platforms provides unique capabilities to measure a wide variety of sea ice properties. These measurements are useful for a variety of topics including model evaluation and improvement, assessment of satellite retrievals, and incorporation into climate data records for analysis of interannual variability and long-term trends in sea ice properties. In this paper we describe methods for the retrieval of sea ice thickness, freeboard, and snow depth using data from a multisensor suite of instruments on NASA's Operation IceBridge airborne campaign. We assess the consistency of the results through comparison with independent data sets that demonstrate that the IceBridge products are capable of providing a reliable record of snow depth and sea ice thickness. We explore the impact of inter-campaign instrument changes and associated algorithm adaptations as well as the applicability of the adapted algorithms to the ongoing IceBridge mission. The uncertainties associated with the retrieval methods are determined and placed in the context of their impact on the retrieved sea ice thickness. Lastly, we present results for the 2009 and 2010 IceBridge campaigns, which are currently available in product form via the National Snow and Ice Data Center

  18. Contaminants in arctic snow collected over northwest Alaskan sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garbarino, J.R.; Snyder-Conn, E.; Leiker, T.J.; Hoffman, G.L.

    2002-01-01

    Snow cores were collected over sea ice from four northwest Alaskan Arctic estuaries that represented the annual snowfall from the 1995-1996 season. Dissolved trace metals, major cations and anions, total mercury, and organochlorine compounds were determined and compared to concentrations in previous arctic studies. Traces (<4 nanograms per liter, ng L-1) of cis- and trans-chlordane, dimethyl 2,3,5,6-tetrachloroterephthalate, dieldrin, endosulfan II, and PCBs were detected in some samples, with endosulfan I consistently present. High chlorpyrifos concentrations (70-80 ng L-1) also were estimated at three sites. The snow was highly enriched in sulfates (69- 394 mg L-1), with high proportions of nonsea salt sulfates at three of five sites (9 of 15 samples), thus indicating possible contamination through long-distance transport and deposition of sulfate-rich atmospheric aerosols. Mercury, cadmium, chromium, molybdenum, and uranium were typically higher in the marine snow (n = 15) in relation to snow from arctic terrestrial studies, whereas cations associated with terrigenous sources, such as aluminum, frequently were lower over the sea ice. One Kasegaluk Lagoon site (Chukchi Sea) had especially high concentrations of total mercury (mean = 214 ng L-1, standard deviation = 5 ng L-1), but no methyl mercury was detected above the method detection limit (0.036 ng L-1) at any of the sites. Elevated concentrations of sulfate, mercury, and certain heavy metals might indicate mechanisms of contaminant loss from the arctic atmosphere over marine water not previously reported over land areas. Scavenging by snow, fog, or riming processes and the high content of deposited halides might facilitate the loss of such contaminants from the atmosphere. Both the mercury and chlorpyrifos concentrations merit further investigation in view of their toxicity to aquatic organisms at low concentrations.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  20. The Impact of Snow and Ice Morphology on Radar Altimetric Determination of Sea Ice Thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, T.; Brozena, J. M.; Ball, D.; Liang, R.; Abelev, A.; Gardner, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Observations of the current state of Arctic sea ice indicate a trend towards a younger, thinner and more mobile pack that exhibits significant inter-annual variability. Radar returns from altimeters are impacted by the morphology of snow and ice features on the surface as well as the characteristics of radar pulse penetration through the snow pack. Together these contribute to uncertainty in the procedures for deriving sea ice freeboard from radar altimeter data. We make use of dense lidar grids and airborne snow radar measurements, collected on the sea ice pack north of Barrow, Alaska by the Naval Research Laboratory in 2014 and 2015, to investigate the effect of ice surface morphology on radar altimeter measurements. We quantify the effect of surface morphology using a nested approach that includes forward modeling, snow radar data and a comprehensive set of in situ measurements. Our results allow us to better constrain the altimetric uncertainty resulting from ice surface morphology, with respect to ice type. This will lead to an enhanced understanding of sources of uncertainty in altimeter-derived sea ice thickness products.

  1. On the extraordinary snow on the sea ice off East Antarctica in late winter, 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toyota, Takenobu; Massom, Robert; Lecomte, Olivier; Nomura, Daiki; Heil, Petra; Tamura, Takeshi; Fraser, Alexander D.

    2016-09-01

    In late winter-early spring 2012, the second Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems Experiment (SIPEX II) was conducted off Wilkes Land, East Antarctica, onboard R/V Aurora Australis. The sea-ice conditions were characterized by significantly thick first-year ice and snow, trapping the ship for about 10 days in the near coastal region. The deep snow cover was particularly remarkable, in that its average value of 0.45 m was almost three times that observed between 1992 and 2007 in the region. To reveal factors responsible, we used in situ observations and ERA-Interim reanalysis (1990-2012) to examine the relative contribution of the different components of the local-regional snow mass balance equation i.e., snow accumulation on sea ice, precipitation minus evaporation (P-E), and loss by (i) snow-ice formation and (ii) entering into leads due to drifting snow. Results show no evidence for significantly high P-E in the winter of 2012. Ice core analysis has shown that although the snow-ice layer was relatively thin, indicating less transformation from snow to snow-ice in 2012 as compared to measurements from 2007, the difference was not enough to explain the extraordinarily deep snow. Based on these results, we deduce that lower loss of snow into leads was probably responsible for the extraordinary snow in 2012. Statistical analysis and satellite images suggest that the reduction in loss of snow into leads is attributed to rough ice surface associated with active deformation processes and larger floe size due to sea-ice expansion. This highlights the importance of snow-sea ice interaction in determining the mean snow depth on Antarctic sea ice.

  2. The role of declining Arctic sea ice in recent decreasing terrestrial Arctic snow depths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, Hotaek; Walsh, John E.; Kim, Yongwon; Nakai, Taro; Ohata, Tetsuo

    2013-06-01

    The dramatic decline in Arctic sea ice cover is anticipated to influence atmospheric temperatures and circulation patterns. These changes will affect the terrestrial climate beyond the boundary of the Arctic, consequently modulating terrestrial snow cover. Therefore, an improved understanding of the relationship between Arctic sea ice and snow depth over the terrestrial Arctic is warranted. We examined responses of snow depth to the declining Arctic sea ice extent in September, during the period of 1979-2006. The major reason for a focus on snow depth, rather than snow cover, is because its variability has a climatic memory that impacts hydrothermal processes during the following summer season. Analyses of combined data sets of satellite measurements of sea ice extent and snow depth, simulated by a land surface model (CHANGE), suggested that an anomalously larger snow depth over northeastern Siberia during autumn and winter was significantly correlated to the declining September Arctic sea ice extent, which has resulted in cooling temperatures, along with an increase in precipitation. Meanwhile, the reduction of Arctic sea ice has amplified warming temperatures in North America, which has readily offset the input of precipitation to snow cover, consequently further decreasing snow depth. However, a part of the Canadian Arctic recorded an increase in snow depth driven locally by the diminishing September Arctic sea ice extent. Decreasing snow depth at the hemispheric scale, outside the northernmost regions (i.e., northeastern Siberia and Canadian Arctic), indicated that Arctic amplification related to the diminishing Arctic sea ice has already impacted the terrestrial Arctic snow depth. The strong reduction in Arctic sea ice anticipated in the future also suggests a potential long-range impact on Arctic snow cover. Moreover, the snow depth during the early snow season tends to contribute to the warming of soil temperatures in the following summer, at least in the

  3. Impact of declining Arctic sea ice on recent decreasing terrestrial Arctic snow depths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    PARK, H.; Walsh, J. E.; Kim, Y.; Nakai, T.; Ohata, T.

    2012-12-01

    The dramatic decline in Arctic sea ice cover is anticipated to influence atmospheric temperatures and circulation patterns. These changes will affect the terrestrial climate beyond the boundary of the Arctic, consequently modulating terrestrial snow cover. Therefore, an improved understanding of the relationship between Arctic sea ice and snow depth over the terrestrial Arctic is warranted. We examined responses of snow depth to the declining Arctic sea ice extent in September, during the period of 1979-2006. The major reason for a focus on snow depth, rather than snow cover, is because its variability has a climatic memory that impacts hydrothermal processes during the following summer season. Analyses of combined data sets of satellite measurements of sea ice extent and snow depth, simulated by a land surface model (CHANGE), suggested that an anomalously larger snow depth over northeastern Siberia during autumn and winter was significantly correlated to the declining September Arctic sea ice extent, which has resulted in cooling temperatures, along with an increase in precipitation. Meanwhile, the reduction of Arctic sea ice has amplified warming temperatures in North America, which has readily offset the input of precipitation to snow cover, consequently further decreasing snow depth. However, a part of the Canadian Arctic recorded an increase in snow depth driven locally by the diminishing September Arctic sea ice extent. Decreasing snow depth at the hemispheric scale, outside the northernmost regions (i.e., northeastern Siberia and Canadian Arctic), indicated that Arctic amplification related to the diminishing Arctic sea ice has already impacted the terrestrial Arctic snow depth. The strong reduction in Arctic sea ice anticipated in the future also suggests a potential long-range impact on Arctic snow cover. Moreover, the snow depth during the early snow season tends to contribute to the warming of soil temperatures in the following summer, at least in the

  4. Snow distribution on Antarctic sea ice: precipitation, accumulation, and connections to sea ice thickness from in situ and NASA IceBridge observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maksym, T. L.; Kunz, C.; Kwok, R.; Leonard, K. C.; Singh, H.; Trujillo, E.; Williams, G. D.; White, S.; Wever, N.

    2014-12-01

    Snow plays a dominant role in Antarctic sea ice mass balance and its seasonal evolution. It is a primary control on sea ice thickness and the structure of sea ice ecosystems, it dominates the uncertainty in satellite estimates of ice thickness, and it may significantly modulate the response of sea ice to climate change and variability. Here, we provide an overview of recent surveys of snow distribution (both small and large scale), its temporal evolution, and its connection with the processes that drive it - precipitation, accumulation, blowing snow events, flooding, and the role of ice deformation. We present recent 3-D in situ floe-scale measurements of snow surface topography, snow depth, and ice thickness distribution that allow relationships between surface roughness features, snow accumulation, and ice thickness to be examined in unprecedented detail. These data are compared with estimates of snow depth from the NASA IceBridge radar from spring surveys in the Weddell and Amundsen/Bellingshausen Seas. Both airborne and in situ measurements suggest a significant extent of thick ice with a deep snow cover that is underrepresented in prior surveys. Finally, the seasonal evolution of precipitation, snow depth, and accumulation is examined with data from drifting buoy platforms deployed in several regions of the Antarctic. These observations show that precipitation is not necessarily a good estimator for snow accumulation and that treatment of blowing snow must be included for sea ice models to accurately simulate Antarctic snow and sea ice mass balance. The implications of these results for modeling and satellite measurement of the sea ice thickness distribution are discussed.

  5. Snow thickness retrieval over thick Arctic sea ice using SMOS satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maaß, N.; Kaleschke, L.; Tian-Kunze, X.; Drusch, M.

    2013-07-01

    The microwave interferometric radiometer of the European Space Agency's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission measures at a frequency of 1.4 GHz in the L-band. In contrast to other microwave satellites, low frequency measurements in L-band have a large penetration depth in sea ice and thus contain information on the ice thickness. Previous ice thickness retrievals have neglected a snow layer on top of the ice. Here, we implement a snow layer in our emission model and investigate how snow influences L-band brightness temperatures and whether it is possible to retrieve snow thickness over thick Arctic sea ice from SMOS data. We find that the brightness temperatures above snow-covered sea ice are higher than above bare sea ice and that horizontal polarisation is more affected by the snow layer than vertical polarisation. In accordance with our theoretical investigations, the root mean square deviation between simulated and observed horizontally polarised brightness temperatures decreases from 20.0 K to 4.4 K, when we include the snow layer in the simulations. Under cold Arctic conditions we find brightness temperatures to increase with increasing snow thickness. Because dry snow is almost transparent in L-band, this brightness temperature's dependence on snow thickness origins from the thermal insulation of snow and its dependence on the snow layer thickness. This temperature effect allows us to retrieve snow thickness over thick sea ice. For the best simulation scenario and snow thicknesses up to 35 cm, the average snow thickness retrieved from horizontally polarised SMOS brightness temperatures agrees within 0.7 cm with the average snow thickness measured during the IceBridge flight campaign in the Arctic in spring 2012. The corresponding root mean square deviation is 6.3 cm, and the correlation coefficient is r2 = 0.55.

  6. Snow thickness retrieval over thick Arctic sea ice using SMOS satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maaß, N.; Kaleschke, L.; Tian-Kunze, X.; Drusch, M.

    2013-12-01

    The microwave interferometric radiometer of the European Space Agency's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission measures at a frequency of 1.4 GHz in the L-band. In contrast to other microwave satellites, low frequency measurements in L-band have a large penetration depth in sea ice and thus contain information on the ice thickness. Previous ice thickness retrievals have neglected a snow layer on top of the ice. Here, we implement a snow layer in our emission model and investigate how snow influences L-band brightness temperatures and whether it is possible to retrieve snow thickness over thick Arctic sea ice from SMOS data. We find that the brightness temperatures above snow-covered sea ice are higher than above bare sea ice and that horizontal polarisation is more affected by the snow layer than vertical polarisation. In accordance with our theoretical investigations, the root mean square deviation between simulated and observed horizontally polarised brightness temperatures decreases from 20.9 K to 4.7 K, when we include the snow layer in the simulations. Although dry snow is almost transparent in L-band, we find brightness temperatures to increase with increasing snow thickness under cold Arctic conditions. The brightness temperatures' dependence on snow thickness can be explained by the thermal insulation of snow and its dependence on the snow layer thickness. This temperature effect allows us to retrieve snow thickness over thick sea ice. For the best simulation scenario and snow thicknesses up to 35 cm, the average snow thickness retrieved from horizontally polarised SMOS brightness temperatures agrees within 0.1 cm with the average snow thickness measured during the IceBridge flight campaign in the Arctic in spring 2012. The corresponding root mean square deviation is 5.5 cm, and the coefficient of determination is r2 = 0.58.

  7. Snow Cover on the Arctic Sea Ice: Model Validation, Sensitivity, and 21st Century Projections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blazey, Benjamin Andrew

    The role of snow cover in controlling Arctic Ocean sea ice thickness and extent is assessed with a series of models. Investigations with the stand alone Community Ice CodE (CICE) show, first, a reduction in snow depth triggers a decrease in ice volume and area, and, second, that the impact of increased snow is heavily dependent on ice and atmospheric conditions. Hindcast snow depths on the Arctic ice, simulated by the fully coupled Community Climate System Model (CCSM) are validated with 20th century in situ snow depth measurements. The snow depths in CCSM are found to be deeper than observed, likely due to excessive precipitation produced by the component atmosphere model. The sensitivity of the ice to the thermal barrier imposed by the biased snow depth is assessed. The removal of the thermodynamic impact of the exaggerated snow depth increases ice area and volume. The initial increases in ice due to enhanced conductive flux triggers feedback mechanisms with the atmosphere and ocean, reinforcing the increase in ice. Finally, the 21st century projections of decreased Arctic Ocean snow depth in CCSM are reported and diagnosed. The changes in snow are dominated by reduced accumulation due to the lack of autumn ice cover. Without this platform, much of the early snowfall is lost directly to the ocean. While this decrease in snow results in enhanced conductive flux through the ice as in the validation sensitivity experiment, the decreased summer albedo is found to dominate, as in the CICE stand alone sensitivity experiment. As such, the decrease in snow projected by CCSM in the 21st century presents a mechanism to continued ice loss. These negative (ice growth due decreased insulation) and positive (ice melt due to decreased albedo) feedback mechanisms highlight the need for an accurate representation snow cover on the ice in order to accurately simulate the evolution of Arctic Ocean sea ice.

  8. Antarctic snow and sea ice processes: Effects on passive microwave emissions and AMSR-E sea ice products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Michael John, Jr.

    In this research, passive microwave remote sensing products generated for the Antarctic sea ice zone from the Advance Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) sensor were compared with various in situ field measurements, both from previous Antarctic campaigns in the published literature and as obtained during the Sea Ice Mass Balance in the Antarctic (SIMBA) project during the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007--2008. Data gathered during the SIMBA project was used to understand the geophysical processes occurring in the sea ice and snow cover of the Bellingshausen Sea and to provide a physical basis for modeling of microwave emissions. In Chapter 2, the AMSR-E sea ice temperature product was compared with AMSR-E snow depth product and previous in situ field measurements. The comparisons were not intended to provide a strict validation of remote sensing products, but to evaluate the physical context of the remotely sensed data and examine potential trends. From examination of the data, it was found that the AMSR-E sea ice temperature product conflicted with several generally observed sea ice properties. The apparent contradictory behavior of the satellite data product is indicative of radiative temperature behavior related to changes in emissivity within the ice pack. Further comparisons of the AMSR-E sea ice temperature product with in situ temperature data from Ice Mass-balance Buoys (IMB) from two Antarctic field programs showed no correlation. However, apparent response of sea ice temperature product to snow/ice interface flooding events was noted. In Chapter 3, an important sea ice process related to the formation of "gap layers" within Antarctic sea ice was examined and modeled. Gap layers are horizontal voids that develop internally within the sea ice structure, often filled with decaying sea ice, saline slush, and a microbial biological community that thrives on the available nutrients. Gap layers are commonly observed in summer melt

  9. On the sensitivity of large scale sea-ice models to snow thermal conductivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecomte, O.; Fichefet, T.; Vancoppenolle, M.; Massonnet, F.

    2012-04-01

    In both hemispheres, the sea-ice snow cover is a key element in the local climate system and particularly in the processes driving the sea-ice thickness evolution. Because of its high reflectance and thermal insulating properties, the snow pack inhibits or delays the sea-ice summer surface melt. In winter however, snow acts as a blanket that curtails the heat loss from the sea ice to the atmosphere and therefore reduces the basal growth rate. Among the snow thermo-physical properties, snow thermal conductivity is known to be one of the most important with regard to the sea-ice-related thermodynamical processes. In the literature, both model and observational studies parameterize the snow thermal conductivity as a function of density and several different relationships are used. For the purpose of large scale modelling, one issue is then to have the snow density correctly represented while, for computational cost reasons, a comprehensive snow scheme can generally not be used in such models. Since it is known by observationalists that one of the key atmospheric parameters that affect snow thermal conductivity and density is the wind speed, one way to get around the problem is to try to have a realistic representation of the snow density profiles on the sea-ice directly using observations or simple wind speed depending parameterizations. In this study, we analyze the importance of the snow density profile and thermal conductivity in the thermodynamic-dynamic Louvain-la-Neuve Sea-Ice Model (LIM3), which is part of the ocean modelling platform NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean, IPSL, Paris). In order to do this, a new snow thermodynamic scheme was developed and implemented into LIM3. This scheme is multilayer with varying snow thermo-physical properties. For memory and computational cost reasons, it includes only 3 layers but the vertical grid is refined in thermodynamic routines. Although snow density is time- and space-dependent in the model, it is not

  10. The impact of snow depth, snow density and ice density on sea ice thickness retrieval from satellite radar altimetry: results from the ESA-CCI Sea Ice ECV Project Round Robin Exercise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kern, S.; Khvorostovsky, K.; Skourup, H.; Rinne, E.; Parsakhoo, Z. S.; Djepa, V.; Wadhams, P.; Sandven, S.

    2015-01-01

    We assess different methods and input parameters, namely snow depth, snow density and ice density, used in freeboard-to-thickness conversion of Arctic sea ice. This conversion is an important part of sea ice thickness retrieval from spaceborne altimetry. A data base is created comprising sea ice freeboard derived from satellite radar altimetry between 1993 and 2012 and co-locate observations of total (sea ice + snow) and sea ice freeboard from the Operation Ice Bridge (OIB) and CryoSat Validation Experiment (CryoVEx) airborne campaigns, of sea ice draft from moored and submarine upward looking sonar (ULS), and of snow depth from OIB campaigns, Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) and the Warren climatology (Warren et al., 1999). We compare the different data sets in spatiotemporal scales where satellite radar altimetry yields meaningful results. An inter-comparison of the snow depth data sets emphasizes the limited usefulness of Warren climatology snow depth for freeboard-to-thickness conversion under current Arctic Ocean conditions reported in other studies. We test different freeboard-to-thickness and freeboard-to-draft conversion approaches. The mean observed ULS sea ice draft agrees with the mean sea ice draft derived from radar altimetry within the uncertainty bounds of the data sets involved. However, none of the approaches are able to reproduce the seasonal cycle in sea ice draft observed by moored ULS. A sensitivity analysis of the freeboard-to-thickness conversion suggests that sea ice density is as important as snow depth.

  11. Sea salt aerosol from blowing snow on sea ice - modeling vs observation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Xin; Frey, Markus; Norris, Sarah; Brooks, Ian; Anderson, Philip; Jones, Anna; wolff, Eric; Legrand, Michel

    2016-04-01

    Blowing snow over sea ice, through a subsequent sublimation process of salt-containing blown snow particles, has been hypothesized as a significant sea salt aerosol (SSA) source in high latitudes. This mechanism has been strongly supported by a winter cruise in the Weddell Sea (during June-August 2013). The newly collected data, including both physical and chemical components, provide a unique way to test and validate the parameterisation used for describing the SSA production from blowing snow events. With updates to some key parameters such as snow salinity in a global Chemistry-transport model pTOMCAT, simulated SSA concentrations can be well compared with measured SSA data. In this presentation, I will report modeled SSA number density against collected data on board of Polarstern ship during the Weddell Sea cruise, as well as modeled SSA massive concentrations against those measured at both coastal sites such as Alert in the North and Dumont d'Urville (DDU) in the South and central Antarctic sites such as Concordia and Kohnen stations. Model experiments indicated that open ocean-sourced SSA could not explain the observed winter SSA peaks seen in most polar sites, while with sea ice-sourced SSA in the model, the winter peaks can be well improved indicating the importance of sea ice-sourced SSA as a significant contributor to the salts (Na+, Cl-) recorded in the ice core.

  12. Estimating small-scale snow depth and ice thickness from total freeboard for East Antarctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steer, Adam; Heil, Petra; Watson, Christopher; Massom, Robert A.; Lieser, Jan L.; Ozsoy-Cicek, Burcu

    2016-09-01

    Deriving the snow depth on Antarctic sea ice is a key factor in estimating sea-ice thickness distributions from space or airborne altimeters. Using a linear regression to model snow depth from observed 'total freeboard', or the snow/ice surface elevation relative to sea level is an efficient and promising method for the estimation of snow depth for instruments which only detect the uppermost surface of the sea-ice conglomerate (e.g. laser altimetry). However the Antarctic pack-ice zone is subject to substantial variability due to synoptic-scale weather forcing. Ice formation, motion and melt undergo large spatio-temporal variability throughout the year. In this paper we estimate snow depth from total freeboard for the ARISE (2003), SIPEX (2007) and SIPEX-II (2012) research voyages to the East Antarctic pack-ice zone. Using in situ data we investigate variability in snow depth and show that for East Antarctica, relationships between snow depth and total freeboard vary between each voyage. At a resolution of metres to tens of metres, we show how regression-based snow-depth models track total freeboard and generally over-estimate snow depth, especially on highly deformed sea ice and at sites where ice freeboard makes a substantial contribution to total freeboard. For a set of 3192 records we obtain an in situ mean snow depth of 0.21 m (σ = 0.19 m). Using a regression model derived from all in situ points we obtain the same mean, with a slightly lower variability (σ = 0.16 m). Using voyage-specific subsets of the data to derive regression models and estimate snow depth, mean snow depths ranged from 0.19 m (model derived from SIPEX observations) to 0.25 m (model derived from SIPEX-II observations). While small, these discrepancies impact ice thickness estimation using the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium. Mean in situ ice thickness for all samples is 1.44 m (σ = 1.19 m). Using empirical models for snow depth, ice thickness varies from 1.0 to 1.8 m with the best

  13. Modeling of Electromagnetic Waves Scattering from Snow Covered First Year Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komarov, A. S.; Barber, D. G.; Isleifson, D. K.

    2011-12-01

    Modeling of electromagnetic wave interaction with sea ice is required for various remote sensing applications, such as an interpretation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery over sea ice. In this study, we present numerical modeling of the Normalized Radar Cross Section (NRCS) at vertical and horizontal polarizations from snow covered First Year (FY) sea ice. We consider sea ice as a layered medium with an arbitrary profile of dielectric constant, and the snow cover as a homogeneous layer on the top of the sea ice. Surface scattering at the snow-sea ice interface was taken into account by the first-order approximation of the small perturbation method. We obtained an analytical formulation for radar cross-sections at vertical and horizontal polarizations and conducted numerical modeling of the backscattering characteristics. The solution derived for NRCSs includes reflection coefficients from snow and sea ice. The calculation of reflection coefficients from the stratified sea ice is considered separately as an auxiliary problem. In-situ geophysical properties of snow and sea ice collected during the Circumpolar Flow Lead (CFL) system study project were used to estimate the dielectric constants of snow and sea ice for several case studies. The dielectric constant of the sea ice was calculated using the Polder-van-Santen/de Loor (PVD) mixture model, while the dielectric constant of the snow was estimated using a Debye-like model. The calculated angular dependencies of the NRCSs (HH- and VV- polarizations) and co-polarization ratios were compared with in-situ C-band scatterometer measurements. These comparisons demonstrate a good agreement between simulated and observed scattering characteristics.

  14. Model Representation of Last Decade Regional Changes of Arctic Snow on Sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricker, R.; Castro-Morales, K.; Gerdes, R.

    2015-12-01

    Present changes that Arctic snow on sea ice experience due to a warming climate have important implications to the sea ice component, precipitation, heat and radiation budgets. In this study, we analyzed the regional distribution and changes, from 2000 to 2013, of Arctic snow depth simulated with a coupled sea ice-general circulation model. For validation, we compared the modeled snow depths (hs_mod) with airborne snow depth measurements from NASA's Operation IceBridge (hs_OIB) from 2009 to 2013. As in many current sea-ice models, our model configuration consist on a single-layer snow scheme and lack of explicit snow redistribution processes. The snow is accumulated proportionally to the prescribed sea-ice thickness distribution. Despite the simple scheme, our results show that the hs_mod latitudinal distribution in the western Arctic is in good agreement to the OIB observations. The hs_mod is generally thicker than hs_OIB: for latitudes dominated by first-year ice (between 67° N and 76° N) hs_mod is on average 1.1±7.9 cm thicker than hs_OIB, while for multi-year ice dominated latitudes (> 76° N), hs_mod is on average 3.0±8.8 cm thicker than hs_OIB. By 2013, the Arctic-wide hs decreased 21 % with respect to the hs multi-annual mean (2000 to 2013) occurring mainly in first-year ice dominated areas. In a simple snow mass budget, our results show that 65 % of the yearly accumulated snow is lost by sublimation and snowmelt due to the heat transfer between the snow/ice interface and the atmosphere. Despite the yearly recovery of snow in winter, the long-term reduction in the summer sea-ice extent ultimately affects the maximum accumulation of snow in spring. Compared to snow reduction estimates from snow radar measurements, the model results underestimate this loss, and we suggest that this is partially due to the lack of explicit snow redistribution processes in the model, ratifying the need to include these in current sea-ice models to improve the snow

  15. Snow Depth and Ice Thickness Measurements From the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas Collected During the AMSR-Ice03 Campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sturm, M.; Holmgren, J.; Maslanik, J. A.; Perovich, D. K.; Richter-Menge, J.; Stroeve, J. C.; Markus, T.; Heinrichs, J. F.; Tape, K.

    2006-01-01

    In March 2003, a field validation campaign was conducted on the sea ice near Barrow, AK. The goal of this campaign was to produce an extensive dataset of sea ice thickness and snow properties (depth and stratigraphy) against which remote sensing products collected by aircraft and satellite could be compared. Chief among these were products from the Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR) flown aboard a NASA P-3B aircraft and the Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E). The data were collected in four field areas: three on the coastal sea ice near Barrow, AK, and the fourth out on the open ice pack 175 km northeast of Barrow. The snow depth ranged from 9.4-20.8 cm in coastal areas (n = 9881 for three areas) with the thinnest snow on ice that had formed late in the winter. Out in the main pack ice, the snow was 20.6 cm deep (n = 1906). The ice in all four areas ranged from 138-219 cm thick (n = 1952), with the lower value again where the ice had formed late in the winter. Snow layer and grain characteristics observed in 118 snow pits indicated that 44% of observed snow layers were depth hoar; 46% were wind slab. Snow and ice measurements were keyed to photomosaics produced from low-altitude vertical aerial photographs. Using these, and a distinctive three-way relationship between ice roughness, snow surface characteristics, and snow depth, strip maps of snow depth, each about 2 km wide, were produced bracketing the traverse lines. These maps contain an unprecedented level of snow depth detail against which to compare remote sensing products. The maps are used in other papers in this special issue to examine the retrieval of snow properties from the PSR and AMSR-E sensors.

  16. On the representation of snow in large scale sea-ice models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecomte, O.; Fichefet, T.; Vancoppenolle, M.; Massonnet, F.

    2011-12-01

    In both hemispheres, the sea-ice snow cover is a key element in the local climate system and particularly in the processes driving the sea-ice thickness evolution. Because of its high reflectance and thermal insulating properties, the snow pack inhibits or delays the sea-ice summer surface melt. In winter however, snow acts as a blanket that curtails the heat loss from the sea ice to the atmosphere and therefore reduces the basal growth rate. Among the processes controlling the snow state on sea ice, snowfall, wind and temperature changes are probably the most important. Despite its high horizontal heterogeneity, due to the transport by wind and the underlying sea-ice thickness distribution, the snow cover is vertically stratified. Each layer carries a signature of past weather events, for relatively recent snow, and metamorphic pathways that older snow may have been through. In a simplified model, this snow stratigraphy can be represented by its vertical density profi[|#12#|]le, while the other snow properties are assumed to be computationable from density. In this study, we analyze the importance of the snow density profi[|#12#|]le in both one-dimensional and full versions of the thermodynamic-dynamic Louvain-la-Neuve Sea-Ice Model (LIM3), which is part of the ocean modelling platform NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean, IPSL, Paris). In order to do this, a new snow thermodynamic scheme was developed and implemented into LIM3. This scheme is multilayer with varying snow thermo-physical properties. For memory and computational cost reasons, it includes only 3 layers but the vertical grid is refi[|#12#|]ned in thermodynamic routines. Although snow density is time- and space-dependent in the model, it is not a prognostic variable. The shape of the density pro[|#12#|]file is prescribed as a function of snow and ice thicknesses, based on snow pit observations. Several typical profi[|#12#|]les are tested in the model and results are presented by

  17. Remote Sensing of Snow on Sea Ice - What are we Missing?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, C.; Willmes, S.

    2015-12-01

    Snow on sea ice and its seasonal changes are most important contributors to the year-round sea ice mass balance and are in many ways more characteristic of sea ice satellite signatures than sea ice properties themselves. Snow thickness, density, and stratigraphy are among the most important snow variables, affecting snow optical properties, thermal conductivity, and microwave signatures. All these are interconnected and vary on diurnal, seasonal, annual as well as spatial time scales. Our physical understanding and observational capabilities are still inadequate to sufficiently observe, understand, and predict snow and its impact on the ice, climate, and eco systems. Similarly, the collection of in-situ data to support development and validation of snow retrieval algorithms is hampered by challenges related to the inherent small- and large-scale variability of snow properties and to differing footprint sizes of all methods. Here we present results from efforts to collect in-situ data on Antarctic and Arctic sea ice to validate satellite microwave products and airborne snow thickness retrievals. Data were collected during cruises of the German icebreaker RV Polarstern and airborne ESA CryoSat Validation and NASA Icebridge campaigns. Results show that there is still a lack of understanding of satellite microwave products affected by variations in snow properties, and of the penetration and resolution of snow-penetrating snow thickness radars which can lead to wrong interpretations of data and results. However, there also remains uncertainty about "true" snow properties and processes within satellite or airborne footprints because even more extensive in-situ validation campaigns may not be able to sufficiently observe these, lacking advanced methodologies and a combination of spatial resolution and spatial coverage.

  18. Characteristics and distribution patterns of snow and meteoric ice in the Weddell Sea and their contribution to the mass balance of sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eicken, Hajo; Lange, Manfred A.; Wadhams, Peter

    1994-01-01

    Based on snow- and ice-thickness measurements at >11 000 points augmented by snow- and icecore studies during 4 expeditions from 1986 - 92 in the Weddell Sea, we describe characteristics and distribution patterns of snow and meteoric ice and assess their importance for the mass balance of sea ice. For first-year ice (FY) in the central and eastern Weddell Sea, mean snow depth amounts to 0.16 m (mean ice thickness 0.75 m) compared to 0.53 m (mean ice thickness 1.70 m) for second-year ice (SY) in the northwestern Weddell Sea. Ridged ice retains a thicker snow cover than level ice, with ice thickness and snow depth negatively correlated for the latter, most likely due to aeolian redistribution. During the different expeditions, 8, 15, 17 and 40% of all drill holes exhibited negative freeboard. As a result of flooding and brine seepage into the snow pack, snow salinities averaged 4‰. Through 18O measurements the distribution of meteoric ice (i.e. precipitation) in the sea-ice cover was assessed. Roughly 4% of the total ice thickness consist of meteoric ice (FY 3%, SY 5%). With a mean density of 290 kg/m3, the snow cover itself contributes 8% to total ice mass (7% FY, 11% SY). Analysis of 18O in snow indicates a local maximum in accumulation in the 65 to 75°S latitude zone. Hydrogen peroxide in the snow has proven useful as a temporal tracer and for identification of second-year floes. Drawing on accumulation data from stations at the Weddell Sea coast, it becomes clear that the onset of ice growth is important for the evolution of ice thickness and the interaction between ice and snow. Loss of snow to leads due to wind drift may be considerable, yet is reduced owing to metamorphic processes in the snow column. This is confirmed by a comparison of accumulation data from coastal stations and from snow depths over sea ice. Temporal and spatial accumulation patterns of snow are shown to be important in controlling the sea-ice cover evolution.

  19. First Results from the ASIBIA (Arctic Sea-Ice, snow, Biogeochemistry and Impacts on the Atmosphere) Sea-Ice Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, M. M.; France, J.; von Glasow, R.; Thomas, M.

    2015-12-01

    The ocean-ice-atmosphere system is very complex, and there are numerous challenges with conducting fieldwork on sea-ice including costs, safety, experimental controls and access. By creating a new coupled Ocean-Sea-Ice-(Snow)-Atmosphere facility at the University of East Anglia, UK, we are able to perform controlled investigations in areas such as sea-ice physics, physicochemical and biogeochemical processes in sea-ice, and to quantify the bi-directional flux of gases in established, freezing and melting sea-ice. The environmental chamber is capable of controlled programmable temperatures from -55°C to +30°C, allowing a full range of first year sea-ice growing conditions in both the Arctic and Antarctic to be simulated. The sea-ice tank within the chamber measures 2.4 m x 1.4 m x 1 m water depth, with an identically sized Teflon film atmosphere on top of the tank. The tank and atmosphere forms a coupled, isolated mesocosm. Above the atmosphere is a light bank with dimmable solar simulation LEDs, and UVA and UVB broadband fluorescent battens, providing light for a range of experiments such as under ice biogeochemistry and photochemistry. Ice growth in the tank will be ideally suited for studying first-year sea-ice physical properties, with in-situ ice-profile measurements of temperature, salinity, conductivity, pressure and spectral light transmission. Under water and above ice cameras are installed to observe the physical development of the sea-ice. The ASIBIA facility is also well equipped for gas exchange and diffusion studies through sea-ice with a suite of climate relevant gas measuring instruments (CH4, CO2, O3, NOx, NOy permanently installed, further instruments available) able to measure either directly in the atmospheric component, or via a membrane for water side dissolved gases. Here, we present the first results from the ASIBIA sea-ice chamber, focussing on the physical development of first-year sea-ice and show the future plans for the facility over

  20. Validation of Airborne FMCW Radar Measurements of Snow Thickness Over Sea Ice in Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galin, Natalia; Worby, Anthony; Markus, Thorsten; Leuschen, Carl; Gogineni, Prasad

    2012-01-01

    Antarctic sea ice and its snow cover are integral components of the global climate system, yet many aspects of their vertical dimensions are poorly understood, making their representation in global climate models poor. Remote sensing is the key to monitoring the dynamic nature of sea ice and its snow cover. Reliable and accurate snow thickness data are currently a highly sought after data product. Remotely sensed snow thickness measurements can provide an indication of precipitation levels, predicted to increase with effects of climate change in the polar regions. Airborne techniques provide a means for regional-scale estimation of snow depth and distribution. Accurate regional-scale snow thickness data will also facilitate an increase in the accuracy of sea ice thickness retrieval from satellite altimeter freeboard estimates. The airborne data sets are easier to validate with in situ measurements and are better suited to validating satellite algorithms when compared with in situ techniques. This is primarily due to two factors: better chance of getting coincident in situ and airborne data sets and the tractability of comparison between an in situ data set and the airborne data set averaged over the footprint of the antennas. A 28-GHz frequency modulated continuous wave (FMCW) radar loaned by the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets to the Australian Antarctic Division is used to measure snow thickness over sea ice in East Antarctica. Provided with the radar design parameters, the expected performance parameters of the radar are summarized. The necessary conditions for unambiguous identification of the airsnow and snowice layers for the radar are presented. Roughnesses of the snow and ice surfaces are found to be dominant determinants in the effectiveness of layer identification for this radar. Finally, this paper presents the first in situ validated snow thickness estimates over sea ice in Antarctica derived from an FMCW radar on a helicopterborne platform.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  2. ICESat over Arctic sea ice: Estimation of snow depth and ice thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwok, R.; Cunningham, G. F.

    2008-08-01

    Starting with retrieved freeboards from four ICESat campaigns (ON05, October/November 2005; FM06, February/March 2006; ON06, October/November 2006; and MA07, March/April 2007) we estimate their ice thicknesses using constructed fields of daily snow depth and compare them with ice drafts from moored upward-looking sonars. The methodologies, considerations, and assumptions used in the conversion of freeboard to ice thickness are discussed. The thickness distributions of the Arctic multiyear and seasonal ice covers are contrasted. Broadly, the resulting fields seem seasonally and interannually consistent in terms of thickness, growth and ice production. We find mean thicknesses of 2.15/2.46 m in ON05/FM06 and an overall thinner ice cover of 1.96/2.37 m in ON06/MA07. This represents a growth of ˜0.3 m and ˜0.4 m during the ˜4-month intervals of the ON05-FM06 and ON06-MA07 campaigns, respectively. After accounting for data gaps, we compute overall Arctic Ocean ice volumes of 11,318, 14,075, 10,626, and 13,891 km3 for the ON05, FM06, ON06, and MA07 campaigns, respectively. The higher total volume in ON05 (versus ON06) can be attributed to the higher multiyear ice coverage that fall: 37% versus 31%. However, the higher estimated ice production (less export) during the second year (3265 versus 2757 km3) is likely due to the higher growth rate over the larger expanse of seasonal sea ice during the fall and winter. Inside a 25-km radius of two mooring locations in the Beaufort Sea, the estimated mean ICESat ice drafts from ON05 and FM06 are within 0.5 m of those measured at the moorings.

  3. Phytoplankton spring bloom beneath heavily snow-covered arctic sea ice during the N-ICE2015 cruise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Assmy, Philipp; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Olsen, Lasse M.; Kauko, Hanna; Duarte, Pedro; Mundy, Christopher J.; Hop, Haakon; Fransson, Agneta; Chierici, Melissa; Gerland, Sebastian; Granskog, Mats A.; Hudson, Stephen R.; Roesel, Anja; Meyer, Amelie; Hughes, Nick; Steen, Harald

    2016-04-01

    The arctic icescape is rapidly transforming from a thick multi-year ice cover to a thinner and largely seasonal first-year ice cover with significant consequences for Arctic primary production. Recent studies have reported extensive phytoplankton blooms beneath ponded sea ice during summer, indicating that satellite-based arctic net primary production estimates may be significantly underestimated. We studied phytoplankton seasonal dynamics under changing sea-ice and snow conditions in the drifting pack-ice north of Svalbard from 11 January to 24 June 2015 during the Norwegian Young Sea ICE cruise (N-ICE2015). N-ICE2015 provided a unique time-series of under-ice bloom dynamics during the winter-spring transition in the high Arctic pack-ice ecosystem. Phytoplankton productivity stayed low throughout winter and early spring. By late May a large under-ice bloom (>300 mg Chl a m-2) dominated by Phaeocystis pouchetii developed over the Yermak plateau underneath 1.1 - 1.3 m thick sea ice and 0.3 - 0.5 m thick snow cover. The circulation characteristics over the plateau indicate that the bloom developed in situ and was not advected. The high lead activity, characteristic for the area, apparently provided enough open or thin ice covered area for sufficient light to penetrate into the underlying water column and initiate and sustain the bloom, despite the thick snow cover. Our observation of a spring under-ice phytoplankton bloom extends the spatial and temporal scale of under-ice blooms and indicates that these phenomena might become increasingly important in the future Arctic under changing sea-ice but also snow dynamics.

  4. New snow thermodynamics for the Louvain-la-Neuve Sea Ice Model (LIM)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecomte, Olivier; Fichefet, Thierry

    2010-05-01

    The Louvain-la-Neuve sea Ice Model (LIM) is a three-dimensional global model for sea ice dynamics and thermodynamics that has been specifically designed for climate studies and that is fully coupled with the oceanic general circulation model OPA on the modelling platform NEMO. This study presents and assesses the skills of a new one-dimensional snow model developed for the thermodynamic component of LIM, by comparison with the former model thermodynamics and observations. Snow is a key element in sea ice physics and in the interactions between sea ice and atmosphere. Owing to its low thermal conductivity and hight albedo, the snow cover is a very efficient insulator and it contributes directly and indirectly to the sea ice mass balance. Given the high variability and heterogeneity of the snow cover above sea ice, it is necessary to represent different types of snow, depending on their characteristics. A multilayer approach has been chosen for the model, with time varying temperature, density and thermal conductivity for each layer. Vertical heat diffusion, surface and internal melt, precipitations, snow ice formation and a parameterisation for melt pond albedo are included in the model. The model has been validated at Ice Station POLarstern (ISPOL) in the western Weddell Sea during summer and at Point Barrow (Alaska) during winter. The new model simulates better temperature profiles, with an amount of good correlations between modelled and observed profiles increasing from 12% to 42% for the 2-layer and 6-layer configurations, respectively. Conductive fluxes and temperatures are highly sensitive to albedo and ocean heat flux during summer, and to the thermal conductivity parameterisation during winter. Ice ablation rate is quite insensitive to snow thermal conductivity in summer because almost all the variability at the surface is absorbed by snow, making the temperature gradient in the ice relatively small and steady. Nevertheless, during winter, when the air

  5. Scattering properties of a stratified air/snow/sea ice medium. Small slope approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dusséaux, Richard; Afifi, Saddek; Dechambre, Monique

    2016-11-01

    The sea-ice thickness, a key parameter in Arctic studies, is derived from radar altimeter height measurements of the freeboard, taking into account not only snow load, but also the penetration depth of the electromagnetic waves inside the snow-this is the not generally the case. Within the framework of the small slope approximation method, we study in Ku-band (f = 13 GHz, λ = 2.31 cm in the air) the electromagnetic signature of an air/snow/sea ice rough layered medium. The snow is inhomogeneous and is represented as a stack of several layers with different relative permittivities. We show that the electromagnetic response is very sensitive to the isotropy factor of the air/snow interface and to the cross-correlation parameters of interfaces. xml:lang="fr"

  6. A Coordinated Ice-based and Airborne Snow and Ice Thickness Measurement Campaign on Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter-Menge, J.; Farrell, S.; Elder, B. C.; Gardner, J. M.; Brozena, J. M.

    2011-12-01

    A rare opportunity presented itself in March 2011 when the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and NASA IceBridge teamed with scientists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) to coordinate a multi-scale approach to mapping snow depth and sea ice thickness distribution in the Arctic. Ground-truth information for calibration/validation of airborne and CryoSat-2 satellite data were collected near a manned camp deployed in support of the US Navy's Ice Expedition 2011 (ICEX 2011). The ice camp was established at a location approximately 230 km north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, at the edge of the perennial ice zone. The suite of measurements was strategically organized around a 9-km-long survey line that covered a wide range of ice types, including refrozen leads, deformed and undeformed first year ice, and multiyear ice. A highly concentrated set of in situ measurements of snow depth and ice thickness were taken along the survey line. Once the survey line was in place, NASA IceBridge flew a dedicated mission along the survey line, collecting data with an instrument suite that included the Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM), a high precision, airborne scanning laser altimeter; the Digital Mapping System (DMS), nadir-viewing digital camera; and the University of Kansas ultra-wideband Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave (FMCW) snow radar. NRL also flew a dedicated mission over the survey line with complementary airborne radar, laser and photogrammetric sensors (see Brozena et al., this session). These measurements were further leveraged by a series of CryoSat-2 under flights made in the region by the instrumented NRL and NASA planes, as well as US Navy submarine underpasses of the 9-km-long survey line to collect ice draft measurements. This comprehensive suite of data provides the full spectrum of sampling resolutions from satellite, to airborne, to ground-based, to submarine and will allow for a careful determination of

  7. Sea Ice SAR Signature Dependence on Thaw and Refreeze Event in the Snow Cover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudier, E. J.; Tolszczuk-Leclerc, S.

    2010-12-01

    As a result of the dependence of microwaves on the dielectric properties of the material they interfere with, the microwave signature of sea ice changes dramatically with the seasons as well as overnight when the snow layer is at the freezing point While pure ice and dry snow do not cause significant scattering and can be considered transparent throughout the winter season, the presence of liquid water, later on at spring, on air-ice or air-snow interfaces or within the snow cover turns the snow layer into an opaque medium and makes the air-snow interface the main contributor of the microwave backscattered to the SAR antenna. The availability of liquid water in the snow is the result of a shift in the thermodynamic balance of the snow layer and sea ice sheet. At spring, with the irradiance and air temperature increasing, the snow media quickly becomes isothermal. The snow layer is then a tri-phasic medium in which water changes state to balance radiations (short and long waves) and conductive heat fluxes variations. As a consequence, the surface layer of the snow cover is subject to a diurnal cycle of thaw during day time and refreeze at night which translates into a parallel diurnal cycle on snow wetness content. This cycle is of major relevance to microwave remote sensing applications and specifically to sea ice morphological features extraction. Using the output of a thermodynamic model of an isothermal snow cover forced by incoming L↓ and outgoing L↑ long-wave radiations, incident S↓ and reflected S↑ short-wave radiations and a turbulent atmospheric heat flux Qatm, an evaluation of the volume and surface components of a backscattered SAR is computed as a function of the SAR incident angle. We observe that when heat fluxes (irradiative and conductive) are positive, liquid water available in the top layer of the snow cover turns the air-snow interface into a specular reflector. Conversely, with wetness decreasing overnight, more energy can penetrate the

  8. A Comparison of Sea Ice Type, Sea Ice Temperature, and Snow Thickness Distributions in the Arctic Seasonal Ice Zones with the DMSP SSM/I

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    St.Germain, Karen; Cavalieri, Donald J.; Markus, Thorsten

    1997-01-01

    Global climate studies have shown that sea ice is a critical component in the global climate system through its effect on the ocean and atmosphere, and on the earth's radiation balance. Polar energy studies have further shown that the distribution of thin ice and open water largely controls the distribution of surface heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere within the winter Arctic ice pack. The thickness of the ice, the depth of snow on the ice, and the temperature profile of the snow/ice composite are all important parameters in calculating surface heat fluxes. In recent years, researchers have used various combinations of DMSP SSMI channels to independently estimate the thin ice type (which is related to ice thickness), the thin ice temperature, and the depth of snow on the ice. In each case validation efforts provided encouraging results, but taken individually each algorithm gives only one piece of the information necessary to compute the energy fluxes through the ice and snow. In this paper we present a comparison of the results from each of these algorithms to provide a more comprehensive picture of the seasonal ice zone using passive microwave observations.

  9. Applications of ISES for snow, ice, and sea state

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, Alfred T. C.; Delnore, Victor E.

    1990-01-01

    There will be six facility instruments on the NASA NPOP-1 and NPOP-2 and additional instruments on the Japanese and European satellites. Also, there are the 24 selected NASA instruments that may be flown on one of the platforms. Many of these instruments can provide data that could be very useful for real-time data studies in the snow and ice area. Any one instrument is not addressed in particular, but emphasis is placed on what is potentially possible using the capabilities of some of these instruments.

  10. Chemical Atmosphere-Snow-Sea Ice Interactions: defining future research in the field, lab and modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, Markus

    2015-04-01

    The air-snow-sea ice system plays an important role in the global cycling of nitrogen, halogens, trace metals or carbon, including greenhouse gases (e.g. CO2 air-sea flux), and therefore influences also climate. Its impact on atmospheric composition is illustrated for example by dramatic ozone and mercury depletion events which occur within or close to the sea ice zone (SIZ) mostly during polar spring and are catalysed by halogens released from SIZ ice, snow or aerosol. Recent field campaigns in the high Arctic (e.g. BROMEX, OASIS) and Antarctic (Weddell sea cruises) highlight the importance of snow on sea ice as a chemical reservoir and reactor, even during polar night. However, many processes, participating chemical species and their interactions are still poorly understood and/or lack any representation in current models. Furthermore, recent lab studies provide a lot of detail on the chemical environment and processes but need to be integrated much better to improve our understanding of a rapidly changing natural environment. During a 3-day workshop held in Cambridge/UK in October 2013 more than 60 scientists from 15 countries who work on the physics, chemistry or biology of the atmosphere-snow-sea ice system discussed research status and challenges, which need to be addressed in the near future. In this presentation I will give a summary of the main research questions identified during this workshop as well as ways forward to answer them through a community-based interdisciplinary approach.

  11. Estimation of Sea Ice Thickness Distributions through the Combination of Snow Depth and Satellite Laser Altimetry Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurtz, Nathan T.; Markus, Thorsten; Cavalieri, Donald J.; Sparling, Lynn C.; Krabill, William B.; Gasiewski, Albin J.; Sonntag, John G.

    2009-01-01

    Combinations of sea ice freeboard and snow depth measurements from satellite data have the potential to provide a means to derive global sea ice thickness values. However, large differences in spatial coverage and resolution between the measurements lead to uncertainties when combining the data. High resolution airborne laser altimeter retrievals of snow-ice freeboard and passive microwave retrievals of snow depth taken in March 2006 provide insight into the spatial variability of these quantities as well as optimal methods for combining high resolution satellite altimeter measurements with low resolution snow depth data. The aircraft measurements show a relationship between freeboard and snow depth for thin ice allowing the development of a method for estimating sea ice thickness from satellite laser altimetry data at their full spatial resolution. This method is used to estimate snow and ice thicknesses for the Arctic basin through the combination of freeboard data from ICESat, snow depth data over first-year ice from AMSR-E, and snow depth over multiyear ice from climatological data. Due to the non-linear dependence of heat flux on ice thickness, the impact on heat flux calculations when maintaining the full resolution of the ICESat data for ice thickness estimates is explored for typical winter conditions. Calculations of the basin-wide mean heat flux and ice growth rate using snow and ice thickness values at the 70 m spatial resolution of ICESat are found to be approximately one-third higher than those calculated from 25 km mean ice thickness values.

  12. Snow Climatology of Arctic Sea Ice: Comparison of Reanalysis and Climate Model Data with In Situ Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chevooruvalappil Chandran, B.; Pittana, M.; Haas, C.

    2015-12-01

    Snow on sea ice is a critical and complex factor influencing sea ice processes. Deep snow with a high albedo and low thermal conductivity inhibits ice growth in winter and minimizes ice loss in summer. Very shallow or absent snow promotes ice growth in winter and ice loss in summer. The timing of snow ablation critically impacts summer sea ice mass balance. Here we assess the accuracy of various snow on sea ice data products from reanalysis and modeling comparing them with in situ measurements. The latter are based on the Warren et al. (1999) monthly climatology derived from snow ruler measurements between 1954-1991, and on daily snow depth retrievals from few drifting ice mass balance buoys (IMB) with sufficiently long observations spanning the summer season. These were compared with snow depth data from the National Center for Environmental Prediction Department of Energy Reanalysis 2 (NCEP), the Community Climate System Model 4 (CCSM4), and the Canadian Earth System Model 2 (CanESM2). Results are quite variable in different years and regions. However, there is often good agreement between CanESM2 and IMB snow depth during the winter accumulation and spring melt periods. Regional analyses show that over the western Arctic covered primarily with multiyear ice NCEP snow depths are in good agreement with the Warren climatology while CCSM4 overestimates snow depth. However, in the Eastern Arctic which is dominated by first-year ice the opposite behavior is observed. Compared to the Warren climatology CanESM2 underestimates snow depth in all regions. Differences between different snow depth products are as large as 10 to 20 cm, with large consequences for the sea ice mass balance. However, it is also very difficult to evaluate the accuracy of reanalysis and model snow depths due to a lack of extensive, continuous in situ measurements.

  13. Arctic Sea Salt Aerosol from Blowing Snow and Sea Ice Surfaces - a Missing Natural Source in Winter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, M. M.; Norris, S. J.; Brooks, I. M.; Nishimura, K.; Jones, A. E.

    2015-12-01

    Atmospheric particles in the polar regions consist mostly of sea salt aerosol (SSA). SSA plays an important role in regional climate change through influencing the surface energy balance either directly or indirectly via cloud formation. SSA irradiated by sunlight also releases very reactive halogen radicals, which control concentrations of ozone, a pollutant and greenhouse gas. However, models under-predict SSA concentrations in the Arctic during winter pointing to a missing source. It has been recently suggested that salty blowing snow above sea ice, which is evaporating, to be that source as it may produce more SSA than equivalent areas of open ocean. Participation in the 'Norwegian Young Sea Ice Cruise (N-ICE 2015)' on board the research vessel `Lance' allowed to test this hypothesis in the Arctic sea ice zone during winter. Measurements were carried out from the ship frozen into the pack ice North of 80º N during February to March 2015. Observations at ground level (0.1-2 m) and from the ship's crows nest (30 m) included number concentrations and size spectra of SSA (diameter range 0.3-10 μm) as well as snow particles (diameter range 50-500 μm). During and after blowing snow events significant SSA production was observed. In the aerosol and snow phase sulfate is fractionated with respect to sea water, which confirms sea ice surfaces and salty snow, and not the open ocean, to be the dominant source of airborne SSA. Aerosol shows depletion in bromide with respect to sea water, especially after sunrise, indicating photochemically driven release of bromine. We discuss the SSA source strength from blowing snow in light of environmental conditions (wind speed, atmospheric turbulence, temperature and snow salinity) and recommend improved model parameterisations to estimate regional aerosol production. N-ICE 2015 results are then compared to a similar study carried out previously in the Weddell Sea during the Antarctic winter.

  14. The Role of Blowing Snow in the Activation of Bromine over First-Year Antarctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lieb-Lappen, R.; Obbard, R. W.

    2014-12-01

    It is well known that during the polar springtime, halide sea salt ions, in particular Br-, are through a series of heterogeneous reactions photochemically activated into reactive halogen species, such as Br and BrO, that breakdown polar tropospheric ozone. This research investigated the role of blowing snow in transporting salts from the sea ice/snow surface into reactive bromine species in the air. For two different locations over first-year ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, collection baskets captured blowing snow at four different heights on October 25, following a blowing snow event the day before. In addition, sea ice cores and surface snow samples were collected throughout the month long campaign. Cl-/Br- ratios were constant in sea ice and surface snow, and only in lofted snow did bromide become depleted relative to chloride. This suggests that replenishment of bromide in the snowpack occurs faster than bromine activation in mid-strength wind conditions (approximately 10 m/s). Sulfate concentrations were stable through the bottom half of sea ice cores, but were quite variable in the upper half and in surface snow. Lofted snow was greatly depleted in sulfate, likely as a result of mirabilite precipitation in brine prior to brine uptake in the snow and subsequent lofting. Nitrate was found in greater quantities for upper level baskets and in some surface snow samples, consistent with active cycling through atmospheric chemical reactions.

  15. A tentative climatology of the snow load on Arctic sea ice based on satellite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schroeder, T. M.; Pedersen, L. T.; Tonboe, R. T.

    2007-12-01

    Having a firm grasp of the sea ice extent carries over to the understanding of poleward energy transport, atmospheric heat exchange and high-latitude ocean dynamics at large. One reason to investigate the snow load is the insulation against exchange of heat. Another, regarding the intrinsic value of remote sensing, is that snow constitutes the greatest unknown in sea ice altimetry. The properties of snow can modify how deeply into the snow-ice system the altimeter signal penetrates. While Cryosat views to the ice surface, Icesat views to the snow surface. The freeboard cannot be measured and converted to ice thickness properly without compensation for the thickness and density of the snow cover. To identify the satellite channels with most information on the scenery, we made the standard assumption that the inversion of measured brightness temperature to physical parameters is sufficiently linear to converge for Gauss-Newtonian iteration. An optimal estimation scheme has been adopted and the information content in the averaging kernel matrix scrutinized for the parameters at stake. The a priori covariance and initial guess on parameters was computed by feeding the snow-ice model Memls with ERA40 atmospheric reanalysis over a range of locations, winters, and type of ice as having grown from either scratch (first-year) or not (multiyear). Each of the currently flown passive sounders under consideration, the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR), the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), and the Microwave Humidity Sounder (MHS), is modelled with a measurement error taken as the sum of sensitivity and accuracy prior to launch. Covariance between the channels has been neglected. Simulation of the actual measurement discretizes the snow pack into ten numerical layers to resolve the steep temperature gradient and applies the model Rttov to represent the air column. Snow is taken to be fresh and dry, a valid assumption until melt sets in, and the density of

  16. Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Observations of Glaciers, Ice Sheets, Sea Ice and Snow Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herzfeld Mayer, M. U.

    2015-12-01

    Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are being used increasingly in observations of the Earth, especially as such UAS become smaller, lighter and hence less expensive. In this paper, we present examples of observations of snow fields, glaciers and ice sheets and of sea ice in the Arctic that have been collected from UAS. We further examine possibilities for instrument miniaturization, using smaller UAS and smaller sensors for collecting data. The quality and type of data is compared to that of satellite observations, observations from manned aircraft and to measurements made during field experiments on the ground. For example, a small UAS can be sent out to observe a sudden event, such as a natural catastrophe, and provide high-resolution imagery, but a satellite has the advantage of providing the same type of data over much of the Earth's surface and for several years, but the data is generally of lower resolution. Data collected on the ground typically have the best control and quality, but the survey area is usually small. Here we compare micro-topographic measurements made on snow fields the Colorado Rocky Mountains with airborne and satellite data.

  17. Estimation of snow water equivalent using microwave radiometry over Arctic first-year sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, D. G.; Iacozza, J.; Walker, A. E.

    2003-12-01

    The magnitude and spatial distribution of snow on sea ice are both integral components of the ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere system. Although there exists a number of algorithms to estimate the snow water equivalent (SWE) on terrestrial surfaces, to date there is no precise method to estimate SWE on sea ice. Physical snow properties and in situ microwave radiometry at 19, 37 and 85 GHz, V and H polarization were collected for a 10-day period over 20 first-year sea ice sites.We present and compare the in situ physical, electrical and microwave emission properties of snow over smooth Arctic first-year sea ice for 19 of the 20 sites sampled. Physical processes creating the observed vertical patterns in the physical and electrical properties are discussed. An algorithm is then developed from the relationship between the SWE and the brightness temperature measured at 37 GHz (55°) H polarization and the air temperature. The multiple regression between these variables is able to account for over 90% of the variability in the measured SWE. This algorithm is validated with a small in situ data set collected during the 1999 field experiment. We then compare our data against the NASA snow thickness algorithm, designed as part of the NASA Earth Enterprise Program. The results indicated a lack of agreement between the NASA algorithm and the algorithm developed here. This lack of agreement is attributed to differences in scale between the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager and surface radiometers and to differences in the Antarctic versus Arctic snow physical and electrical properties. Copyright

  18. Evidence for a Significant Source of Sea Salt Aerosol from Blowing Snow Above Sea Ice in the Southern Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frey, M. M.; Brooks, I. M.; Anderson, P. A.; Nishimura, K.; Yang, X.; Jones, A. E.; Wolff, E. W.

    2014-12-01

    Over most of the Earth, sea salt aerosol (SSA) derives from sea spray and bubble bursting at the open ocean surface. SSA as the major component of marine aerosol contributes directly to the radiative balance and can act as cloud condensation nuclei. SSA can also significantly impact the lifetime of methane, ozone or mercury through the photochemical release of reactive halogens. A recent model study suggested that the sublimation of saline blowing snow above sea ice can generate more SSA than is produced from a similar area of open ocean. A winter cruise through the Weddell Sea during June - August 2013 provided unique access to a potential SSA source region in the Antarctic sea ice zone to test this hypothesis.Reported are first measurements of snow particle as well as aerosol concentrations, size distributions and chemical composition, during blowing snow events above sea ice. Snow particle spectra are found to be similar to those observed on the continent. Even though the salinity of surface and blowing snow was very low (<0.1 psu) a significant increase of aerosol in the SSA size range was observed during and after blowing snow events. This is consistent with model runs including a blowing snow parameterisation which suggest low sensitivity of SSA number densities to snow salinity within the observed range. First estimates of SSA flux from blowing snow using eddy correlation are significant, although falling below published values of the sea spray source function. We discuss the dependance of observed SSA production rates on ambient conditions as well as the significance to the Southern Ocean environment.

  19. Influence of wet conditions on snow temperature diurnal variations: An East Antarctic sea-ice case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecomte, O.; Toyota, T.

    2016-09-01

    A one-dimensional snow-sea-ice model is used to simulate the evolution of temperature profiles in dry and wet snow over a diurnal cycle, at locations where associated observations collected during the Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem eXperiment (SIPEX-II) are available. The model is used at two sites, corresponding to two of the field campaign's sea-ice stations (2 and 6), and under two configurations: dry and wet snow conditions. In the wet snow model setups, liquid water may refreeze internally into the snow. At station 6, this releases latent heat to the snow and results in temperature changes at the base of the snow pack of a magnitude comparing to the model-observation difference (1 - 2 ° C). As the temperature gradient across the snow is in turn weakened, the associated conductive heat flux through snow decreases. At station 2, internal refreezing also occurs but colder air temperatures and the competing process of strengthened heat conduction in snow concurrent to snow densification maintain a steady temperature profile. However, both situations share a common feature and show that the conductive heat flux through the snow may significantly be affected (by 10-20% in our simulations) as a result of the liquid water refreezing in snow, either through thermal conductivity enhancement or direct temperature gradient alteration. This ultimately gives motivation for further investigating the impacts of these processes on the sea-ice mass balance in the framework of global scale model simulations.

  20. Chemical processes in the atmosphere-snow-sea ice over the Weddell Sea, Antarctica during winter and spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobi, Hans-Werner; Jourdain, Bruno; Dommergue, Aurelien; Nerentorp Mastromonaco, Michelle; Gardfeldt, Katarina; Abrahamsson, Katarina; Granfors, Anna; Ahnhoff, Martin; Frey, Markus M.; Méjean, Guillaume; Friess, Udo; Nasse, Jan-Marcus

    2016-04-01

    Wintertime chemical processes in the atmosphere-snow-sea ice system of Antarctica are almost unknown because of a lack of in situ observations. During two cruises with the German research icebreaker R/V Polarstern we had the opportunity to perform measurements over and in the sea ice of the Weddell Sea from June to October 2013 covering the transition from winter to spring in the Southern Hemisphere. We performed atmospheric measurements of ozone, mercury, and reactive mercury compounds linked due to so-called ozone and mercury depletion events (ODEs and AMDEs), during which the two normally ubiquitous compounds ozone and mercury are efficiently removed from the atmosphere. Moreover, reactive halogenated compounds as the major cause of these depletion events were also observed in the atmosphere using remote sensing as well as in situ techniques. The observations demonstrated that the formation of reactive halogen compounds as well as depletions of ozone and mercury occurred as early as July potentially caused by a dark halogen activation mechanism. The activation of halogens further left their imprint also in the chemical composition of the snow on top of the sea ice, which showed occasionally a reduction in bromide. Elevated concentrations of halogenated compounds in the sea ice well above levels normally observed during the summer season indicate that active halogen chemistry was not limited to the atmosphere, but impacted the entire atmosphere-snow-sea ice system. Finally, aerosol measurements confirmed that the snow on sea ice constitutes an important surface for the mobilization and generation of atmospheric sea salt aerosol. As a result, sea salt aerosol significantly increased during and after blowing snow events, providing a potentially significant reservoir of atmospheric reactive halogens.

  1. Revisiting the relationship between Arctic sea-ice thickness and snow depth through climate-model simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bunzel, Felix; Notz, Dirk; Toudal Pedersen, Leif

    2016-04-01

    The thickness of snow covering sea ice is a crucial parameter in any algorithm deriving sea-ice thickness from satellite-measured sea-ice freeboard. Here we investigate whether such snow thickness can robustly be estimated by assuming a simple correlation between snow thickness and sea-ice thickness. Such correlation is sometimes applied in schemes that aim at correcting the multi-year Warren snow climatology for the more recent past. In order to quantify the relationship between sea-ice thickness and snow depth, we analyse the correlation of ice thickness and snow depth in a multi-century pre-industrial model simulation and in a transient historical simulation performed with the Max Planck Institute Earth System Model (MPI-ESM). We find correlation coefficients to be low in the central Arctic, while they show substantial regional and temporal variations in the vicinity of the ice edge. Our results point towards possibly substantial errors in algorithms that assume too simplistic a relationship between sea-ice thickness and snow depth.

  2. Snow Radar Derived Surface Elevations and Snow Depths Multi-Year Time Series over Greenland Sea-Ice During IceBridge Campaigns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perkovic-Martin, D.; Johnson, M. P.; Holt, B.; Panzer, B.; Leuschen, C.

    2012-12-01

    This paper presents estimates of snow depth over sea ice from the 2009 through 2011 NASA Operation IceBridge [1] spring campaigns over Greenland and the Arctic Ocean, derived from Kansas University's wideband Snow Radar [2] over annually repeated sea-ice transects. We compare the estimates of the top surface interface heights between NASA's Atmospheric Topographic Mapper (ATM) [3] and the Snow Radar. We follow this by comparison of multi-year snow depth records over repeated sea-ice transects to derive snow depth changes over the area. For the purpose of this paper our analysis will concentrate on flights over North/South basin transects off Greenland, which are the closest overlapping tracks over this time period. The Snow Radar backscatter returns allow for surface and interface layer types to be differentiated between snow, ice, land and water using a tracking and classification algorithm developed and discussed in the paper. The classification is possible due to different scattering properties of surfaces and volumes at the radar's operating frequencies (2-6.5 GHz), as well as the geometries in which they are viewed by the radar. These properties allow the returns to be classified by a set of features that can be used to identify the type of the surface or interfaces preset in each vertical profile. We applied a Support Vector Machine (SVM) learning algorithm [4] to the Snow Radar data to classify each detected interface into one of four types. The SVM algorithm was trained on radar echograms whose interfaces were visually classified and verified against coincident aircraft data obtained by CAMBOT [5] and DMS [6] imaging sensors as well as the scanning ATM lidar. Once the interface locations were detected for each vertical profile we derived a range to each interface that was used to estimate the heights above the WGS84 ellipsoid for direct comparisons with ATM. Snow Radar measurements were calibrated against ATM data over areas free of snow cover and over GPS

  3. 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?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamare, M. L.; Lee-Taylor, J.; King, M. D.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  4. Examining Dual Frequency X- and Ku-band Backscatter of Snow on Lake Ice and First-Year Sea Ice in the Sub-Arctic Hudson Bay Lowlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunn, G. E.; Duguay, C. R.; Howell, S.; Kelly, R. E.; Silis, A.

    2011-12-01

    Fully polarimetric dual frequency ground-based scatterometer observations were collected at X- and Ku-band (9.6 and 17.2 GHz, respectively) near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada in the winter of 2010-11 as part of the Canadian Snow and Ice Experiment (CASIX). Backscatter measurements were collected for five landcover types: lake ice, sea ice, dry tundra, open forest and wetland tundra (sedge fen); the combination of which comprises a unique dataset of dual-frequency backscatter signatures. Correlative data collected, including snow and ice properties, are utilized to characterize active microwave interactions and contribute to the development of snow/ice retrieval algorithms. This study presents backscatter signatures for lake and sea ice obtained during winter 2010-11. The seasonal backscatter evolution is compared to changes in snow and ice properties, including depth, density, snow water equivalent (SWE), ice thickness, ice type, and bubble concentration within the ice. Results over lake ice suggest that increases in backscatter at both X- and Ku-band frequencies correspond to increases in SWE, but are confounded by changes in the sub-nivian ice composition. Surface ice types (snow ice, rafted ice), high bubble concentrations at the ice/water interface and pressure/deformation cracks in the ice serve to confound backscatter at several monitoring sites. Over sea ice, preliminary results indicate that increased salinity levels near the ice/snow interface is the predominate factor influencing backscatter signatures. Physical phenomena encountered at sea ice sites are further explored to assess potential influences on scattering signatures. Preliminary findings presented here document the first ground-based dual frequency X- and Ku-band backscatter signatures collected over first year sea ice, and contribute to the scientific objectives of the proposed Cold Regions Hydrology High-resolution Observatory (CoReH2O), a candidate Earth Explorer mission of the European Space

  5. Recent Increases in Snow Accumulation and Decreases in Sea-Ice Concentration Recorded in a Coastal NW Greenland Ice Core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterberg, E. C.; Thompson, J. T.; Wong, G. J.; Hawley, R. L.; Kelly, M. A.; Lutz, E.; Howley, J.; Ferris, D. G.

    2013-12-01

    A significant rise in summer temperatures over the past several decades has led to widespread retreat of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) margin and surrounding sea ice. Recent observations from geodetic stations and GRACE show that ice mass loss progressed from South Greenland up to Northwest Greenland by 2005 (Khan et al., 2010). Observations from meteorological stations at the U.S. Thule Air Force Base, remote sensing platforms, and climate reanalyses indicate a 3.5C mean annual warming in the Thule region and a 44% decrease in summer (JJAS) sea-ice concentrations in Baffin Bay from 1980-2010. Mean annual precipitation near Thule increased by 12% over this interval, with the majority of the increase occurring in fall (SON). To improve projections of future ice loss and sea-level rise in a warming climate, we are currently developing multi-proxy records (lake sediment cores, ice cores, glacial geologic data, glaciological models) of Holocene climate variability and cryospheric response in NW Greenland, with a focus on past warm periods. As part of our efforts to develop a millennial-length ice core paleoclimate record from the Thule region, we collected and analyzed snow pit samples and short firn cores (up to 20 m) from the coastal region of the GIS (2Barrel site; 76.9317 N, 63.1467 W) and the summit of North Ice Cap (76.938 N, 67.671 W) in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The 2Barrel ice core was sampled using a continuous ice core melting system at Dartmouth, and subsequently analyzed for major anion and trace element concentrations and stable water isotope ratios. Here we show that the 2Barrel ice core spanning 1990-2010 records a 25% increase in mean annual snow accumulation, and is positively correlated (r = 0.52, p<0.01) with ERA-Interim precipitation. The 2Barrel annual sea-salt Na concentration is strongly correlated (r = 0.5-0.8, p<0.05) with summer and fall sea-ice concentrations in northern Baffin Bay near Thule (Figure 1). We hypothesize that the positive

  6. The role of blowing snow in the activation of bromine over first-year Antarctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lieb-Lappen, R. M.; Obbard, R. W.

    2015-07-01

    It is well known that during polar springtime halide sea salt ions, in particular Br-, are photochemically activated into reactive halogen species (e.g., Br and BrO), where they break down tropospheric ozone. This research investigated the role of blowing snow in transporting salts from the sea ice/snow surface into reactive bromine species in the air. At two different locations over first-year ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, collection baskets captured blowing snow at different heights. In addition, sea ice cores and surface snow samples were collected throughout the month-long campaign. Over this time, sea ice and surface snow Br- / Cl- mass ratios remained constant and equivalent to seawater, and only in lofted snow did bromide become depleted relative to chloride. This suggests that replenishment of bromide in the snowpack occurs faster than bromine activation in mid-strength wind conditions (approximately 10 m s-1) or that blowing snow represents only a small portion of the surface snowpack. Additionally, lofted snow was found to be depleted in sulfate and enriched in nitrate relative to surface snow.

  7. The role of blowing snow in the activation of bromine over first-year Antarctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lieb-Lappen, R. M.; Obbard, R. W.

    2015-04-01

    It is well known that during polar springtime halide sea salt ions, in particular Br-, are photochemically activated into reactive halogen species (e.g. Br and BrO), where they break down tropospheric ozone. This research investigated the role of blowing snow in transporting salts from the sea ice/snow surface into reactive bromine species in the air. At two different locations over first-year ice in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, collection baskets captured blowing snow at different heights. In addition, sea ice cores and surface snow samples were collected throughout the month-long campaign. Over this time, sea ice and surface snow Cl-/Br- mass ratios remained constant and equivalent to seawater, and only in lofted snow did bromide become depleted relative to chloride. This suggests that replenishment of bromide in the snowpack occurs faster than bromine activation in mid-strength wind conditions (approximately 10 m s-1). Additionally, lofted snow was found to be depleted in sulfate and enriched in nitrate relative to surface snow.

  8. Bromide and chloride distribution across the snow-sea ice-ocean interface: A comparative study between an Arctic coastal marine site and an experimental sea ice mesocosm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Wen; Tenuta, Mario; Wang, Feiyue

    2016-08-01

    During springtime in the Arctic, bromine explosion events occur when high concentrations of reactive bromine species are observed in the boundary layer with the concurrence of ozone depletion events and mercury depletion events. While a variety of substrates including snow, sea ice, frost flowers, and aerosols have been proposed to be the substrate and/or source of bromine activation in the Arctic, recent studies have highlighted the role of snow. Here we report concentration profiles of halides (Br- and Cl-), Na+, and mercury across the snow-sea ice-seawater interface at a coastal marine site in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in March and June 2014, as well as in an experimental sea ice mesocosm in Winnipeg in January and February 2014. The occurrence of bromine activation at the Arctic site in March was indicated by the high mercury concentrations in snowpack. At both the Arctic and mesocosm sites, the molar ratios of Br-/Na+ were nearly constant throughout the sea ice depth, but highly variable in the upper layer of the overlying snowpack, revealing that bromine activation takes place in the sunlit snow instead of sea ice. This is supported by calculations showing that the loss of Br- from the upper layer of the snowpack is large enough to produce the observed concentrations of reactive bromine in the atmospheric boundary layer. However, the upper layer of the Arctic snowpack tends to be generally enriched in Br- due to the net addition of Br--containing gases and nonsea-salt aerosols.

  9. Sea ice and snow thickness and physical properties of an ice floe in the western Weddell Sea and their changes during spring warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haas, Christian; Nicolaus, Marcel; Willmes, Sascha; Worby, Anthony; Flinspach, David

    2008-04-01

    Helicopter-borne and ground-based electromagnetic (EM) ice thickness and ruler-stick snow thickness measurements as well as ice-core analyses of ice temperature, salinity and texture were performed over a 5-week observation period between November 27, 2004, and January 2, 2005, on an ice floe in the western Weddell Sea at approximately 67°S, 55°W. The study was part of the Ice Station Polarstern (ISPOL) expedition of German research icebreaker R.V. Polarstern, investigating changes of physical, biological, and biogeochemical properties during the spring warming as a function of atmospheric and oceanic boundary conditions. The ice floe was composed of fragments of thin and thick first-year ice and thick second-year ice, with modal total thicknesses of 1.2-1.3, 2.1, and 2.4-2.9 m, respectively. This included modal snow thicknesses of 0.2-0.5 m on first-year ice and 0.75 m on second-year ice. During the observation period, snow thickness decreased by less than 0.2 m. There was hardly any ice thinning. Warming of snow and ice between 0.1 and 1.9 °C resulted in decreased ice salinity and increased brine volume. Direct current (DC) geoelectric and electromagnetic (EM) induction depth sounding were performed to study changes of electrical ice conductivity as a result of the observed ice warming. Bulk ice conductivity increased from to 37 to 97 mS/m. Analysis of conductivity anisotropy showed that the horizontal ice conductivity changed from 9 to 70 mS/m. These conductivity changes have only negligible effects on the thickness retrieval from EM measurements.

  10. Evolution of first-year and second-year snow properties on sea ice in the Weddell Sea during spring-summer transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Haas, Christian; Willmes, Sascha

    2009-09-01

    Observations of snow properties, superimposed ice, and atmospheric heat fluxes have been performed on first-year and second-year sea ice in the western Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Snow in this region is particular as it does usually survive summer ablation. Measurements were performed during Ice Station Polarstern (ISPOL), a 5-week drift station of the German icebreaker RV Polarstern. Net heat flux to the snowpack was 8 W m-2, causing only 0.1 to 0.2 m of thinning of both snow cover types, thinner first-year and thicker second-year snow. Snow thinning was dominated by compaction and evaporation, whereas melt was of minor importance and occurred only internally at or close to the surface. Characteristic differences between snow on first-year and second-year ice were found in snow thickness, temperature, and stratigraphy. Snow on second-year ice was thicker, colder, denser, and more layered than on first-year ice. Metamorphism and ablation, and thus mass balance, were similar between both regimes, because they depend more on surface heat fluxes and less on underground properties. Ice freeboard was mostly negative, but flooding occurred mainly on first-year ice. Snow and ice interface temperature did not reach the melting point during the observation period. Nevertheless, formation of discontinuous superimposed ice was observed. Color tracer experiments suggest considerable meltwater percolation within the snow, despite below-melting temperatures of lower layers. Strong meridional gradients of snow and sea-ice properties were found in this region. They suggest similar gradients in atmospheric and oceanographic conditions and implicate their importance for melt processes and the location of the summer ice edge.

  11. Freeboard, Snow Depth and Sea-Ice Roughness in East Antarctica from In Situ and Multiple Satellite Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markus, Thorsten; Masson, Robert; Worby, Anthony; Lytle, Victoria; Kurtz, Nathan; Maksym, Ted

    2011-01-01

    In October 2003 a campaign on board the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis had the objective to validate standard Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) sea-ice products. Additionally, the satellite laser altimeter on the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) was in operation. To capture the large-scale information on the sea-ice conditions necessary for satellite validation, the measurement strategy was to obtain large-scale sea-ice statistics using extensive sea-ice measurements in a Lagrangian approach. A drifting buoy array, spanning initially 50 km 100 km, was surveyed during the campaign. In situ measurements consisted of 12 transects, 50 500 m, with detailed snow and ice measurements as well as random snow depth sampling of floes within the buoy array using helicopters. In order to increase the amount of coincident in situ and satellite data an approach has been developed to extrapolate measurements in time and in space. Assuming no change in snow depth and freeboard occurred during the period of the campaign on the floes surveyed, we use buoy ice-drift information as well as daily estimates of thin-ice fraction and rough-ice vs smooth-ice fractions from AMSR-E and QuikSCAT, respectively, to estimate kilometer-scale snow depth and freeboard for other days. The results show that ICESat freeboard estimates have a mean difference of 1.8 cm when compared with the in situ data and a correlation coefficient of 0.6. Furthermore, incorporating ICESat roughness information into the AMSR-E snow depth algorithm significantly improves snow depth retrievals. Snow depth retrievals using a combination of AMSR-E and ICESat data agree with in situ data with a mean difference of 2.3 cm and a correlation coefficient of 0.84 with a negligible bias.

  12. Comparison of a coupled snow thermodynamic and radiative transfer model with in situ active microwave signatures of snow-covered smooth first-year sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fuller, M. C.; Geldsetzer, T.; Yackel, J.; Gill, J. P. S.

    2015-11-01

    Within the context of developing data inversion and assimilation techniques for C-band backscatter over sea ice, snow physical models may be used to drive backscatter models for comparison and optimization with satellite observations. Such modeling has the potential to enhance understanding of snow on sea-ice properties required for unambiguous interpretation of active microwave imagery. An end-to-end modeling suite is introduced, incorporating regional reanalysis data (NARR), a snow model (SNTHERM89.rev4), and a multilayer snow and ice active microwave backscatter model (MSIB). This modeling suite is assessed against measured snow on sea-ice geophysical properties and against measured active microwave backscatter. NARR data were input to the SNTHERM snow thermodynamic model in order to drive the MSIB model for comparison to detailed geophysical measurements and surface-based observations of C-band backscatter of snow on first-year sea ice. The NARR variables were correlated to available in situ measurements with the exception of long-wave incoming radiation and relative humidity, which impacted SNTHERM simulations of snow temperature. SNTHERM snow grain size and density were comparable to observations. The first assessment of the forward assimilation technique developed in this work required the application of in situ salinity profiles to one SNTHERM snow profile, which resulted in simulated backscatter close to that driven by in situ snow properties. In other test cases, the simulated backscatter remained 4-6 dB below observed for higher incidence angles and when compared to an average simulated backscatter of in situ end-member snow covers. Development of C-band inversion and assimilation schemes employing SNTHERM89.rev4 should consider sensitivity of the model to bias in incoming long-wave radiation, the effects of brine, and the inability of SNTHERM89.Rev4 to simulate water accumulation and refreezing at the bottom and mid-layers of the snowpack. These impact

  13. Spectral signatures of soil, snow and sea ice as observed by passive microwave and thermal infrared techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmugge, T.

    1984-01-01

    There have been many passive microwave observations of soil, snow, and sea ice surfaces made during the past several years. These measurements have been from tower, aircraft, and spacecraft platforms covering the wavelength range from 0.8 cm to 50 cm. Based on these data it can be concluded that the longer wavelengths (greater than 5 cm) are more effective for soil moisture observations because of a greater capability to penetrate vegetation, while the shorter wavelengths (1 to 3 cm) are best for snow and sea ice observations since the dominant process is volume scattering by the ice grains in the snow and the brine cells in sea ice. Because it is the intensity of a thermal emission process that is being measured, thermal infrared measurements are necessary to separate the emissivity and temperature effects in the microwave emission.

  14. (abstract) A Polarimetric Model for Effects of Brine Infiltrated Snow Cover and Frost Flowers on Sea Ice Backscatter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Kwok, R.; Yueh, S. H.

    1995-01-01

    A polarimetric scattering model is developed to study effects of snow cover and frost flowers with brine infiltration on thin sea ice. Leads containing thin sea ice in the Artic icepack are important to heat exchange with the atmosphere and salt flux into the upper ocean. Surface characteristics of thin sea ice in leads are dominated by the formation of frost flowers with high salinity. In many cases, the thin sea ice layer is covered by snow, which wicks up brine from sea ice due to capillary force. Snow and frost flowers have a significant impact on polarimetric signatures of thin ice, which needs to be studied for accessing the retrieval of geophysical parameters such as ice thickness. Frost flowers or snow layer is modeled with a heterogeneous mixture consisting of randomly oriented ellipsoids and brine infiltration in an air background. Ice crystals are characterized with three different axial lengths to depict the nonspherical shape. Under the covering multispecies medium, the columinar sea-ice layer is an inhomogeneous anisotropic medium composed of ellipsoidal brine inclusions preferentially oriented in the vertical direction in an ice background. The underlying medium is homogeneous sea water. This configuration is described with layered inhomogeneous media containing multiple species of scatterers. The species are allowed to have different size, shape, and permittivity. The strong permittivity fluctuation theory is extended to account for the multispecies in the derivation of effective permittivities with distributions of scatterer orientations characterized by Eulerian rotation angles. Polarimetric backscattering coefficients are obtained consistently with the same physical description used in the effective permittivity calculation. The mulitspecies model allows the inclusion of high-permittivity species to study effects of brine infiltrated snow cover and frost flowers on thin ice. The results suggest that the frost cover with a rough interface

  15. Snow and Ice.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minneapolis Independent School District 275, Minn.

    This experimental edition provides a number of activities useful for investigating snow and ice with elementary school children. Commencing with games with ice cubes, the activities lead through studies of snowflakes, snowdrifts, effects of wind and obstacles on the shape and formation of drifts, to a study of animals living under snow. The…

  16. An Ultra-Wideband, Microwave Radar for Measuring Snow Thickness on Sea Ice and Mapping Near-Surface Internal Layers in Polar Firn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Panzer, Ben; Gomez-Garcia, Daniel; Leuschen, Carl; Paden, John; Rodriguez-Morales, Fernando; Patel, Azsa; Markus, Thorsten; Holt, Benjamin; Gogineni, Prasad

    2013-01-01

    Sea ice is generally covered with snow, which can vary in thickness from a few centimeters to >1 m. Snow cover acts as a thermal insulator modulating the heat exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere, and it impacts sea-ice growth rates and overall thickness, a key indicator of climate change in polar regions. Snow depth is required to estimate sea-ice thickness using freeboard measurements made with satellite altimeters. The snow cover also acts as a mechanical load that depresses ice freeboard (snow and ice above sea level). Freeboard depression can result in flooding of the snow/ice interface and the formation of a thick slush layer, particularly in the Antarctic sea-ice cover. The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) has developed an ultra-wideband, microwave radar capable of operation on long-endurance aircraft to characterize the thickness of snow over sea ice. The low-power, 100mW signal is swept from 2 to 8GHz allowing the air/snow and snow/ ice interfaces to be mapped with 5 c range resolution in snow; this is an improvement over the original system that worked from 2 to 6.5 GHz. From 2009 to 2012, CReSIS successfully operated the radar on the NASA P-3B and DC-8 aircraft to collect data on snow-covered sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic for NASA Operation IceBridge. The radar was found capable of snow depth retrievals ranging from 10cm to >1 m. We also demonstrated that this radar can be used to map near-surface internal layers in polar firn with fine range resolution. Here we describe the instrument design, characteristics and performance of the radar.

  17. Atmospheric Mercury in an Arctic OASIS (Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snow pack)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, A.; Bottenheim, J. W.; Staebler, R. M.; Netcheva, S.; Douglas, T. A.; Cole, A. S.; Scherz, C.; Lee, P.; Narayan, J.; Moores, J. E.; Ebinghaus, R.

    2009-12-01

    It has become evident that chemical interactions between the atmosphere, snow, ice and ocean in Polar Regions have an impact on the composition of the overlying atmosphere and deposition to the surface. Mercury depletion events (MDEs) are important atmospheric processes associated with chemical interactions over the ocean surface yet much of their behaviour in this environment remains poorly understood. Within the context of International Polar Year (IPY) research activities, an intensive field campaign to make field measurements on mercury concentrations during the OASIS Barrow 2009 study was carried out this past March in Alaska. For the first time, an Out On The Ice (OOTI) sled was equipped to measure gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), reactive gas phase inorganic mercury (RGM) and mercury associated with particles (PHg) near open water (sea ice leads) on the Arctic Ocean. Results from these measurements showed lower re-emission of GEM following a deposition event from over the frozen ocean surface than re-emission recorded over the inland snow pack. It is believed that halogens can retain Hg+2 in snow which can make this mercury less susceptible to photoreduction and subsequent emission. Thus, the highly saline ocean environment appears able to retain mercury deposited by MDEs more effectively than less saline surfaces inland from where most mercury concentrations in snow and the re-emission of GEM have been reported. High concentrations of PHg and RGM were recorded over the frozen ice surface near the open leads ranging from 47 to 900 ± 240 pg/m-3 and 4 to 105 ± 24 pg/m-3, respectively, during the two-week OOTI intensive. This time period was dominated by MDEs where the average GEM concentration was 0.59 ± 0.40 ng/m-3 and with a range from 0.01 to 1.51 ng m-3. Analysis of the data shows that there is a linear relationship between GEM and PHg but not one between GEM and RGM over the ice. Further, PHg/RGM partitioning shows a relationship with water vapour

  18. NASA sea ice and snow validation plan for the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program special sensor microwave/imager

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, Donald J. (Editor); Swift, Calvin T. (Editor)

    1987-01-01

    This document addresses the task of developing and executing a plan for validating the algorithm used for initial processing of sea ice data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSMI). The document outlines a plan for monitoring the performance of the SSMI, for validating the derived sea ice parameters, and for providing quality data products before distribution to the research community. Because of recent advances in the application of passive microwave remote sensing to snow cover on land, the validation of snow algorithms is also addressed.

  19. Characterizing the sea ice algae chlorophyll a-snow depth relationship over Arctic spring melt using transmitted irradiance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, K.; Mundy, C. J.; Barber, D. G.; Gosselin, M.

    2015-07-01

    The bottom ice algae chlorophyll a (chl a)-snow depth (HS) relationship was investigated for first-year sea ice in Allen Bay, Nunavut, from 27 April to 13 June 2011. A transmitted irradiance technique was used to estimate ice algae chl a throughout the period at time series locations covered and cleared of snow. Furthermore, chl a was estimated along transects perpendicular to dominant snowdrift orientation, and at short-term snow clear experimental sites. The association between chl a and most snow depths was characterized by four phases over the spring; light limitation (negative relationship), a transitional period (no relationship), chl a decline associated with higher transmitted irradiance (positive relationship), and a final phase of chl a decline independent from HS (no relationship). Algal chl a under areas cleared of snow was lower, reached zero chl a earlier and declined faster than snow-covered control sites. Results indicated that snow removal caused these chl a responses through photoinhibition, as well as ice melt later in the spring. Based on this research we propose that weather events that can rapidly melt the snowpack could significantly deplete bottom ice chl a and cause early termination of the bloom if they occur late in the spring.

  20. The thickness distribution of sea ice and snow cover during late winter in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worby, A. P.; Jeffries, M. O.; Weeks, W. F.; Morris, K.; JañA, R.

    1996-12-01

    Data collected from a voyage of RV Nathaniel B. Palmer to the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas during August-September 1993 are used to investigate the thickness distribution of sea ice and snow cover and the processes that influence the development of the first-year pack ice. The data are a combination of in situ and ship-based measurements and show that the process of floe thickening is highly dependent on ice deformation; in particular, rafting and ridging play important roles at different stages of floe development. Rafting is the major mechanism in the early stages of development, and core structure data show the mean thickness of individual layers of crystals to be only 0.12 m. Most ice <0.3 m is not ridged but is usually rafted before attaining this thickness, well before thermodynamic growth has ceased. In thicker floes, ridging is more common, with most floes >0.6 m having some surface deformation. Blocks within ridge sails are typically in the range 0.3-0.6 m thick, and ship-based observations estimate approximately 25% of the pack exhibits surface ridging. When corrected for biases in the observational methods, the data show that the dominant ice and snow thickness categories are >0.7 m and 0.2-0.5 m, respectively, and account for 40% and 36% of the surface area of the pack ice. Approximately 8% of the pack is open water. An estimate of the effects of ridging on the distribution of ice mass within the pack suggests that between 50 and 75% of the total mass is contained within the 25% of the pack that exhibits surface ridging.

  1. An AeroCom assessment of black carbon in Arctic snow and sea ice

    SciTech Connect

    Jiao, C.; Flanner, M. G.; Balkanski, Y.; Bauer, S. E.; Bellouin, N.; Berntsen, T. K.; Bian, H.; Carslaw, K. S.; Chin, M.; De Luca, N.; Diehl, T.; Ghan, S. J.; Iversen, T.; Kirkevåg, A.; Koch, D.; Liu, X.; Mann, G. W.; Penner, J. E.; Pitari, G.; Schulz, M.; Seland, Ø.; Skeie, R. B.; Steenrod, S. D.; Stier, P.; Takemura, T.; Tsigaridis, K.; van Noije, T.; Yun, Y.; Zhang, K.

    2014-01-01

    Though many global aerosols models prognose surface deposition, only a few models have been used to directly simulate the radiative effect from black carbon (BC) deposition to snow and sea ice. In this paper, we apply aerosol deposition fields from 25 models contributing to two phases of the Aerosol Comparisons between Observations and Models (AeroCom) project to simulate and evaluate within-snow BC concentrations and radiative effect in the Arctic. We accomplish this by driving the offline land and sea ice components of the Community Earth System Model with different deposition fields and meteorological conditions from 2004 to 2009, during which an extensive field campaign of BC measurements in Arctic snow occurred. We find that models generally underestimate BC concentrations in snow in northern Russia and Norway, while overestimating BC amounts elsewhere in the Arctic. Although simulated BC distributions in snow are poorly correlated with measurements, mean values are reasonable. The multi-model mean (range) bias in BC concentrations, sampled over the same grid cells, snow depths, and months of measurements, are -4.4 (-13.2 to +10.7) ng g-1 for an earlier phase of AeroCom models (phase I), and +4.1 (-13.0 to +21.4) ng g-1 for a more recent phase of AeroCom models (phase II), compared to the observational mean of 19.2 ng g-1. Factors determining model BC concentrations in Arctic snow include Arctic BC emissions, transport of extra-Arctic aerosols, precipitation, deposition efficiency of aerosols within the Arctic, and meltwater removal of particles in snow. Sensitivity studies show that the model–measurement evaluation is only weakly affected by meltwater scavenging efficiency because most measurements were conducted in non-melting snow. The Arctic (60–90° N) atmospheric residence time for BC in phase II models ranges from 3.7 to 23.2 days, implying large inter-model variation in local BC deposition efficiency. Combined with

  2. An AeroCom Assessment of Black Carbon in Arctic Snow and Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jiao, C.; Flanner, M. G.; Balkanski, Y.; Bauer, S. E.; Bellouin, N.; Bernsten, T. K.; Bian, H.; Carslaw, K. S.; Chin, M.; DeLuca, N.; Diehl, T.; Ghan, S. J.; Iversen, T.; Kirkevag, A.; Koch, D.; Liu, X.; Mann, G. W.; Penner, J. E.; Pitari, G.; Schulz, M.; Seland, O; Skeie, R. B.; Steenrod, S. D.; Stier, P.; Tkemura, T.

    2014-01-01

    Though many global aerosols models prognose surface deposition, only a few models have been used to directly simulate the radiative effect from black carbon (BC) deposition to snow and sea ice. Here, we apply aerosol deposition fields from 25 models contributing to two phases of the Aerosol Comparisons between Observations and Models (AeroCom) project to simulate and evaluate within-snow BC concentrations and radiative effect in the Arctic. We accomplish this by driving the offline land and sea ice components of the Community Earth System Model with different deposition fields and meteorological conditions from 2004 to 2009, during which an extensive field campaign of BC measurements in Arctic snow occurred. We find that models generally underestimate BC concentrations in snow in northern Russia and Norway, while overestimating BC amounts elsewhere in the Arctic. Although simulated BC distributions in snow are poorly correlated with measurements, mean values are reasonable. The multi-model mean (range) bias in BC concentrations, sampled over the same grid cells, snow depths, and months of measurements, are -4.4 (-13.2 to +10.7) ng/g for an earlier phase of AeroCom models (phase I), and +4.1 (-13.0 to +21.4) ng/g for a more recent phase of AeroCom models (phase II), compared to the observational mean of 19.2 ng/g. Factors determining model BC concentrations in Arctic snow include Arctic BC emissions, transport of extra-Arctic aerosols, precipitation, deposition efficiency of aerosols within the Arctic, and meltwater removal of particles in snow. Sensitivity studies show that the model-measurement evaluation is only weakly affected by meltwater scavenging efficiency because most measurements were conducted in non-melting snow. The Arctic (60-90degN) atmospheric residence time for BC in phase II models ranges from 3.7 to 23.2 days, implying large inter-model variation in local BC deposition efficiency. Combined with the fact that most Arctic BC deposition originates

  3. Sea Ice, Hydrocarbon Extraction, Rain-on-Snow and Tundra Reindeer Nomadism in Arctic Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forbes, B. C.; Kumpula, T.; Meschtyb, N.; Laptander, R.; Macias-Fauria, M.; Zetterberg, P.; Verdonen, M.

    2015-12-01

    It is assumed that retreating sea ice in the Eurasian Arctic will accelerate hydrocarbon development and associated tanker traffic along Russia's Northern Sea Route. However, oil and gas extraction along the Kara and Barents Sea coasts will likely keep developing rapidly regardless of whether the Northwest Eurasian climate continues to warm. Less certain are the real and potential linkages to regional biota and social-ecological systems. Reindeer nomadism continues to be a vitally important livelihood for indigenous tundra Nenets and their large herds of semi-domestic reindeer. Warming summer air temperatures over the NW Russian Arctic have been linked to increases in tundra productivity, longer growing seasons, and accelerated growth of tall deciduous shrubs. These temperature increases have, in turn, been linked to more frequent and sustained summer high-pressure systems over West Siberia, but not to sea ice retreat. At the same time, winters have been warming and rain-on-snow (ROS) events have become more frequent and intense, leading to record-breaking winter and spring mortality of reindeer. What is driving this increase in ROS frequency and intensity is not clear. Recent modelling and simulation have found statistically significant near-surface atmospheric warming and precipitation increases during autumn and winter over Arctic coastal lands in proximity to regions of sea-ice loss. During the winter of 2013-14 an extensive and lasting ROS event led to the starvation of 61,000 reindeer out of a population of ca. 300,000 animals on Yamal Peninsula, West Siberia. Historically, this is the region's largest recorded mortality episode. More than a year later, participatory fieldwork with nomadic herders during spring-summer 2015 revealed that the ecological and socio-economic impacts from this extreme event will unfold for years to come. There is an urgent need to understand whether and how ongoing Barents and Kara Sea ice retreat may affect the region's ancient

  4. Optical remote sensing of snow on sea ice: Ground measurements, satellite data analysis, and radiative transfer modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xiaobing

    2002-01-01

    The successful launch of the Terra satellite on December 18, 1999 opened a new era of earth observation from space. This thesis is motivated by the need for validation and promotion of the use of snow and sea ice products derived from MODIS, one of the main sensors aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites. Three cruises were made in the Southern Ocean, in the Ross, Amundsen and Bellingshausen seas. Measurements of all-wave albedo, spectral albedo, BRDF, snow surface temperature, snow grain size, and snow stratification etc. were carried out on pack ice floes and landfast ice. In situ measurements were also carried out concurrently with MODIS. The effect of snow physical parameters on the radiative quantities such as all-wave albedo, spectral albedo and bidirectional reflectance are studied using statistical techniques and radiative transfer modeling, including single scattering and multiple scattering. The whole thesis consists of six major parts. The first part (chapter 1) is a review of the present research work on the optical remote sensing of snow. The second part (chapter 2) describes the instrumentation and data-collection of ground measurements of all-wave albedo, spectral albedo and bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) of snow and sea ice in the visible-near-infrared (VNIR) domain in Western Antarctica. The third part (chapter 3) contains a detailed multivariate correlation and regression analysis of the measured radiative quantities with snow physical parameters such as snow density, surface temperature, single and composite grain size and number density. The fourth part (chapter 4) describes the validation of MODIS satellite data acquired concurrently with the ground measurements. The radiances collected by the MODIS sensor are converted to ground snow surface reflectances by removing the atmospheric effect using a radiative transfer algorithm (6S). Ground measured reflectance is corrected for ice concentration at the subpixel level so that

  5. Correlations between Inter-Annual Variations in Arctic Sea Ice Extent, Greenland Surface Melt, and Boreal Snow Cover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markus, Thorstena; Stroeve, Julienne C.; Armstrong, Richard L.

    2004-01-01

    Intensification of global warming in recent decades has caused a rise of interest in year-to-year and decadal-scale climate variability in the Arctic. This is because the Arctic is believed to be one of the most sensitive and vulnerable regions to climatic changes. For over two decades satellite passive microwave observations have been utilized to continuously monitor the Arctic environment. Derived parameters include sea ice cover, snow cover and snow water equivalent over land, and Greenland melt extent and length of melt season. Most studies have primarily concentrated on trends and variations of individual variables. In this study we investigated how variations in sea ice cover, Greenland surface melt, and boreal snow cover are correlated. This was done on hemispheric as well as on regional scales. Latest results will be presented including data from the summer of 2004.

  6. Development of a one-dimensional electro-thermophysical model of the snow sea-ice system: Arctic climate processes and microwave remote sensing applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanesiak, John Michael

    Snow covered sea ice plays a crucial role in the earth's climate. This includes polar biology, local, regional and world weather and ocean circulations as well as indigenous people's way of life. Recent research has indicated significant climate change in the polar regions, especially the Canadian arctic. Polar climate processes are also among the most poorly misrepresented within global circulation models (GCMs). The goal of this thesis is to improve our understanding and capability to simulate arctic climate processes in a predictive sense. An electro-thermophysical relationship exists between the thermophysical characteristics (climate variables and processes) and electrical properties (dielectrics) that control microwave remote sensing of snow-covered first- year sea ice (FYI). This work explicitly links microwave dielectrics and a thermodynamic model of snow and sea ice by addressing four key issues. These includes: (1)ensure the existing one-dimensional sea ice models treat the surface energy balance (SEB) and snow/ice thermodynamics in the appropriate time scales we see occurring in field experiments, (2)ensure the snow/ice thermodynamics are not compromised by differences in environmental and spatial representation within components of the SEB, (3)ensure the snow layer is properly handled in the modeling environment, and (4)how we can make use of satellite microwave remote sensing data within the model environment. Results suggest that diurnal processes are critical and need to be accounted for in modeling snow-covered FYI, similar to time scales acting in microwave remote sensing signatures. Output from the coupled snow sea-ice model provides the required input to microwave dielectric models of snow and sea ice to predict microwave penetration depths within the snow and sea ice (an Electro-Thermophysical model of the Snow Sea Ice System (ETSSIS)). Results suggest ETSSIS can accurately simulate microwave penetration depths in the cold dry snow season and

  7. Recent progress in snow and ice research

    SciTech Connect

    Richter-menge, J.A.; Colbeck, S.C.; Jezek, K.C. )

    1991-01-01

    A review of snow and ice research in 1987-1990 is presented, focusing on the effects of layers in seasonal snow covers, ice mechanics on fresh water and sea ice, and remote sensig of polar ice sheets. These topics provide useful examples of general needs in snow and ice research applicable to most areas, such as better representation in models of detailed processes, controlled laboratory experiments to quantify processes, and field studies to provide the appropriate context for interpretation of processes from remote sensing.

  8. The Role of Snow Thickness over Arctic Winter Sea Ice in the Survival and Dispersal of Brine-Derived Microbes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deming, J. W.; Ewert, M.; Bowman, J. S.

    2013-12-01

    The brines of polar winter sea ice are inhabited by significant densities of microbes (Bacteria and Archaea) that experience a range of extreme conditions depending on location in, and age of, the ice. Newly formed sea ice in winter expels microbes (and organic exudates) onto the surface of the ice, where they can be wicked into frost flowers or into freshly deposited snow, resulting in populations at the ice-air and air-snow interfaces characterized by even more extreme conditions. The influence of snow thickness over the ice on the fate of these microbes, and their potential for dispersal or mediation of exchanges with other components of the ice-snow system, is not well known. Examination of in situ temperature data from the Mass Balance Observatory (MBO) offshore of Barrow, Alaska, during the winter of 2011 allowed recognition of an hierarchy of fluctuation regimes in temperature and (by calculation) brine salinity, where the most stable conditions were encountered within the sea ice and the least stable highest in the snow cover, where temperature fluctuations were significantly more energetic as determined by an analysis of power spectral density. A prior analysis of snow thickness near the MBO had already revealed significant ablation events, potentially associated with bacterial mortality, that would have exposed the saline (microbe-rich) snow layer to wind-based dispersal. To better understand the survival of marine bacteria under these dynamic and extreme conditions, we conducted laboratory experiments with Arctic bacterial isolates, subjecting them to simulations of the freezing regimes documented at the MBS. The impact of the fluctuation regime was shown to be species-specific, with the organism of narrower temperature and salinity growth ranges suffering 30-50% mortality (which could be partially relieved by providing protection against salt-shock). This isolate, the psychrophilic marine bacterium Colwellia psychrerythraea strain 34H (temperature range

  9. Projected Arctic warming, rapid sea ice loss, and snow state changes: Influence on near- surface permafrost degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, D. M.; Slater, A. G.

    2008-12-01

    Projected climatic changes in the Arctic associated with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations are varied. Global climate models suggest that warming in the Arctic will be considerably stronger than the rest of the world. In the Community Climate System Model (CCSM3), 21st century terrestrial Arctic warming ranges from ~+4 to +8° C depending on emission scenario. This warming is non-linear, due in part, to periods of accelerated sea ice loss. Along with the warming, CCSM3 (and other global models) project an increase in winter snowfall and concomitant changes in snow depth, snow density, and snow-season length. Here, we evaluate the roles of Arctic warming, accelerated sea ice loss, and snow state changes on the rate and extent of soil warming and permafrost degradation. We utilize the Community Land Model (CLM) with improved permafrost dynamics to evaluate and compare the large-scale near-surface permafrost response to these climatic forcings. The strong projected warming is, not surprisingly the biggest contributor to permafrost degradation. However, we can attribute roughly 18 percent of the permafrost degradation to increasing snowfall and the resulting maintenance of the insulating snowpack even in the face of strong warming. We also find that a period of accelerated warming associated with rapid sea ice loss can accelerate soil warming and lead to rapid thaw of warmer permafrost and to increased vulnerability of colder permafrost.

  10. Spatially-resolved mean flow and turbulence help explain observed erosion and deposition patterns of snow over Antarctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trujillo, E.; Giometto, M. G.; Leonard, K. C.; Maksym, T. L.; Meneveau, C. V.; Parlange, M. B.; Lehning, M.

    2014-12-01

    Sea ice-atmosphere interactions are major drivers of patterns of sea ice drift and deformations in the Polar regions, and affect snow erosion and deposition at the surface. Here, we combine analyses of sea ice surface topography at very high-resolutions (1-10 cm), and Large Eddy Simulations (LES) to study surface drag and snow erosion and deposition patterns from process scales to floe scales (1 cm - 100 m). The snow/ice elevations were obtained using a Terrestrial Laser Scanner during the SIPEX II (Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem eXperiment II) research voyage to East Antarctica (September-November 2012). LES are performed on a regular domain adopting a mixed pseudo-spectral/finite difference spatial discretization. A scale-dependent dynamic subgrid-scale model based on Lagrangian time averaging is adopted to determine the eddy-viscosity in the bulk of the flow. Effects of larger-scale features of the surface on wind flows (those features that can be resolved in the LES) are accounted for through an immersed boundary method. Conversely, drag forces caused by subgrid-scale features of the surface should be accounted for through a parameterization. However, the effective aerodynamic roughness parameter z0 for snow/ice is not known. Hence, a novel dynamic approach is utilized, in which z0 is determined using the constraint that the total momentum flux (drag) must be independent on grid-filter scale. We focus on three ice floe surfaces. The first of these surfaces (October 6, 2012) is used to test the performance of the model, validate the algorithm, and study the spatial distributed fields of resolved and modeled stress components. The following two surfaces, scanned at the same location before and after a snow storm event (October 20/23, 2012), are used to propose an application to study how spatially resolved mean flow and turbulence relates to observed patterns of snow erosion and deposition. We show how erosion and deposition patterns are correlated with the

  11. Remote sensing of snow and ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rango, A.

    1979-01-01

    This paper reviews remote sensing of snow and ice, techniques for improved monitoring, and incorporation of the new data into forecasting and management systems. The snowcover interpretation of visible and infrared data from satellites, automated digital methods, radiative transfer modeling to calculate the solar reflectance of snow, and models using snowcover input data and elevation zones for calculating snowmelt are discussed. The use of visible and near infrared techniques for inferring snow properties, microwave monitoring of snowpack characteristics, use of Landsat images for collecting glacier data, monitoring of river ice with visible imagery from NOAA satellites, use of sequential imagery for tracking ice flow movement, and microwave studies of sea ice are described. Applications of snow and ice research to commercial use are examined, and it is concluded that a major problem to be solved is characterization of snow and ice in nature, since assigning of the correct properties to a real system to be modeled has been difficult.

  12. A Comparison of Snow Depth on Sea Ice Retrievals Using Airborne Altimeters and an AMSR-E Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Marksu, T.; Ivanoff, A.; Miller, J. A.; Brucker, L.; Sturm, M.; Maslanik, J. A.; Heinrichs, J. F.; Gasiewski, A.; Leuschen, C.; Krabill, W.; Sonntag, J.

    2011-01-01

    A comparison of snow depths on sea ice was made using airborne altimeters and an Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) simulator. The data were collected during the March 2006 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Arctic field campaign utilizing the NASA P-3B aircraft. The campaign consisted of an initial series of coordinated surface and aircraft measurements over Elson Lagoon, Alaska and adjacent seas followed by a series of large-scale (100 km ? 50 km) coordinated aircraft and AMSR-E snow depth measurements over portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. This paper focuses on the latter part of the campaign. The P-3B aircraft carried the University of Colorado Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR-A), the NASA Wallops Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) lidar altimeter, and the University of Kansas Delay-Doppler (D2P) radar altimeter. The PSR-A was used as an AMSR-E simulator, whereas the ATM and D2P altimeters were used in combination to provide an independent estimate of snow depth. Results of a comparison between the altimeter-derived snow depths and the equivalent AMSR-E snow depths using PSR-A brightness temperatures calibrated relative to AMSR-E are presented. Data collected over a frozen coastal polynya were used to intercalibrate the ATM and D2P altimeters before estimating an altimeter snow depth. Results show that the mean difference between the PSR and altimeter snow depths is -2.4 cm (PSR minus altimeter) with a standard deviation of 7.7 cm. The RMS difference is 8.0 cm. The overall correlation between the two snow depth data sets is 0.59.

  13. Diversity and characterization of mercury-resistant bacteria in snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine from the High Arctic.

    PubMed

    Møller, Annette K; Barkay, Tamar; Abu Al-Soud, Waleed; Sørensen, Søren J; Skov, Henrik; Kroer, Niels

    2011-03-01

    It is well-established that atmospheric deposition transports mercury from lower latitudes to the Arctic. The role of bacteria in the dynamics of the deposited mercury, however, is unknown. We characterized mercury-resistant bacteria from High Arctic snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine. Bacterial densities were 9.4 × 10(5), 5 × 10(5) and 0.9-3.1 × 10(3) cells mL(-1) in freshwater, brine and snow, respectively. Highest cultivability was observed in snow (11.9%), followed by freshwater (0.3%) and brine (0.03%). In snow, the mercury-resistant bacteria accounted for up to 31% of the culturable bacteria, but <2% in freshwater and brine. The resistant bacteria belonged to the Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteriodetes. Resistance levels of most isolates were not temperature dependent. Of the resistant isolates, 25% reduced Hg(II) to Hg(0). No relation between resistance level, ability to reduce Hg(II) and phylogenetic group was observed. An estimation of the potential bacterial reduction of Hg(II) in snow suggested that it was important in the deeper snow layers where light attenuation inhibited photoreduction. Thus, by reducing Hg(II) to Hg(0), mercury-resistant bacteria may limit the supply of substrate for methylation processes and, hence, contribute to lowering the risk that methylmercury is being incorporated into the Arctic food chains. PMID:21166687

  14. Projected decline in spring snow depth on Arctic sea ice caused by progressively later autumn open ocean freeze-up this century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hezel, P. J.; Zhang, X.; Bitz, C. M.; Kelly, B. P.; Massonnet, F.

    2012-09-01

    We present the first analysis of snow depth on Arctic sea ice in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 5 (CMIP5) because of its importance for sea ice thermodynamics and ringed seal (Phoca hispida) habitat. Snow depths in April on Arctic sea ice decrease over the 21st century in RCP2.6, RCP4.5, and RCP8.5 scenarios. The chief cause is loss of sea ice area in autumn and, to a lesser extent, winter. By the end of the 21st century in the RCP8.5 scenario, snowfall accumulation is delayed by about three months compared to the late 20th century in the multi-model mean. Mean April snow depth north of 70°N declines from about 28 cm to 16 cm. Precipitation increases as expected in a warmer climate, but much of this increase in the Arctic occurs as rainfall. The seasonality of snowfall rate grows, with increasing rates in winter and decreasing rates in summer and autumn, but the cumulative snowfall from September to April does not change. Ringed seals depend on spring snow cover on Arctic sea ice to create subnivean birth lairs. The area with snow depths above 20 cm — a threshold needed for ringed seals to build snow caves — declines by 70%.

  15. Application of a Three-Component Scattering Model for Snow-covered First-Year Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hossain, M.; Yackel, J. J.

    2011-12-01

    In this study, we examine the utility of a three-component scattering model to quantify the sensitivity of radar incidence angle to snow thickness over landfast first-year sea ice (FYI) during the early spring melt transition. This model utilizes the Freeman-Durden decomposition technique to segregate total power (SPAN) of each pixel into three simple scattering mechanisms (Surface, Volume and Double-Bounce) which is well adopted for naturally occurring terrain (Freeman and Durden, 1992; 1998) using airborne Polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (AIRSAR) data. Our model is based on (i) surface scattering from top of the snow-covered FYI (Smooth, Rough and Deformed); (ii) volume scattering contributed from snow-ice and ice-water interface layers which consists of grain size, brine volume, wetness and orientation of snow grain to radar; (iii) double-bounce scattering contributed from ice ridges. This study used C-band fully Polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (POLSAR) data acquired on May 15 and 18, 2009 at Hudson Bay, Churchill during cold (≤ -8°C) surface air temperature at two specific incidence angles (28.9° & 39°). The model is used to discriminate snow-covered FYI types namely smooth ice (SI), rough ice (RI) and deformed ice (DI). This model is then used to quantify various snow-thicknesses on FYI. We observed that surface scattering (Ps) contributed the dominant scattering mechanism (Ps: SI-76.85% at 28.9° and 69.48% at 39°; RI-65.97% at 28.9° and 57.13% at 39°; and DI- 60.3% at 28.9° and 46.31% at 39°) which decreases with increasing incidence angle and surface roughness; volume scattering (Pv) contributed as a second dominant scattering mechanism (Pv: SI-20.01% at 28.9° and 28.29% at 39°; RI-32.18% at 28.9° and 40.68% at 39°; and DI-38.42% at 28.9° and 52.03% at 39°) which increases with surface roughness and incidence angle; and double-bounce scattering(Pd) contributed very negligible amount to the total scattering (Pd: SI-3.14% at 28.9

  16. 2013 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

    NASA Video Gallery

    After an unusually cold summer in the northernmost latitudes, Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its annual minimum summer extent for 2013 on Sept. 13, the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice ...

  17. Multi-Frequency Measured and Modeled Microwave Backscatter from a Highly Saline Snow Cover on Smooth First-Year Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandan, V.; Geldsetzer, T.; Islam, T.; Yackel, J.; Gill, J. P. S.; Gunn, G. E.; Duguay, C. R.

    2015-12-01

    Monitoring Arctic sea ice and its snow cover variability is of prime importance in Cryosphere research. Snow cover plays major roles in the energy balance of Arctic sea ice and also required to understand the present condition and future behavior of first-year ice (FYI). Microwave remote sensing provides the most effective means to acquire near-real time thermodynamic information about snow cover on smooth FYI. Microwave interaction with snow-covered sea ice is a function of both snow and ice electro-thermo-physical properties such as shape, size and orientation of scatterers, surface roughness, complex dielectric constant as a function primarily of brine volume, and brine volume as a function of temperature, salinity and density; as well as microwave parameters such as incidence angle, polarization and wavelength. Fluctuations in snow cover thermodynamics affect microwave propagation, attenuation, and scattering through the influence that brine volume exerts on interfacial and volume characteristics of snow and ice layers. Previous studies exhibit reduced penetration depth and inaccurate snow thickness estimates, using a single-frequency approach (C-band), from highly saline snow covers. We present a case study based on an observational (Ku-, X- and C-band surface-based fully-polarimetric microwave scatterometer system) and theoretical multi-frequency approach (using first-order microwave scattering and penetration depth models), to understand the sensitivity of varying snow thermodynamics on microwave scattering and penetration. The study site is a 14cm highly saline snow cover over smooth FYI, near Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada (Figure 1), with in-situ snow property measurements acquired from 18th to 20th May 2012, when snow layer temperatures were found to be fluctuating (Figure 2). Preliminary results show variations in observed Ku-, X- and C-band VV backscatter (Figure 3) and penetration (Figure 5) for warm (18th and 20th May) and cold (19th May) snow cases

  18. A vertically integrated snow/ice model over land/sea for climate models. I - Development. II - Impact on orbital change experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neeman, Binyamin U.; Ohring, George; Joseph, Joachim H.

    1988-01-01

    A vertically integrated formulation (VIF) model for sea ice/snow and land snow is discussed which can simulate the nonlinear effects of heat storage and transfer through the layers of snow and ice. The VIF demonstates the accuracy of the multilayer formulation, while benefitting from the computational flexibility of linear formulations. In the second part, the model is implemented in a seasonal dynamic zonally averaged climate model. It is found that, in response to a change between extreme high and low summer insolation orbits, the winter orbital change dominates over the opposite summer change for sea ice. For snow over land the shorter but more pronounced summer orbital change is shown to dominate.

  19. Air-ice drag coefficients in the western Weddell Sea: 2. A model based on form drag and drifting snow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreas, Edgar L.

    1995-03-01

    In part 1 (Andreas and Claffey, this issue) we observed some characteristics of the neutral stability air-ice drag coefficient at a reference height of 10 m (CDN10) that had not been documented before. Our main conclusion was that wind-driven snow continually alters the sea ice surface; the resulting snowdrifts determine how large CDN10 is. In particular, part 1 reported three observations that I would like to explain. (1) CDN10 is near 1.5×10-3 when the wind is well aligned with the drifted snow. (2) CDN10 is near 2.5×10-3 when the wind makes a large angle with the dominant orientation of the snowdrifts. (3) CDN10 can increase by 20% if, after being well aligned with the drift patterns, the mean wind direction shifts by as little as 20°. To investigate this behavior of CDN10 here I adapt a model developed by Raupach (1992) that partitions the total surface stress into contributions from form drag and skin friction. An essential part of this development was extending Raupach's model to the more complex geometry of sastrugi-like roughness elements. Assuming that 10-cm high sastrugi cover 15% of the surface, this physically based model reproduces the three main observations listed above. Thus the model seems to include the basic physics of air-ice momentum exchange. The main conclusion from this modeling is that 10-cm, sastrugilike snowdrifts, rather than pressure ridges, sustain most of the form drag over compact sea ice in the western Weddell Sea. Secondly, the modeling suggests that skin friction accounts for about 60% of the surface stress when the wind is well aligned with the sastrugi; but when the wind is not well aligned, form drag accounts for about 80% of the stress. The sastrugi are thus quite effective in streamlining the surface.

  20. The Role of Snow and Ice in the Climate System

    SciTech Connect

    Barry, Roger G.

    2007-12-19

    Global snow and ice cover (the 'cryosphere') plays a major role in global climate and hydrology through a range of complex interactions and feedbacks, the best known of which is the ice - albedo feedback. Snow and ice cover undergo marked seasonal and long term changes in extent and thickness. The perennial elements - the major ice sheets and permafrost - play a role in present-day regional and local climate and hydrology, but the large seasonal variations in snow cover and sea ice are of importance on continental to hemispheric scales. The characteristics of these variations, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, and evidence for recent trends in snow and ice extent are discussed.

  1. The Role of Snow and Ice in the Climate System

    ScienceCinema

    Barry, Roger G.

    2016-07-12

    Global snow and ice cover (the 'cryosphere') plays a major role in global climate and hydrology through a range of complex interactions and feedbacks, the best known of which is the ice - albedo feedback. Snow and ice cover undergo marked seasonal and long term changes in extent and thickness. The perennial elements - the major ice sheets and permafrost - play a role in present-day regional and local climate and hydrology, but the large seasonal variations in snow cover and sea ice are of importance on continental to hemispheric scales. The characteristics of these variations, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, and evidence for recent trends in snow and ice extent are discussed.

  2. Near Real Time Sea Ice Thickness from the CryoSat-2 Satellite, and the application of a time-varying snow load

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tilling, R.; Ridout, A.; Shepherd, A.; Muir, A.

    2015-12-01

    Since October 2010, data from the European Space Agency (ESA) CryoSat-2 (CS-2) satellite has provided the means to produce sea ice thickness maps across the entire Arctic Ocean basin. These large-scale observations of Arctic sea ice thickness are required to determine trends, compare hemispheres and aid predictive models of future global climate change. However, the final ESA data product is not available until ~30 days after the satellite acquisition, and as such the use of the data for near real time (NRT), operational purposes, has not been possible. At University College London (UCL) we now produce the first NRT estimates of Arctic sea ice thickness, with a lag of only 2 days, using NRT data that has recently been released by ESA. This original, operational dataset will benefit industries such as transport and tourism, as well as the scientific community. This presentation will summarise the NRT product and the data that is avilable, investigate the differences between the NRT and final product, and analyse its reliability and data coverage in particular regions of interest (e.g. the Northwest Passage, and the Beaufort Sea). We have also developed an Arctic-wide, time-varying snow load, so that our CryoSat-2 sea ice processing no longer relies on a constant monthly snow climatology. This presentation will summarise the development, application, and benefits of the new snow load in relation to our NRT and final sea ice thickness estimates.

  3. 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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  4. Snow cover and short-term synoptic events drive biogeochemical dynamics in winter Weddell Sea pack ice (AWECS cruise - June to August 2013)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tison, Jean-Louis; Delille, Bruno; Dieckmann, Gherard; de Jong, Jeroen; Janssens, Julie; Rintala, Janne; Luhtanen, Annemari; Gussone, Niklaus; Uhlig, Christiane; Nomura, Daïki; Schoemann, Véronique; Zhou, Jiayun; Carnat, Gauthier; Fripiat, François

    2014-05-01

    This paper presents the preliminary results of an integrated multidisciplinary study of pack ice biogeochemistry in the Weddell Sea during the winter 2013 (June-August). The sea ice biogeochemistry group was one of the components of the AWECS (Antarctic Winter Ecosystem and Climate Study) cruise (Polarstern ANTXXIX-6). A total of 12 stations were carried out by the sea ice biogeochemistry group, which collected a suite of variables in the fields of physics, inorganic chemistry, gas content and composition, microbiology, biogeochemistry, trace metals and the carbonate system in order to give the best possible description of the sea ice cover and its interactions at interfaces. Samples were collected in the atmosphere above (gas fluxes), in the snow cover, in the bulk ice (ice cores), in the brines (sackholes) and in the sea water below (0m, 1m, 30 m). Here we present the results of basic physico-chemical (T° , bulk ice salinity, brine volumes, brine salinity, Rayleigh numbers) and biological (Chla) measurements in order to give an overview of the general status of the Weddell Sea winter pack ice encountered, and discuss how it controls climate relevant biogeochemical processes. Our results from the first set of 9 stations, mainly sampled along the Greenwich meridian and the easternmost part of the Weddell Sea definitively refute the view of a biogeochemically 'frozen' sea ice during the Winter. This has already been demonstrated for the Spring and Summer, but we now see that sea ice sustains considerable biological stocks and activities throughout the Winter, despite the reduced amount of available PAR radiation. Accretion of the snow cover appears to play an essential role in driving biogeochemical activity, through warming from insulation, thus favouring brine transport, be it through potential convection, surface brine migration (brine tubes) or flooding. This results in a 'widening' of the internal autumn layer (quite frequent in this rafting-dominated sea ice

  5. Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; Cavalieri, Donald J.

    2005-01-01

    Sea ice covers vast areas of the polar oceans, with ice extent in the Northern Hemisphere ranging from approximately 7 x 10(exp 6) sq km in September to approximately 15 x 10(exp 6) sq km in March and ice extent in the Southern Hemisphere ranging from approximately 3 x 10(exp 6) sq km in February to approximately 18 x 10(exp 6) sq km in September. These ice covers have major impacts on the atmosphere, oceans, and ecosystems of the polar regions, and so as changes occur in them there are potential widespread consequences. Satellite data reveal considerable interannual variability in both polar sea ice covers, and many studies suggest possible connections between the ice and various oscillations within the climate system, such as the Arctic Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, and Antarctic Oscillation, or Southern Annular Mode. Nonetheless, statistically significant long-term trends are also apparent, including overall trends of decreased ice coverage in the Arctic and increased ice coverage in the Antarctic from late 1978 through the end of 2003, with the Antarctic ice increases following marked decreases in the Antarctic ice during the 1970s. For a detailed picture of the seasonally varying ice cover at the start of the 21st century, this chapter includes ice concentration maps for each month of 2001 for both the Arctic and the Antarctic, as well as an overview of what the satellite record has revealed about the two polar ice covers from the 1970s through 2003.

  6. Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perovich, D.; Gerland, S.; Hendricks, S.; Meier, Walter N.; Nicolaus, M.; Richter-Menge, J.; Tschudi, M.

    2013-01-01

    During 2013, Arctic sea ice extent remained well below normal, but the September 2013 minimum extent was substantially higher than the record-breaking minimum in 2012. Nonetheless, the minimum was still much lower than normal and the long-term trend Arctic September extent is -13.7 per decade relative to the 1981-2010 average. The less extreme conditions this year compared to 2012 were due to cooler temperatures and wind patterns that favored retention of ice through the summer. Sea ice thickness and volume remained near record-low levels, though indications are of slightly thicker ice compared to the record low of 2012.

  7. Mapping and assessing variability in the Antarctic marginal ice zone, pack ice and coastal polynyas in two sea ice algorithms with implications on breeding success of snow petrels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroeve, Julienne C.; Jenouvrier, Stephanie; Campbell, G. Garrett; Barbraud, Christophe; Delord, Karine

    2016-08-01

    Sea ice variability within the marginal ice zone (MIZ) and polynyas plays an important role for phytoplankton productivity and krill abundance. Therefore, mapping their spatial extent as well as seasonal and interannual variability is essential for understanding how current and future changes in these biologically active regions may impact the Antarctic marine ecosystem. Knowledge of the distribution of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas in the total Antarctic sea ice cover may also help to shed light on the factors contributing towards recent expansion of the Antarctic ice cover in some regions and contraction in others. The long-term passive microwave satellite data record provides the longest and most consistent record for assessing the proportion of the sea ice cover that is covered by each of these ice categories. However, estimates of the amount of MIZ, consolidated pack ice and polynyas depend strongly on which sea ice algorithm is used. This study uses two popular passive microwave sea ice algorithms, the NASA Team and Bootstrap, and applies the same thresholds to the sea ice concentrations to evaluate the distribution and variability in the MIZ, the consolidated pack ice and coastal polynyas. Results reveal that the seasonal cycle in the MIZ and pack ice is generally similar between both algorithms, yet the NASA Team algorithm has on average twice the MIZ and half the consolidated pack ice area as the Bootstrap algorithm. Trends also differ, with the Bootstrap algorithm suggesting statistically significant trends towards increased pack ice area and no statistically significant trends in the MIZ. The NASA Team algorithm on the other hand indicates statistically significant positive trends in the MIZ during spring. Potential coastal polynya area and amount of broken ice within the consolidated ice pack are also larger in the NASA Team algorithm. The timing of maximum polynya area may differ by as much as 5 months between algorithms. These

  8. The microwave emissivity variability of snow covered first-year sea ice from late winter to early summer: a model study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willmes, S.; Nicolaus, M.; Haas, C.

    2013-12-01

    Satellite observations of microwave brightness temperatures between 19 GHz and 85 GHz are the main data source for operational sea-ice monitoring. However, the sea ice microwave emissivity is subject to pronounced seasonal variations and shows significant hemispheric contrasts that mainly arise from differences in the rate and strength of snow metamorphism and melt. We use the thermodynamic snow model SNTHERM and the microwave emission model MEMLS to identify the contribution of regional patterns in atmospheric energy fluxes to surface emissivity variations on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice between 2000 and 2009. The obtained emissivity data reveal a pronounced seasonal cycle with a large regional variability. The emissivity variability increases from winter to early summer and is more pronounced in the Antarctic. In the pre-melt period (January-May, July-November) the variations in surface microwave emissivity due to diurnal, regional and inter-annual variability of atmospheric forcing reach up to 3.4%, 4.3%, and 9.7% for 19 GHz, 37 GHz and 85 GHz channels, respectively. Small but significant emissivity trends can be observed in the Weddell Sea during November and December as well as in Fram Strait during February. The obtained emissivity data lend themselves for an assessment of sea-ice concentration and snow-depth algorithm accuracies.

  9. The microwave emissivity variability of snow covered first-year sea ice from late winter to early summer: a model study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willmes, S.; Nicolaus, M.; Haas, C.

    2014-05-01

    Satellite observations of microwave brightness temperatures between 19 GHz and 85 GHz are the main data sources for operational sea-ice monitoring and retrieval of ice concentrations. However, microwave brightness temperatures depend on the emissivity of snow and ice, which is subject to pronounced seasonal variations and shows significant hemispheric contrasts. These mainly arise from differences in the rate and strength of snow metamorphism and melt. We here use the thermodynamic snow model SNTHERM forced by European Re-Analysis (ERA) interim data and the Microwave Emission Model of Layered Snowpacks (MEMLS), to calculate the sea-ice surface emissivity and to identify the contribution of regional patterns in atmospheric conditions to its variability in the Arctic and Antarctic. The computed emissivities reveal a pronounced seasonal cycle with large regional variability. The emissivity variability increases from winter to early summer and is more pronounced in the Antarctic. In the pre-melt period (January-May, July-November) the standard deviations in surface microwave emissivity due to diurnal, regional and inter-annual variability of atmospheric forcing reach up to Δɛ = 0.034, 0.043, and 0.097 for 19 GHz, 37 GHz and 85 GHz channels, respectively. Between 2000 and 2009, small but significant positive emissivity trends were observed in the Weddell Sea during November and December as well as in Fram Strait during February, potentially related to earlier melt onset in these regions. The obtained results contribute to a better understanding of the uncertainty and variability of sea-ice concentration and snow-depth retrievals in regions of high sea-ice concentrations.

  10. [Psycrophilic organisms in snow and ice].

    PubMed

    Kohshima, S

    2000-12-01

    Psychrophilic and psycrotrophic organisms are important in global ecology as a large proportion of our planet is cold. Two-third of sea-water covering more than 70% of Earth is cold deep sea water with temperature around 2 degrees C, and more than 90% of freshwater is in polar ice-sheets and mountain glaciers. Though biological activity in snow and ice had been believed to be extremely limited, various specialized biotic communities were recently discovered at glaciers of various part of the world. The glacier is relatively simple and closed ecosystem with special biotic community containing various psychrophilic and psycrotrophic organisms. Since psychrophilic organisms was discovered in the deep ice-core recovered from the antarctic ice-sheet and a lake beneath it, snow and ice environments in Mars and Europa are attracting a great deal of scientific attention as possible extraterrestrial habitats of life. This paper briefly reviews the results of the studies on ecology of psychrophilic organisms living in snow and ice environments and their physiological and biochemical adaptation to low temperature.

  11. The role of sea ice dynamics in global climate change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hibler, William D., III

    1992-01-01

    The topics covered include the following: general characteristics of sea ice drift; sea ice rheology; ice thickness distribution; sea ice thermodynamic models; equilibrium thermodynamic models; effect of internal brine pockets and snow cover; model simulations of Arctic Sea ice; and sensitivity of sea ice models to climate change.

  12. Snow and ice in a changing hydrological world.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meier, M.F.

    1983-01-01

    Snow cover on land (especially in the Northern Hemisphere) and sea ice (especially in the Southern Hemisphere) vary seasonally, and this seasonal change has an important affect on the world climate because snow and sea ice reflect solar radiation efficiently and affect other heat flow processes between atmosphere and land or ocean. Glaciers, including ice sheets, store most of the fresh water on Earth, but change dimensions relatively slowly. There is no clear evidence that the glacier ice volume currently is declining, but more needs to be known about mountain glacier and ice sheet mass balances. -from Author

  13. Important changes in microwave scattering properties of young snow-covered sea ice as indicated from dielectric modelling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drinkwater, M. R.

    1988-01-01

    Winter measurements of the properties of young snow-covered fast ice are input into a mixture model to calculate the complex dielectric constant. Large changes in the electromagnetic properties of the medium occur over the 46 day period of measurements. This early evolution of the surface is shown to have an important impact upon predicted radar backscattering properties at GHz frequencies. This has consequences for the unambiguous identification of young ice forms from synthetic aperture or side-looking airborne radar images.

  14. Mercuric reductase genes (merA) and mercury resistance plasmids in High Arctic snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine.

    PubMed

    Møller, Annette K; Barkay, Tamar; Hansen, Martin A; Norman, Anders; Hansen, Lars H; Sørensen, Søren J; Boyd, Eric S; Kroer, Niels

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial reduction in Hg(2+) to Hg(0) , mediated by the mercuric reductase (MerA), is important in the biogeochemical cycling of Hg in temperate environments. Little is known about the occurrence and diversity of merA in the Arctic. Seven merA determinants were identified among bacterial isolates from High Arctic snow, freshwater and sea-ice brine. Three determinants in Bacteriodetes, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria showed < 92% (amino acid) sequence similarity to known merA, while one merA homologue in Alphaproteobacteria and 3 homologues from Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria were > 99% similar to known merA's. Phylogenetic analysis showed the Bacteroidetes merA to be part of an early lineage in the mer phylogeny, whereas the Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria merA appeared to have evolved recently. Several isolates, in which merA was not detected, were able to reduce Hg(2+) , suggesting presence of unidentified merA genes. About 25% of the isolates contained plasmids, two of which encoded mer operons. One plasmid was a broad host-range IncP-α plasmid. No known incompatibility group could be assigned to the others. The presence of conjugative plasmids, and an incongruent distribution of merA within the taxonomic groups, suggests horizontal transfer of merA as a likely mechanism for High Arctic microbial communities to adapt to changing mercury concentration.

  15. Diversity and vertical distribution of microbial eukaryotes in the snow, sea ice and seawater near the north pole at the end of the polar night.

    PubMed

    Bachy, Charles; López-García, Purificación; Vereshchaka, Alexander; Moreira, David

    2011-01-01

    Our knowledge about the microorganisms living in the high Arctic Ocean is still rudimentary compared to other oceans mostly because of logistical challenges imposed by its inhospitable climate and the presence of a multi-year ice cap. We have used 18S rRNA gene libraries to study the diversity of microbial eukaryotes in the upper part of the water column (0-170 m depth), the sea ice (0-1.5 m depth) and the overlying snow from samples collected in the vicinity of the North Pole (N88°35', E015°59) at the very end of the long polar night. We detected very diverse eukaryotes belonging to Alveolata, Fungi, Amoebozoa, Viridiplantae, Metazoa, Rhizaria, Heterokonta, and Telonemia. Different alveolates (dinoflagellates and Marine Alveolate Groups I and II species) were the most abundant and diverse in gene libraries from water and sea ice, representing 80% of the total number of clones and operational taxonomic units. Only contaminants and/or species from continental ecosystems were detected in snow, suggesting wind- and animal- or human-mediated cosmopolitan dispersal of some taxa. By contrast, sea ice and seawater samples harbored a larger and more similar inter-sample protist diversity as compared with snow. The North Pole was found to harbor distinctive eukaryotic communities along the vertical gradient with an unparalleled diversity of core dinoflagellates, largely dominant in libraries from the water column, as compared to other oceanic locations. In contrast, phototrophic organisms typical of Arctic sea ice and plankton, such as diatoms and prasinophytes, were very rare in our samples. This was most likely due to a decrease of their populations after several months of polar night darkness and to the presence of rich populations of diverse grazers. Whereas strict phototrophs were scarce, we identified a variety of likely mixotrophic taxa, which supports the idea that mixotrophy may be important for the survival of diverse protists through the long polar night.

  16. NASA Sea Ice and Snow Validation Program for the DMSP SSM/I: NASA DC-8 flight report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.

    1988-01-01

    In June 1987 a new microwave sensor called the Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) was launched as part of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). In recognition of the importance of this sensor to the polar research community, NASA developed a program to acquire the data, to convert the data into sea ice parameters, and finally to validate and archive both the SSM/I radiances and the derived sea ice parameters. Central to NASA's sea ice validation program was a series of SSM/I aircraft underflights with the NASA DC-8 airborne Laboratory. The mission (the Arctic '88 Sea Ice Mission) was completed in March 1988. This report summarizes the mission and includes a summary of aircraft instrumentation, coordination with participating Navy aircraft, flight objectives, flight plans, data collected, SSM/I orbits for each day during the mission, and lists several piggyback experiments supported during this mission.

  17. Cold, Ice, and Snow Safety (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Know About Zika & Pregnancy Cold, Ice, and Snow Safety KidsHealth > For Parents > Cold, Ice, and Snow Safety Print A A A Text Size What's ... a few. Plus, someone has to shovel the snow, right? Once outdoors, however, take precautions to keep ...

  18. Polar Climate: Arctic sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, R.S.; Douglas, David C.; Belchansky, G.I.; Drobot, S.D.

    2005-01-01

    Recent decreases in snow and sea ice cover in the high northern latitudes are among the most notable indicators of climate change. Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent for the year as a whole was the third lowest on record dating back to 1973, behind 1995 (lowest) and 1990 (second lowest; Hadley Center–NCEP). September sea ice extent, which is at the end of the summer melt season and is typically the month with the lowest sea ice extent of the year, has decreased by about 19% since the late 1970s (Fig. 5.2), with a record minimum observed in 2002 (Serreze et al. 2003). A record low extent also occurred in spring (Chapman 2005, personal communication), and 2004 marked the third consecutive year of anomalously extreme sea ice retreat in the Arctic (Stroeve et al. 2005). Some model simulations indicate that ice-free summers will occur in the Arctic by the year 2070 (ACIA 2004).

  19. Biogeochemistry in Sea Ice: CICE model developments

    SciTech Connect

    Jeffery, Nicole; Hunke, Elizabeth; Elliott, Scott; Turner, Adrian

    2012-06-18

    Polar primary production unfolds in a dynamic sea ice environment, and the interactions of sea ice with ocean support and mediate this production. In spring, for example, fresh melt water contributes to the shoaling of the mixed layer enhancing ice edge blooms. In contrast, sea ice formation in the fall reduces light penetration to the upper ocean slowing primary production in marine waters. Polar biogeochemical modeling studies typically consider these types of ice-ocean interactions. However, sea ice itself is a biogeochemically active medium, contributing a significant and, possibly, essential source of primary production to polar regions in early spring and fall. Here we present numerical simulations using the Los Alamos Sea Ice Model (CICE) with prognostic salinity and sea ice biogeochemistry. This study investigates the relationship between sea ice multiphase physics and sea ice productivity. Of particular emphasis are the processes of gravity drainage, melt water flushing, and snow loading. During sea ice formation, desalination by gravity drainage facilitates nutrient exchange between ocean and ice maintaining ice algal blooms in early spring. Melt water flushing releases ice algae and nutrients to underlying waters limiting ice production. Finally, snow loading, particularly in the Southern Ocean, forces sea ice below the ocean surface driving an upward flow of nutrient rich water into the ice to the benefit of interior and freeboard communities. Incorporating ice microphysics in CICE has given us an important tool for assessing the importance of these processes for polar algal production at global scales.

  20. Sea ice-albedo climate feedback mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Schramm, J.L.; Curry, J.A.; Ebert, E.E.

    1995-02-01

    The sea ice-albedo feedback mechanism over the Arctic Ocean multiyear sea ice is investigated by conducting a series of experiments using several one-dimensional models of the coupled sea ice-atmosphere system. In its simplest form, ice-albedo feedback is thought to be associated with a decrease in the areal cover of snow and ice and a corresponding increase in the surface temperature, further decreasing the area cover of snow and ice. It is shown that the sea ice-albedo feedback can operate even in multiyear pack ice, without the disappearance of this ice, associated with internal processes occurring within the multiyear ice pack (e.g., duration of the snow cover, ice thickness, ice distribution, lead fraction, and melt pond characteristics). The strength of the ice-albedo feedback mechanism is compared for several different thermodynamic sea ice models: a new model that includes ice thickness distribution., the Ebert and Curry model, the Mayjut and Untersteiner model, and the Semtner level-3 and level-0 models. The climate forcing is chosen to be a perturbation of the surface heat flux, and cloud and water vapor feedbacks are inoperative so that the effects of the sea ice-albedo feedback mechanism can be isolated. The inclusion of melt ponds significantly strengthens the ice-albedo feedback, while the ice thickness distribution decreases the strength of the modeled sea ice-albedo feedback. It is emphasized that accurately modeling present-day sea ice thickness is not adequate for a sea ice parameterization; the correct physical processes must be included so that the sea ice parameterization yields correct sensitivities to external forcing. 22 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Sea ice data for all: NSIDC's Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vizcarra, N.; Stroeve, J. C.; Serreze, M. C.; Scambos, T. A.; Meier, W.

    2014-12-01

    Arctic sea ice has long been recognized as a sensitive climate indicator and has undergone a dramatic decline over the past thirty years. The National Snow and Ice Data Center's Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis blog continues to offer the public a transparent view of sea ice data and analysis. We have expanded our interactive sea ice graph to include Antarctic sea ice in response to increased attention from the public as a result of unexpected behavior of sea ice in the south. This poster explores the blog's new features and how other researchers, the media, and the public are currently using them.

  2. X-ray computed microtomography of sea ice - comment on "A review of air-ice chemical and physical interactions (AICI): liquids, quasi-liquids, and solids in snow" by Bartels-Rausch et al. (2014)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obbard, R. W.

    2015-07-01

    This comment addresses a statement made in "A review of air-ice chemical and physical interactions (AICI): liquids, quasi-liquids, and solids in snow" by Bartels-Rausch et al. (Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14, 1587-1633, doi:10.5194/acp-14-1587-2014, 2014). Here we rebut the assertion that X-ray computed microtomography of sea ice fails to reveal liquid brine inclusions by discussing the phases present at the analysis temperature.

  3. Synoptic controls on precipitation pathways and snow delivery to high-accumulation ice core sites in the Ross Sea region, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinclair, K. E.; Bertler, N. A. N.; Trompetter, W. J.

    2010-11-01

    Dominant storm tracks to two ice core sites on the western margin of the Ross Sea, Antarctica (Skinner Saddle (SKS) and Evans Piedmont Glacier), are investigated to establish key synoptic controls on snow accumulation. This is critical in terms of understanding the seasonality, source regions, and transport pathways of precipitation delivered to these sites. In situ snow depth and meteorological observations are used to identify major accumulation events in 2007-2008, which differ considerably between sites in terms of their magnitude and seasonal distribution. While snowfall at Evans Piedmont Glacier occurs almost exclusively during summer and spring, Skinner Saddle receives precipitation year round with a lull during the months of April and May. Cluster analysis of daily back trajectories reveals that the highest-accumulation days at both sites result from fast-moving air masses, associated with synoptic-scale low-pressure systems. There is evidence that short-duration pulses of snowfall at SKS also originate from mesocyclone development over the Ross Ice Shelf and local moisture sources. Changes in the frequency and seasonal distribution of these mechanisms of precipitation delivery will have a marked impact on annual accumulation over time and will therefore need careful consideration during the interpretation of stable isotope and geochemical records from these ice cores.

  4. Frost flowers growing in the Arctic ocean-atmosphere-sea ice-snow interface: 2. Mercury exchange between the atmosphere, snow, and frost flowers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherman, Laura S.; Blum, Joel D.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Steffen, Alexandra

    2012-07-01

    Frost flowers are ice crystals that grow on refreezing sea ice leads in Polar Regions by wicking brine from the sea ice surface and accumulating vapor phase condensate. These crystals contain high concentrations of mercury (Hg) and are believed to be a source of reactive halogens, but their role in Hg cycling and impact on the fate of Hg deposited during atmospheric mercury depletion events (AMDEs) are not well understood. We collected frost flowers growing on refreezing sea ice near Barrow, Alaska (U.S.A.) during an AMDE in March 2009 and measured Hg concentrations and Hg stable isotope ratios in these samples to determine the origin of Hg associated with the crystals. We observed decreasing Δ199Hg values in the crystals as they grew from new wet frost flowers (mean Δ199Hg = 0.77 ± 0.13‰, 1 s.d.) to older dry frost flowers (mean Δ199Hg = 0.10 ± 0.05‰, 1 s.d.). Over the same time period, mean Hg concentrations in these samples increased from 131 ± 6 ng/L (1 s.d.) to 180 ± 28 ng/L (1 s.d.). Coupled with a previous study of Hg isotopic fractionation during AMDEs, these results suggest that Hg initially deposited to the local snowpack was subsequently reemitted during photochemical reduction reactions and ultimately accumulated on the frost flowers. As a result of this process, frost flowers may lead to enhanced local retention of Hg deposited during AMDEs and may increase Hg loading to the Arctic Ocean.

  5. Microwave properties of sea ice in the marginal ice zone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Onstott, R. G.; Larson, R. W.

    1986-01-01

    Active microwave properties of summer sea ice were measured. Backscatter data were acquired at frequencies from 1 to 17 GHz, at angles from 0 to 70 deg from vertical, and with like and cross antenna polarizations. Results show that melt-water, snow thickness, snowpack morphology, snow surface roughness, ice surface roughness, and deformation characteristics are the fundamental scene parameters which govern the summer sea ice backscatter response. A thick, wet snow cover dominates the backscatter response and masks any ice sheet features below. However, snow and melt-water are not distributed uniformly and the stage of melt may also be quite variable. These nonuniformities related to ice type are not necessarily well understood and produce unique microwave signature characteristics.

  6. [Spectral features analysis of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean].

    PubMed

    Ke, Chang-qing; Xie, Hong-jie; Lei, Rui-bo; Li, Qun; Sun, Bo

    2012-04-01

    Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean plays an important role in the global climate change, and its quick change and impact are the scientists' focus all over the world. The spectra of different kinds of sea ice were measured with portable ASD FieldSpec 3 spectrometer during the long-term ice station of the 4th Chinese national Arctic Expedition in 2010, and the spectral features were analyzed systematically. The results indicated that the reflectance of sea ice covered by snow is the highest one, naked sea ice the second, and melted sea ice the lowest. Peak and valley characteristics of spectrum curves of sea ice covered by thick snow, thin snow, wet snow and snow crystal are very significant, and the reflectance basically decreases with the wavelength increasing. The rules of reflectance change with wavelength of natural sea ice, white ice and blue ice are basically same, the reflectance of them is medium, and that of grey ice is far lower than natural sea ice, white ice and blue ice. It is very significant for scientific research to analyze the spectral features of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and to implement the quantitative remote sensing of sea ice, and to further analyze its response to the global warming.

  7. Estimating the surface layer refractive index structure constant over snow and sea ice using Monin-Obukhov similarity theory with a mesoscale atmospheric model.

    PubMed

    Qing, Chun; Wu, Xiaoqing; Huang, Honghua; Tian, Qiguo; Zhu, Wenyue; Rao, Ruizhong; Li, Xuebin

    2016-09-01

    Since systematic direct measurements of refractive index structure constant ( Cn2) for many climates and seasons are not available, an indirect approach is developed in which Cn2 is estimated from the mesoscale atmospheric model outputs. In previous work, we have presented an approach that a state-of-the-art mesoscale atmospheric model called Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with Monin-Obukhov Similarity (MOS) theory which can be used to estimate surface layer Cn2 over the ocean. Here this paper is focused on surface layer Cn2 over snow and sea ice, which is the extending of estimating surface layer Cn2 utilizing WRF model for ground-based optical application requirements. This powerful approach is validated against the corresponding 9-day Cn2 data from a field campaign of the 30th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE). We employ several statistical operators to assess how this approach performs. Besides, we present an independent analysis of this approach performance using the contingency tables. Such a method permits us to provide supplementary key information with respect to statistical operators. These methods make our analysis more robust and permit us to confirm the excellent performances of this approach. The reasonably good agreement in trend and magnitude is found between estimated values and measurements overall, and the estimated Cn2 values are even better than the ones obtained by this approach over the ocean surface layer. The encouraging performance of this approach has a concrete practical implementation of ground-based optical applications over snow and sea ice.

  8. Estimating the surface layer refractive index structure constant over snow and sea ice using Monin-Obukhov similarity theory with a mesoscale atmospheric model.

    PubMed

    Qing, Chun; Wu, Xiaoqing; Huang, Honghua; Tian, Qiguo; Zhu, Wenyue; Rao, Ruizhong; Li, Xuebin

    2016-09-01

    Since systematic direct measurements of refractive index structure constant ( Cn2) for many climates and seasons are not available, an indirect approach is developed in which Cn2 is estimated from the mesoscale atmospheric model outputs. In previous work, we have presented an approach that a state-of-the-art mesoscale atmospheric model called Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with Monin-Obukhov Similarity (MOS) theory which can be used to estimate surface layer Cn2 over the ocean. Here this paper is focused on surface layer Cn2 over snow and sea ice, which is the extending of estimating surface layer Cn2 utilizing WRF model for ground-based optical application requirements. This powerful approach is validated against the corresponding 9-day Cn2 data from a field campaign of the 30th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE). We employ several statistical operators to assess how this approach performs. Besides, we present an independent analysis of this approach performance using the contingency tables. Such a method permits us to provide supplementary key information with respect to statistical operators. These methods make our analysis more robust and permit us to confirm the excellent performances of this approach. The reasonably good agreement in trend and magnitude is found between estimated values and measurements overall, and the estimated Cn2 values are even better than the ones obtained by this approach over the ocean surface layer. The encouraging performance of this approach has a concrete practical implementation of ground-based optical applications over snow and sea ice. PMID:27607648

  9. Solar radiation interactions with seasonal sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehn, Jens Kristian

    Presently, the Arctic Ocean is undergoing an escalating reduction in sea ice and a transition towards a seasonal sea ice environment. This warrants detailed investigations into improving our understanding of the seasonal evolution of sea ice and snow covers, and their representation in climate models. The interaction of solar radiation with sea ice is an important process influencing the energy balance and biological activity in polar seas, and consequently plays a key role in the earth's climate system. This thesis focuses on characterization of the optical properties---and the underlying physical properties that determine them---of seasonal sea ice during the fall freeze-up and the spring melt periods. Both periods display high spatial heterogeneity and rapid temporal changes in sea ice properties, and are therefore poorly understood. Field data were collected in Amundsen Gulf/Franklin Bay (FB), southern-eastern Beaufort Sea, in Oct.-Nov. 2003 and Apr. 2004 and in Button Bay (BB), western Hudson Bay, in Mar.-May 2005 to address (1) the temporal and spatial evolution of surface albedo and transmittance, (2) how radiative transfer in sea ice is controlled by its physical nature, and (3) the characteristics of the bottom ice algae community and its effect on the optical properties. The fall study showed the importance of surface features such as dry or slushy bare ice, frost flowers and snow cover in determining the surface albedo. Ice thickness was also important, however, mostly because surface features were associated with thickness. For example, nilas (<10 cm thick) was typically not covered by a snow layer as snow grains were dissolved or merged with the salty and warm brine skim layer on the surface, while surface conditions on thicker ice types were cold and dry enough to support a snow cover. In general, the surface albedo increased exponentially with an ice thickness increase, however, variability within ice thickness types were very large. It is apparent

  10. MODIS Collection 6 Data at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fowler, D. K.; Steiker, A. E.; Johnston, T.; Haran, T. M.; Fowler, C.; Wyatt, P.

    2015-12-01

    For over 15 years, the NASA National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC) has archived and distributed snow and sea ice products derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua and Terra satellites. Collection 6 represents the next revision to NSIDC's MODIS archive, mainly affecting the snow-cover products. Collection 6 specifically addresses the needs of the MODIS science community by targeting the scenarios that have historically confounded snow detection and introduced errors into the snow-cover and fractional snow-cover maps even though MODIS snow-cover maps are typically 90 percent accurate or better under good observing conditions, Collection 6 uses revised algorithms to discriminate between snow and clouds, resolve uncertainties along the edges of snow-covered regions, and detect summer snow cover in mountains. Furthermore, Collection 6 applies modified and additional snow detection screens and new Quality Assessment protocols that enhance the overall accuracy of the snow maps compared with Collection 5. Collection 6 also introduces several new MODIS snow products, including a daily Climate Modelling Grid (CMG) cloud gap-filled (CGF) snow-cover map which generates cloud-free maps by using the most recent clear observations.. The MODIS Collection 6 sea ice extent and ice surface temperature algorithms and products are much the same as Collection 5; however, Collection 6 updates to algorithm inputs—in particular, the L1B calibrated radiances, land and water mask, and cloud mask products—have improved the sea ice outputs. The MODIS sea ice products are currently available at NSIDC, and the snow cover products are soon to follow in 2016 NSIDC offers a variety of methods for obtaining these data. Users can download data directly from an online archive or use the NASA Reverb Search & Order Tool to perform spatial, temporal, and parameter

  11. Bacterial diversity in snow on North Pole ice floes.

    PubMed

    Hauptmann, Aviaja L; Stibal, Marek; Bælum, Jacob; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Brunak, Søren; Bowman, Jeff S; Hansen, Lars H; Jacobsen, Carsten S; Blom, Nikolaj

    2014-11-01

    The microbial abundance and diversity in snow on ice floes at three sites near the North Pole was assessed using quantitative PCR and 454 pyrosequencing. Abundance of 16S rRNA genes in the samples ranged between 43 and 248 gene copies per millilitre of melted snow. A total of 291,331 sequences were obtained through 454 pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes, resulting in 984 OTUs at 97 % identity. Two sites were dominated by Cyanobacteria (72 and 61 %, respectively), including chloroplasts. The third site differed by consisting of 95 % Proteobacteria. Principal component analysis showed that the three sites clustered together when compared to the underlying environments of sea ice and ocean water. The Shannon indices ranged from 2.226 to 3.758, and the Chao1 indices showed species richness between 293 and 353 for the three samples. The relatively low abundances and diversity found in the samples indicate a lower rate of microbial input to this snow habitat compared to snow in the proximity of terrestrial and anthropogenic sources of microorganisms. The differences in species composition and diversity between the sites show that apparently similar snow habitats contain a large variation in biodiversity, although the differences were smaller than the differences to the underlying environment. The results support the idea that a globally distributed community exists in snow and that the global snow community can in part be attributed to microbial input from the atmosphere.

  12. Interferometric System for Measuring Thickness of Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hussein, Ziad; Jordan, Rolando; McDonald, Kyle; Holt, Benjamin; Huang, John; Kugo, Yasuo; Ishimaru, Akira; Jaruwatanadilok, Semsak; Akins, Torry; Gogineni, Prasad

    2006-01-01

    The cryospheric advanced sensor (CAS) is a developmental airborne (and, potentially, spaceborne) radar-based instrumentation system for measuring and mapping the thickness of sea ice. A planned future version of the system would also provide data on the thickness of snow covering sea ice. Frequent measurements of the thickness of polar ocean sea ice and its snow cover on a synoptic scale are critical to understanding global climate change and ocean circulation.

  13. Sea Ice Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is one of the largest ecosystems on Earth. The liquid brine fraction of the ice matrix is home to a diverse array of organisms, ranging from tiny archaea to larger fish and invertebrates. These organisms can tolerate high brine salinity and low temperature but do best when conditions are milder. Thriving ice algal communities, generally dominated by diatoms, live at the ice/water interface and in recently flooded surface and interior layers, especially during spring, when temperatures begin to rise. Although protists dominate the sea ice biomass, heterotrophic bacteria are also abundant. The sea ice ecosystem provides food for a host of animals, with crustaceans being the most conspicuous. Uneaten organic matter from the ice sinks through the water column and feeds benthic ecosystems. As sea ice extent declines, ice algae likely contribute a shrinking fraction of the total amount of organic matter produced in polar waters.

  14. Sea ice ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Arrigo, Kevin R

    2014-01-01

    Polar sea ice is one of the largest ecosystems on Earth. The liquid brine fraction of the ice matrix is home to a diverse array of organisms, ranging from tiny archaea to larger fish and invertebrates. These organisms can tolerate high brine salinity and low temperature but do best when conditions are milder. Thriving ice algal communities, generally dominated by diatoms, live at the ice/water interface and in recently flooded surface and interior layers, especially during spring, when temperatures begin to rise. Although protists dominate the sea ice biomass, heterotrophic bacteria are also abundant. The sea ice ecosystem provides food for a host of animals, with crustaceans being the most conspicuous. Uneaten organic matter from the ice sinks through the water column and feeds benthic ecosystems. As sea ice extent declines, ice algae likely contribute a shrinking fraction of the total amount of organic matter produced in polar waters.

  15. Snow and ice ecosystems: not so extreme.

    PubMed

    Maccario, Lorrie; Sanguino, Laura; Vogel, Timothy M; Larose, Catherine

    2015-12-01

    Snow and ice environments cover up to 21% of the Earth's surface. They have been regarded as extreme environments because of their low temperatures, high UV irradiation, low nutrients and low water availability, and thus, their microbial activity has not been considered relevant from a global microbial ecology viewpoint. In this review, we focus on why snow and ice habitats might not be extreme from a microbiological perspective. Microorganisms interact closely with the abiotic conditions imposed by snow and ice habitats by having diverse adaptations, that include genetic resistance mechanisms, to different types of stresses in addition to inhabiting various niches where these potential stresses might be reduced. The microbial communities inhabiting snow and ice are not only abundant and taxonomically diverse, but complex in terms of their interactions. Altogether, snow and ice seem to be true ecosystems with a role in global biogeochemical cycles that has likely been underestimated. Future work should expand past resistance studies to understanding the function of these ecosystems.

  16. Microbial mercury methylation in Antarctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Gionfriddo, Caitlin M; Tate, Michael T; Wick, Ryan R; Schultz, Mark B; Zemla, Adam; Thelen, Michael P; Schofield, Robyn; Krabbenhoft, David P; Holt, Kathryn E; Moreau, John W

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric deposition of mercury onto sea ice and circumpolar sea water provides mercury for microbial methylation, and contributes to the bioaccumulation of the potent neurotoxin methylmercury in the marine food web. Little is known about the abiotic and biotic controls on microbial mercury methylation in polar marine systems. However, mercury methylation is known to occur alongside photochemical and microbial mercury reduction and subsequent volatilization. Here, we combine mercury speciation measurements of total and methylated mercury with metagenomic analysis of whole-community microbial DNA from Antarctic snow, brine, sea ice and sea water to elucidate potential microbially mediated mercury methylation and volatilization pathways in polar marine environments. Our results identify the marine microaerophilic bacterium Nitrospina as a potential mercury methylator within sea ice. Anaerobic bacteria known to methylate mercury were notably absent from sea-ice metagenomes. We propose that Antarctic sea ice can harbour a microbial source of methylmercury in the Southern Ocean. PMID:27670112

  17. Quantifying how sensitive different types of snow and snow ice are to black carbon and other types of light absorbing aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, M. D.; Marks, A. A.

    2013-12-01

    Black carbon in snow and sea ice has commonly been reported to lower albedo, exacerbating snow/sea ice melting and decrease e-folding depths, which can affect biological and chemical processes. There is still a large degree of uncertainty present in the estimated climatic radiative forcing that black carbon could cause. The properties (optical and physical) of snow and sea ice vary drastically both laterally and temporally and snow and sea ices with different physical and optical properties respond differently to additions of black carbon. The albedo and e-folding depth (light penetration) response of snow and sea ice with different physical properties, to black carbon and other light absorbing impurities additions is investigated as a function of sea ice and snow type. A snow or sea ice with a lower scattering cross-section is more responsive to additions of black carbon. The albedo of sea ice is a factor of five more responsive to black carbon additions than the albedo of snow. Light penetration or e-folding depth is a considerably more sensitive to black carbon than albedo. The e-folding depth of a snow or sea ice with a smaller scattering cross-section is more responsive to additions of black carbon. Cold polar snowpacks have large values of the scattering cross-section, whilst melting snow is the least scattering. For sea ice multi-year frozen white ice is the more light scattering environ than first year sea ice and melting blue ice is the least scattering. Current climate change is causing a decrease in snow covered areas which will result in more melted snow, with a small scattering cross-section which is more responsive to black carbon additions. Climate change is also leading to a decrease in multi-year ice, a transition from multi-year to first year ice will mean sea ice is more scattering and therefore its albedo is more responsive to black carbon additions which will further exacerbate melting.

  18. Impact of snow cover on CO2 dynamics in Antarctic pack ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geilfus, N.-X.; Tison, J.-L.; Ackley, S. F.; Rysgaard, S.; Miller, L. A.; Delille, B.

    2014-06-01

    Temporal evolution of pCO2 profiles in sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica, in October 2007 shows that the CO2 system in the ice was primarily controlled by physical and thermodynamic processes. During the survey, a succession of warming and cold events strongly influenced the physical, chemical and thermodynamic properties of the ice cover. Two sampling sites with contrasting characteristics of ice and snow thickness were sampled: one had little snow accumulation (from 8 to 25 cm) and larger temperature and salinity variations than the second site, where the snow cover was up to 38 cm thick and therefore better insulated the underlying sea ice. We confirm that each cooling/warming event was associated with an increase/decrease in the brine salinity, total alkalinity (TA), total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2), and in situ brine and bulk ice CO2 partial pressures (pCO2). Thicker snow covers muted these changes, suggesting that snow influences changes in the sea ice carbonate system through its impact on the temperature and salinity of the sea ice cover. During this survey, pCO2 was undersaturated with respect to the atmosphere both in situ, in the bulk ice (from 10 to 193 μatm), and in the brine (from 65 to 293 μatm), and the ice acted as a sink for atmospheric CO2 (up to 2.9 mmol m-2 d-1), despite the underlying supersaturated seawater (up to 462 μatm).

  19. Operation IceBridge: Sea Ice Interlude

    NASA Video Gallery

    Sea ice comes in an array of shapes and sizes and has its own ephemeral beauty. Operation IceBridge studies sea ice at both poles, and also runs across interesting formations en route to other targ...

  20. First Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Snow and Ice Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, Dorothy K. (Editor)

    1995-01-01

    This document is a compilation of summaries of talks presented at a 2-day workshop on Moderate Resolution maging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) snow and ice products. The objectives of the workshop were to: inform the snow and ce community of potential MODIS products, seek advice from the participants regarding the utility of the products, and letermine the needs for future post-launch MODIS snow and ice products. Four working groups were formed to discuss at-launch snow products, at-launch ice products, post-launch snow and ice products and utility of MODIS snow and ice products, respectively. Each working group presented recommendations at the conclusion of the workshop.

  1. An optical model for the microwave properties of sea ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gloersen, P.; Larabee, J. K.

    1981-01-01

    The complex refractive index of sea ice is modeled and used to predict the microwave signatures of various sea ice types. Results are shown to correspond well with the observed values of the complex index inferred from dielectic constant and dielectric loss measurements performed in the field, and with observed microwave signatures of sea ice. The success of this modeling procedure vis a vis modeling of the dielectric properties of sea ice constituents used earlier by several others is explained. Multiple layer radiative transfer calculations are used to predict the microwave properties of first-year sea ice with and without snow, and multiyear sea ice.

  2. Sea ice pCO2 dynamics and air-ice CO2 fluxes during the Sea Ice Mass Balance in the Antarctic (SIMBA) experiment - Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geilfus, N.-X.; Tison, J.-L.; Ackley, S. F.; Galley, R. J.; Rysgaard, S.; Miller, L. A.; Delille, B.

    2014-12-01

    Temporal evolution of pCO2 profiles in sea ice in the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica, in October 2007 shows physical and thermodynamic processes controls the CO2 system in the ice. During the survey, cyclical warming and cooling strongly influenced the physical, chemical, and thermodynamic properties of the ice cover. Two sampling sites with contrasting characteristics of ice and snow thickness were sampled: one had little snow accumulation (from 8 to 25 cm) and larger temperature and salinity variations than the second site, where the snow cover was up to 38 cm thick and therefore better insulated the underlying sea ice. We show that each cooling/warming event was associated with an increase/decrease in the brine salinity, total alkalinity (TA), total dissolved inorganic carbon (TCO2), and in situ brine and bulk ice CO2 partial pressures (pCO2). Thicker snow covers reduced the amplitude of these changes: snow cover influences the sea ice carbonate system by modulating the temperature and therefore the salinity of the sea ice cover. Results indicate that pCO2 was undersaturated with respect to the atmosphere both in the in situ bulk ice (from 10 to 193 μatm) and brine (from 65 to 293 μatm), causing the sea ice to act as a sink for atmospheric CO2 (up to 2.9 mmol m-2 d-1), despite supersaturation of the underlying seawater (up to 462 μatm).

  3. Remote sensing of snow and ice: A review of the research in the United States 1975 - 1978

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rango, A.

    1979-01-01

    Research work in the United States from 1975-1978 in the field of remote sensing of snow and ice is reviewed. Topics covered include snowcover mapping, snowmelt runoff forecasting, demonstration projects, snow water equivalent and free water content determination, glaciers, river and lake ice, and sea ice. A bibliography of 200 references is included.

  4. Record Arctic Sea Ice Loss in 2007

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    This image of the Arctic was produced from sea ice observations collected by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) Instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on September 16, overlaid on the NASA Blue Marble. The image captures ice conditions at the end of the melt season. Sea ice (white, image center) stretches across the Arctic Ocean from Greenland to Russia, but large areas of open water were apparent as well. In addition to record melt, the summer of 2007 brought an ice-free opening though the Northwest Passage that lasted several weeks. The Northeast Passage did not open during the summer of 2007, however, as a substantial tongue of ice remained in place north of the Russian coast. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), on September 16, 2007, sea ice extent dropped to 4.13 million square kilometers (1.59 million square miles)--38 percent below average and 24 percent below the 2005 record.

  5. Monitoring Snow on ice as Critical Habitat for Ringed Seals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, B. P.; Moran, J.; Douglas, D. C.; Nghiem, S. V.

    2007-12-01

    Ringed seals are the primary prey of polar bears, and they are found in all seasonally ice covered seas of the northern hemisphere as well as in several freshwater lakes. The presence of snow covered sea ice is essential for successful ringed seal reproduction. Ringed seals abrade holes in the ice allowing them to surface and breathe under the snow cover. Where snow accumulates to sufficient depths, ringed seals excavate subnivean lairs above breathing holes. They rest, give birth, and nurse their young in those lairs. Temperatures within the lairs remain within a few degrees of freezing, well within the zone of thermal neutrality for newborn ringed seals, even at ambient temperatures of -30° C. High rates of seal mortality have been recorded when early snow melt caused lairs to collapse exposing newborn seals to predators and to subsequent extreme cold events. As melt onset dates come earlier in the Arctic Ocean, ringed seal populations (and the polar bears that depend upon them) will be increasingly challenged. We determined dates of lair abandonment by ringed seals fitted with radio transmitters in the Beaufort Sea (n = 60). We compared abandonment dates to melt onset dates measured in the field, as well as estimated dates derived from active (Ku-band backscatter) and passive (SSM/I) microwave satellite imagery. Date of snow melt significantly improved models of environmental influences on the timing of lair abandonment. We used an algorithm based on multi-channel means and variances of passive microwave data to detect melt onset dates. Those melt onset dates predicted the date of lair abandonment ± 3 days (r 2 = 0.982, p = 0.001). The predictive power of passive microwave proxies combined with their historical record suggest they could serve to monitor critical changes to ringed seal habitat.

  6. An assessment of IceBridge airborne data quality over Arctic sea ice via comparison with in situ measurements gathered in the Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newman, T.; Farrell, S. L.; Richter-Menge, J.; Connor, L. N.; Kurtz, N. T.; Elder, B. C.

    2012-12-01

    The Arctic sea ice pack has experienced rapid changes over the last decade with well documented losses in ice extent. More recently, observations suggest a decline in sea ice thickness leading to a basin-wide loss of ice volume. Fundamental to our capabilities to monitor and forecast these changes are observations from airborne and satellite-based laser and radar altimeters. The accurate mapping of sea ice thickness, using these instruments, requires the largest identified contributors to thickness errors to be better constrained: namely the uncertainties in sea ice freeboard and snow depth. To quantify these errors a 9 km long survey line was established in March 2011 near the US Navy ICEX2011 ice camp in the Beaufort Sea. The survey line was strategically located to cover a wide range of Arctic ice types: refrozen leads, deformed and undeformed first year ice, and multiyear ice. Survey measurements included estimates of ice thickness using the EM31 (an electromagnetic ground-conductivity meter), direct measurements of sea ice freeboard, snow thickness using a snow magnaprobe and snow pits to characterize the snow layer. The primary goal of the ICEX experiment was to provide an assessment of the remaining errors associated with aircraft-derived snow depth and sea ice thickness as a function of ice type. An Operation IceBridge (OIB) aircraft overflight of the survey line was conducted on the 23rd March 2011 from an altitude of ~465 m. The OIB instrument suite on the aircraft included: the Ku-band radar altimeter (13-17 GHz), the snow radar (2-8 GHz), the Airborne Topographical Mapper (ATM) laser altimeter and the Digital Mapping System (DMS) digital camera, which together provide estimates of sea ice freeboard, thickness, surface roughness and snow depth. We present a new methodology for analyzing the snow radar data for the extraction and estimation of snow depth utilizing a novel wavelet-based layer-picking technique. The snow depths derived from the snow radar

  7. EOS Aqua AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice Validation Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Markus, T.; Gasiewski, A.; Klein, M.; Maslanik, J.; Sturm, M.; Stroeve, J.; Heinrichs, J.

    2004-01-01

    A coordinated Arctic sea ice validation field campaign using the NASA Wallops P-3B aircraft was successfully completed in March 2003. This campaign was part of the program for validating the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) sea ice products. The AMSR-E, designed and built by the Japanese National Space Development Agency for NASA, was launched May 4,2002 on the EOS Aqua spacecraft. The AMSR-E sea ice products include sea ice concentration, sea ice temperature, and snow depth on sea ice. The primary instrument on the P-3B aircraft was the NOAA ETL Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR) covering the same frequencies and polarizations as the AMSR-E. This paper describes the objectives of each of the seven flights, the Arctic regions overflown, and the coordination among satellite, aircraft, and surface-based measurements. Two of the seven aircraft flights were coordinated with scientists making surface measurements of snow and ice properties including sea ice temperature and snow depth on sea ice at a study area near Barrow, AK and at a Navy ice camp located in the Beaufort Sea. The remaining flights covered portions of the Bering Sea ice edge, the Chukchi Sea, and Norton Sound. Comparisons among the satellite and aircraft PSR data sets are presented.

  8. Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, James; Nazarenko, Larissa

    2004-01-01

    Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The "efficacy" of this forcing is 2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost. If, as we suggest, melting ice and sea level rise define the level of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, then reducing soot emissions, thus restoring snow albedos to pristine high values, would have the double benefit of reducing global warming and raising the global temperature level at which dangerous anthropogenic interference occurs. However, soot contributions to climate change do not alter the conclusion that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been the main cause of recent global warming and will be the predominant climate forcing in the future. aerosols | air pollution | climate change | sea level

  9. Seasonal Changes of Arctic Sea Ice Physical Properties Observed During N-ICE2015: An Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerland, S.; Spreen, G.; Granskog, M. A.; Divine, D.; Ehn, J. K.; Eltoft, T.; Gallet, J. C.; Haapala, J. J.; Hudson, S. R.; Hughes, N. E.; Itkin, P.; King, J.; Krumpen, T.; Kustov, V. Y.; Liston, G. E.; Mundy, C. J.; Nicolaus, M.; Pavlov, A.; Polashenski, C.; Provost, C.; Richter-Menge, J.; Rösel, A.; Sennechael, N.; Shestov, A.; Taskjelle, T.; Wilkinson, J.; Steen, H.

    2015-12-01

    Arctic sea ice is changing, and for improving the understanding of the cryosphere, data is needed to describe the status and processes controlling current seasonal sea ice growth, change and decay. We present preliminary results from in-situ observations on sea ice in the Arctic Basin north of Svalbard from January to June 2015. Over that time, the Norwegian research vessel «Lance» was moored to in total four ice floes, drifting with the sea ice and allowing an international group of scientists to conduct detailed research. Each drift lasted until the ship reached the marginal ice zone and ice started to break up, before moving further north and starting the next drift. The ship stayed within the area approximately 80°-83° N and 5°-25° E. While the expedition covered measurements in the atmosphere, the snow and sea ice system, and in the ocean, as well as biological studies, in this presentation we focus on physics of snow and sea ice. Different ice types could be investigated: young ice in refrozen leads, first year ice, and old ice. Snow surveys included regular snow pits with standardized measurements of physical properties and sampling. Snow and ice thickness were measured at stake fields, along transects with electromagnetics, and in drillholes. For quantifying ice physical properties and texture, ice cores were obtained regularly and analyzed. Optical properties of snow and ice were measured both with fixed installed radiometers, and from mobile systems, a sledge and an ROV. For six weeks, the surface topography was scanned with a ground LIDAR system. Spatial scales of surveys ranged from spot measurements to regional surveys from helicopter (ice thickness, photography) during two months of the expedition, and by means of an array of autonomous buoys in the region. Other regional information was obtained from SAR satellite imagery and from satellite based radar altimetry. The analysis of the data collected has started, and first results will be

  10. Comparison of measurements and theory for backscatter from bare and snow-covered saline ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bredow, Jonathan W.; Gogineni, Sivaprasad

    1990-01-01

    C-band radar backscatter measurements were made on artificially grown sea ice during the winters of 1987-1988 and 1988-1989. These measurements were made on smooth, rough, and snow-covered saline ice. The measured sigma-deg(theta) of smooth saline ice (rms height less than 0.05 cm) disagreed with small perturbation method (SPM) surface scattering predictions. Using physical parameters of the ice in a simple layer model, it us shown that this discrepancy can be explained by scattering from beneath the surface. A thin (7-cm) dry snow cover had a significant influence on backscatter from the smooth ice sheet. This influence was due to scattering from particles within the snow, and can be predicted by a commonly used empirical layer model for snow. The results of backscatter measurements of a moderately rough saline ice sheet were found to agree with SPM predictions.

  11. Microwave remote sensing of sea ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, J. C.

    1988-01-01

    The long term objectives are: (1) to understand the physics of the multispectral microwave radiative characteristics of sea ice as it goes through different phases; (2) to improve characterization of sea ice cover using satellite microwave sensors; and (3) to study ice/ocean physical and biological processes associated with polynya formations and variability of the marginal sea ice region. Two field experiments were conducted to pursue these objectives. One involved measurements of radiative and physical characteristics of sea ice from a ship during a 3-month long cruise through the Weddell Sea ice pack during the Austral winter of 1986. The other involved similar measurements from two aircrafts and a submarine over the Central Arctic and Greenland Sea region. Preliminary results have already led to an enhanced understanding of the microwave signatures of pancake ice, nilas, first year ice, multiyear ice and effects of snow cover. Coastal and deep ocean polynyas and their role in bottom water formation and ocean circulation were studied using a time series of ice images from SMMR. An unsupervised cluster analysis of Arctic sea ice using SMMR and THIR emissivity and brightness temperature data was implemented. The analysis indicates the existence of several unique and persistent clusters in the Central Arctic region during winter and that the sum of the area of these clusters excluding those of first year ice is about 20 percent less than minimum ice cover area inferred from a previous summer data. This result is consistent with saline surface for some multiyear ice floes as observed during MIZEZ and suggests that a significant fraction of multiyear ice floes in the Arctic have first year ice signatures.

  12. Diatom vertical migration within land-fast Arctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aumack, C. F.; Juhl, A. R.; Krembs, C.

    2014-11-01

    Light levels inside first-year, landfast sea ice were experimentally altered by manipulating overlying snow depths. Irradiance available for ice algae growing near the ice-bottom, and under the ice, was highly dependent on snow depths ranging from 0 to > 30 cm. Importantly, algal vertical distributions also changed under different irradiances. Under thick snow (low light), the majority of algae were found several cm above the ice-seawater interface, while progressively more were found nearer the interface at locations with thinner overlying snow (higher light). Short-term field experiments suggested that ice algae were able to reposition themselves within the ice column within 3 days after manipulating snow depths. Laboratory gliding rate measurements of a cultured ice diatom suggested that it is capable of daily cm-scale movement. Vertical migration may help ice diatoms balance opposing light and nutrient resource gradients, similar to strategies used by some benthic and pelagic algae. Moreover, when ice algae congregate near the ice-seawater interface, they may be especially susceptible to loss from the ice environment. Vertical repositioning in response to changing light dynamics may be a mechanism to optimize between vertically-opposing environmental factors and help explain the connection between melting snow cover and export of biomass from sea ice.

  13. The sea ice thickness distribution in the northwestern Weddell Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, M. A.; Eicken, H.

    1991-03-01

    We present new data on distribution of snow and sea ice thicknesses in the northwestern Weddell Sea. The data were obtained through direct measurements along 19 profiles, each approximately 100 m long on 17 different floes located between 54°-46°W and 59°-64°S. The overall probability density functions (PDFs) for ice thicknesses reflect the complex mixture of first-, second-, and multi-year ice to be expected in the outflowing branch of the Weddell Gyre. Further differentiation of the data reveals four distinct thickness classes which reflect differences in the formation and subsequent histories of the ice encountered. These classes (I-IV) represent strongly deformed first year ice, less deformed first- and second-year ice, and deformed second- or multi-year ice, respectively. Each of the classes is characterized by a specific set of quantities related to ice texture and surface snow characteristics and by distinct PDFs for snow and ice thicknesses. In addition, geometric surface and bottom roughness characteristics differ significantly for each of the floe classes.

  14. 14 CFR 139.313 - Snow and ice control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ...) Positioning snow off the movement area surfaces so all air carrier aircraft propellers, engine pods, rotors... portion of the movement area; (3) Selection and application of authorized materials for snow and ice... contain methods and procedures for snow and ice control equipment, materials, and removal that...

  15. 14 CFR 139.313 - Snow and ice control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ...) Positioning snow off the movement area surfaces so all air carrier aircraft propellers, engine pods, rotors... portion of the movement area; (3) Selection and application of authorized materials for snow and ice... contain methods and procedures for snow and ice control equipment, materials, and removal that...

  16. 14 CFR 139.313 - Snow and ice control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ...) Positioning snow off the movement area surfaces so all air carrier aircraft propellers, engine pods, rotors... portion of the movement area; (3) Selection and application of authorized materials for snow and ice... contain methods and procedures for snow and ice control equipment, materials, and removal that...

  17. 14 CFR 139.313 - Snow and ice control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ...) Positioning snow off the movement area surfaces so all air carrier aircraft propellers, engine pods, rotors... portion of the movement area; (3) Selection and application of authorized materials for snow and ice... contain methods and procedures for snow and ice control equipment, materials, and removal that...

  18. 14 CFR 139.313 - Snow and ice control.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ...) Positioning snow off the movement area surfaces so all air carrier aircraft propellers, engine pods, rotors... portion of the movement area; (3) Selection and application of authorized materials for snow and ice... contain methods and procedures for snow and ice control equipment, materials, and removal that...

  19. Arctic Sea Ice Maximum 2011

    NASA Video Gallery

    AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice: September 2010 to March 2011: Scientists tracking the annual maximum extent of Arctic sea ice said that 2011 was among the lowest ice extents measured since satellites began ...

  20. Comparison of radar backscatter from Antarctic and Arctic sea ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hosseinmostafa, R.; Lytle, V.

    1992-01-01

    Two ship-based step-frequency radars, one at C-band (5.3 GHz) and one at Ku-band (13.9 GHz), measured backscatter from ice in the Weddell Sea. Most of the backscatter data were from first-year (FY) and second-year (SY) ice at the ice stations where the ship was stationary and detailed snow and ice characterizations were performed. The presence of a slush layer at the snow-ice interface masks the distinction between FY and SY ice in the Weddell Sea, whereas in the Arctic the separation is quite distinct. The effect of snow-covered ice on backscattering coefficients (sigma0) from the Weddell Sea region indicates that surface scattering is the dominant factor. Measured sigma0 values were compared with Kirchhoff and regression-analysis models. The Weibull power-density function was used to fit the measured backscattering coefficients at 45 deg.

  1. Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos.

    PubMed

    Hansen, James; Nazarenko, Larissa

    2004-01-13

    Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m(2) in the Northern Hemisphere. The "efficacy" of this forcing is approximately 2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO(2) in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost. If, as we suggest, melting ice and sea level rise define the level of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, then reducing soot emissions, thus restoring snow albedos to pristine high values, would have the double benefit of reducing global warming and raising the global temperature level at which dangerous anthropogenic interference occurs. However, soot contributions to climate change do not alter the conclusion that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been the main cause of recent global warming and will be the predominant climate forcing in the future.

  2. Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, James; Nazarenko, Larissa

    2004-01-01

    Plausible estimates for the effect of soot on snow and ice albedos (1.5% in the Arctic and 3% in Northern Hemisphere land areas) yield a climate forcing of +0.3 W/m2 in the Northern Hemisphere. The “efficacy” of this forcing is ∼2, i.e., for a given forcing it is twice as effective as CO2 in altering global surface air temperature. This indirect soot forcing may have contributed to global warming of the past century, including the trend toward early springs in the Northern Hemisphere, thinning Arctic sea ice, and melting land ice and permafrost. If, as we suggest, melting ice and sea level rise define the level of dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, then reducing soot emissions, thus restoring snow albedos to pristine high values, would have the double benefit of reducing global warming and raising the global temperature level at which dangerous anthropogenic interference occurs. However, soot contributions to climate change do not alter the conclusion that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been the main cause of recent global warming and will be the predominant climate forcing in the future. PMID:14699053

  3. Sea Ice Minimum 2016

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation shows the evolution of the Arctic sea ice cover from its wintertime maximum extent, which was reached on Mar. 24, 2016, and was the lowest on record for the second year in a row, to ...

  4. 2011 Sea Ice Minimum

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video shows Arctic sea ice from March 7, 2011, to Sept. 9, 2011, ending with a comparison of the 30-year average minimum extent, shown in yellow, and the Northwest Passage, in red. (no audio) ...

  5. Record Sea Ice Minimum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    Arctic sea ice reached a record low in September 2007, below the previous record set in 2005 and substantially below the long-term average. This image shows the Arctic as observed by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E) aboard NASA's Aqua satellite on September 16, 2007. In this image, blue indicates open water, white indicates high sea ice concentration, and turquoise indicates loosely packed sea ice. The black circle at the North Pole results from an absence of data as the satellite does not make observations that far north. Three contour lines appear on this image. The red line is the 2007 minimum, as of September 15, about the same time the record low was reached, and it almost exactly fits the sea ice observed by AMSR-E. The green line indicates the 2005 minimum, the previous record low. The yellow line indicates the median minimum from 1979 to 2000.

  6. Contrasting Arctic and Antarctic sea ice temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vancoppenolle, Martin; Raphael, Marilyn; Rousset, Clément; Vivier, Frédéric; Moreau, Sébastien; Delille, Bruno; Tison, Jean-Louis

    2016-04-01

    Sea ice temperature affects the sea ice growth rate, heat content, permeability and habitability for ice algae. Large-scale simulations with NEMO-LIM suggest large ice temperature contrasts between the Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice. First, Antarctic sea ice proves generally warmer than in the Arctic, in particular during winter, where differences reach up to ~10°C. Second, the seasonality of temperature is different among the two hemispheres: Antarctic ice temperatures are 2-3°C higher in spring than they are in fall, whereas the opposite is true in the Arctic. These two key differences are supported by the available ice core and mass balance buoys temperature observations, and can be attributed to differences in air temperature and snow depth. As a result, the ice is found to be habitable and permeable over much larger areas and much earlier in late spring in the Antarctic as compared with the Arctic, which consequences on biogeochemical exchanges in the sea ice zone remain to be evaluated.

  7. Critical behavior of transport in sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golden, K. M.

    2003-10-01

    Geophysical materials such as sea ice, rocks, soils, snow, and glacial ice are composite media with complex, random microstructures. The effective fluid, gas, thermal, and electromagnetic transport properties of these materials play an important role in the large-scale dynamics and behavior of many geophysical systems. A striking feature of such media is that subtle changes in microstructural characteristics can induce changes over many orders of magnitude in the transport properties of the materials, which in turn can have significant large-scale geophysical effects. For example, sea ice, which mediates energy transfer between the ocean and atmosphere, plays a key role in global climate, and serves as an indicator of climatic change, is a porous composite of ice, brine and gases. Relevant length scales range from microns and millimeters for individual brine structures, to centimeters and meters for connected brine channels across floes, to hundreds of kilometers across an ice pack. Sea ice is distinguished from many other porous composites, such as sandstones or bone, in that its microstructure and bulk material properties can vary dramatically over a relatively small temperature range. The fluid permeability of sea ice ranges over six orders of magnitude for temperatures between 0°C and -25°C. Moreover, small changes in brine volume fraction around a threshold value of about 5%, corresponding to variations in temperature around a critical point of about -5°C, control an important transition between low and high fluid permeability regimes. Below this critical temperature, the sea ice is effectively impermeable, while for higher temperatures the brine phase becomes connected over macroscopic scales, allowing fluid transport through the ice. This transition has been observed to impact a wide range of phenomena such as surface flooding and snow-ice formation, enhancement of heat transfer due to fluid motion, mixing in the upper ocean, melt pool persistence

  8. Microwave signature of sea-ice for GCOM-W1/AMSR2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naoki, K.; Nishio, F.; Yoshikawa, M.

    2011-12-01

    The lowest Arctic sea-ice cover has been recorded in September 2007. After that, though it has increased in 2008 and 2009, it has decreased again in 2010. The factor of the sea-ice change is researched in various fields. Monitoring of a thin sea-ice thickness is important as these researches because the sea-ice thickness has influences for the heat budget. However the retrieval of thin sea-ice thickness is difficult because thin sea-ice brightness temperature (TB) depends on the salinity and temperature, and there exist the snow over the thin sea-ice. In order to know the relationship between sea-ice TB and sea-ice parameters, we observed thin sea-ice TB using Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR) and measured ice thickness by ship. The effect of sea-ice parameters on the TB was examined by model. The brightness temperature of the thin sea-ice was observed using PSR on board an aircraft in the Okhotsk on February 7, 2003. The sea-ice thickness was measured from the icebreaker synchronizing with the aircraft. The TB calculated the variation at the sea-ice with/without of the snow, thickness, and the density of the snow. The calculated result was consistent with the observed one in the 18GHz-Hpol. We show the snow density influenced the increased brightness temperature.

  9. Airborne Spectral Measurements of Surface-Atmosphere Anisotropy for Arctic Sea Ice and Tundra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, G. Thomas; Tsay, Si-Chee; King, Michael D.; Li, Jason Y.; Soulen, Peter F.

    1999-01-01

    Angular distributions of spectral reflectance for four common arctic surfaces: snow-covered sea ice, melt-season sea ice, snow-covered tundra, and tundra shortly after snowmelt were measured using an aircraft based, high angular resolution (1-degree) multispectral radiometer. Results indicate bidirectional reflectance is higher for snow-covered sea ice than melt-season sea ice at all wavelengths between 0.47 and 2.3 pm, with the difference increasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance of snow-covered tundra is higher than for snow-free tundra for measurements less than 1.64 pm, with the difference decreasing with wavelength. Bidirectional reflectance patterns of all measured surfaces show maximum reflectance in the forward scattering direction of the principal plane, with identifiable specular reflection for the melt-season sea ice and snow-free tundra cases. The snow-free tundra had the most significant backscatter, and the melt-season sea ice the least. For sea ice, bidirectional reflectance changes due to snowmelt were more significant than differences among the different types of melt-season sea ice. Also the spectral-hemispherical (plane) albedo of each measured arctic surface was computed. Comparing measured nadir reflectance to albedo for sea ice and snow-covered tundra shows albedo underestimated 5-40%, with the largest bias at wavelengths beyond 1 pm. For snow-free tundra, nadir reflectance underestimates plane albedo by about 30-50%.

  10. SIPEX—exploring the Antarctic sea ice zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zicus, Sandra; Dobson, Jane; Worby, Anthony

    2008-11-01

    Sea ice in the polar regions plays a key role in both regulating global climate and maintaining marine ecosystems. The international Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem eXperiment (SIPEX) explored the sea ice zone around Antarctica in September and October 2007, investigating relationships between the physical sea ice environment and the structure of Southern Ocean ecosystems. One of the main goals of SIPEX was to conduct large-scale sea ice and snow thickness surveys for the validation of satellite-based measurements. SIPEX scientists used a variety of techniques including helicopter-based radar and laser altimetry, as well as a remotely operated underwater vehicle, to gather baseline data on Antarctic sea ice thickness and the under-ice environment. These data will be invaluable for monitoring possible future changes in the sea ice around Antarctica.

  11. Fluid and electromagnetic transport in sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gully, Adam Spence

    Covering 7-10% of the Earth's ocean surface, sea ice is both an indicator and agent of climate change. The sea ice cover controls the exchange of heat, momentum, and gases between the ocean and atmosphere. As a material, sea ice is a polycrystalline composite consisting of a pure ice host containing brine, air, and solid salt inclusions. This dissertation examines sea ice processes that are important to climate studies. In particular, we investigate the fluid transport properties of sea ice, which mediate melt pond evolution and ice pack reflectance, snow-ice formation, nutrient replenishment for microbial communities, and the evolution of salinity profiles. We also examine the electromagnetic monitoring of these processes, which rely on some knowledge of the effective electrical properties of sea ice. Columnar sea ice is effectively impermeable to fluid flow below a 5% brine volume fraction, yet is permeable for brine volume fractions above this threshold value. In two different experiments conducted in the Arctic and Antarctic, we have found that this critical transition in fluid flow at the brine connectivity threshold displays a strong electrical signature. The sea ice conductivity data are accurately explained by percolation theory with a universal critical exponent of 2. The data also indicate marked changes in the conductivity profile with the onset of surface ponding. Further, resistance data from classical four-probe Wenner arrays on the surfaces of ice floes in Antarctica were used to indirectly reconstruct the conductivity profiles with depth, involving both the horizontal and vertical components. We note the close agreement with the actual data for some models and the inadequacy of others. Additionally, a network model for the electrical conductivity of sea ice is developed, which incorporates statistical measurements of the brine microstructure. The numerical simulations are in close agreement with direct measurements we made in Antarctica on the

  12. Anomalous snow accumulation over the southeast region of the Greenland ice sheet during 2002-2003 snow season

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Steffen, K.; Huff, R.; Neumann, G.

    2005-01-01

    Our objective is to determine seasonal snow accumulation in the percolation zone of the Greenland ice sheet on the daily-weekly basis over the large scale. Our approach utilizes data from the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net) and from the SeaWinds Scatterometer on the QuikSCAT satellite (QSCAT) to measure snow accumulation (SA) in the percolation zone of the Greenland ice sheet. GC-Net measurements provide crucial in-situ data to facilitate the interpretation of QSCAT backscatter signature for the development of an algorithm to map SA.

  13. Arctic sea ice decline: Introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeWeaver, Eric T.

    By any measure, the loss of Arctic sea ice cover in September 2007 was spectacular. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) called it a loss "the size of Alaska and Texas combined," in comparison to the 1979-2000 September mean. Record-breaking minima in sea ice extent are not unexpected, given the declining trend of the past 30 years and its recent acceleration [e.g., Meier et al., 2007; Deser and Teng, this volume]. But the 2007 minimum was remarkable even compared to the decline, a full four standard deviations below the trend line (H. Stern, quoted by Schweiger et al. [2008]). Kerr [2007] reported an Alaska-sized loss compared to the previous record low in 2005, which was itself an Alaska-sized retreat from the value at the beginning of the satellite era in 1979. Deser and Teng point out that the loss between September 2006 and September 2007 is as large as the entire September extent loss from 1979 to 2006.

  14. Heat flux through sea ice in the western Weddell Sea: Convective and conductive transfer processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lytle, V. I.; Ackley, S. F.

    1996-04-01

    The heat flux through the snow and sea ice cover and at the ice/ocean interface were calculated at five sites in the western Weddell Sea during autumn and early winter 1992. The ocean heat flux averaged 7 ± 2 W/m2 from late February to early June, and average ice/air heat flux in the second-year floes depended on the depth of the snow cover and ranged from 9 to 17 (±0.8) W/m2. In late February, three of the five sites had an ice surface which was depressed below sea level, resulting, at two of the sites, in a partially flooded snow cover and a slush layer at the snow/ice interface. As this slush layer froze to form snow ice, the dense brine which was rejected flowed out through brine drainage channels and was replaced by lower-salinity, nutrient-rich seawater from the ocean upper layer. We estimate that about half of the second-year ice in the region was covered with this slush layer early in the winter. As the slush layer froze, over a 2- to 3-week period, the convection within the ice transported salt from the ice to the upper ocean and increased total heat flux through the overlying ice and snow cover. On an area-wide basis, approximately 10 cm of snow ice growth occurred within second-year pack ice, primarily during a 2- to 3-week period in February and March. This ice growth, near the surface of the ice, provides a salt flux to the upper ocean equivalent to 5 cm of ice growth, despite the thick (about 1 m) ice cover, in addition to the ice growth in the small (area less than 5%), open water regions.

  15. Seafloor Control on Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Clemente-Colon, P.; Rigor, I. G.; Hall, D. K.; Neumann, G.

    2011-01-01

    The seafloor has a profound role in Arctic sea ice formation and seasonal evolution. Ocean bathymetry controls the distribution and mixing of warm and cold waters, which may originate from different sources, thereby dictating the pattern of sea ice on the ocean surface. Sea ice dynamics, forced by surface winds, are also guided by seafloor features in preferential directions. Here, satellite mapping of sea ice together with buoy measurements are used to reveal the bathymetric control on sea ice growth and dynamics. Bathymetric effects on sea ice formation are clearly observed in the conformation between sea ice patterns and bathymetric characteristics in the peripheral seas. Beyond local features, bathymetric control appears over extensive ice-prone regions across the Arctic Ocean. The large-scale conformation between bathymetry and patterns of different synoptic sea ice classes, including seasonal and perennial sea ice, is identified. An implication of the bathymetric influence is that the maximum extent of the total sea ice cover is relatively stable, as observed by scatterometer data in the decade of the 2000s, while the minimum ice extent has decreased drastically. Because of the geologic control, the sea ice cover can expand only as far as it reaches the seashore, the continental shelf break, or other pronounced bathymetric features in the peripheral seas. Since the seafloor does not change significantly for decades or centuries, sea ice patterns can be recurrent around certain bathymetric features, which, once identified, may help improve short-term forecast and seasonal outlook of the sea ice cover. Moreover, the seafloor can indirectly influence cloud cover by its control on sea ice distribution, which differentially modulates the latent heat flux through ice covered and open water areas.

  16. Variability of light transmission through Arctic land-fast sea ice during spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaus, M.; Petrich, C.; Hudson, S. R.; Granskog, M. A.

    2013-06-01

    The amount of solar radiation transmitted through Arctic sea ice is determined by the thickness and physical properties of snow and sea ice. Light transmittance is highly variable in space and time since thickness and physical properties of snow and sea ice are highly heterogeneous on variable time and length scales. We present field measurements of under-ice irradiance along transects under undeformed land-fast sea ice at Barrow, Alaska (March, May, and June 2010). The measurements were performed with a spectral radiometer mounted on a floating under-ice sled. The objective was to quantify the spatial variability of light transmittance through snow and sea ice, and to compare this variability along its seasonal evolution. Along with optical measurements, snow depth, sea ice thickness, and freeboard were recorded, and ice cores were analyzed for chlorophyll a and particulate matter. Our results show that snow cover variability prior to onset of snow melt causes as much relative spatial variability of light transmittance as the contrast of ponded and white ice during summer. Both before and after melt onset, measured transmittances fell in a range from one third to three times the mean value. In addition, we found a twentyfold increase of light transmittance as a result of partial snowmelt, showing the seasonal evolution of transmittance through sea ice far exceeds the spatial variability. However, prior melt onset, light transmittance was time invariant and differences in under-ice irradiance were directly related to the spatial variability of the snow cover.

  17. Seasonality of Spectral Albedo and Transmission of Sea Ice in the Transpolar Drift, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaus, M.; Gerland, S.; Hudson, S.; Haapala, J.; Hanson, S.; Palo, T.; Perovich, D. K.

    2008-12-01

    The physical and optical properties of snow and sea ice in the Polar regions control the amount of solar short-wave radiation, reflected at the surface, scattered and absorbed within snow and ice, and transmitted into the ocean beneath. Albedo and transmissivity of snow and sea ice strongly influence heat fluxes within the coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean system, and by that the evolution of the sea ice. Spectral optical properties are crucial for primary production and evolution of sea ice related microorganisms and various bio-chemical processes. Furthermore, the increasing importance of remote sensors when studying snow and sea ice, raises the need for ground truth data of spectral optical and other physical properties of snow and sea ice. Spectral albedo and transmission were measured continuously within high spectral and temporal resolution during the transpolar drift of the drifting schooner "Tara" through the Arctic Basin between 30 April and 05 September 2007. Simultaneous in-situ measurements of snow and sea ice properties as well as a comprehensive meteorological program complement the dataset and allow common analysis and an integrated dataset. Results show significant seasonal changes and highlight key events during the transitions from spring to summer and summer to autumn; including formation, evolution, and freeze up of melt ponds. We were able to derive absolute values of energy transfer through snow and ice and into the upper ocean. The timing of changes in surface energy balance can be determined and characterized by including results from detailed snow and sea ice studies as temperature and density profiles, snow stratigraphy, and sea ice texture. Among others, they show that the melting period lasted 80 days which was about 20 days longer than on average. Interestingly, the observation period coincides with the time prior to the Arctic sea ice extent minimum in autumn 2007. Consequently, the findings might assist to understand and explain processes

  18. Arctic sea ice surface ponds due to saltwater impurities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2012-03-01

    During the summer melt season the white surface of Arctic sea ice turns to a mixture of grays and blues as meltwater ponds come to dot the landscape. Rising temperatures in late spring melt ice and snow, and the meltwater pools in depressions left by drifting snow. In just a week, these meltwater ponds can come to dominate the ice surface, increasing their areal extent by up to 35% per day. But just as quickly as they appear, the pools can recede, the water flowing into the ocean. Surface ponds drastically reduce the ice's albedo, increasing the amount of light available for Arctic ecosystems and accelerating ice melt.

  19. Arctic Sea ice model sensitivities.

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, Kara J.; Bochev, Pavel Blagoveston; Paskaleva, Biliana Stefanova

    2010-12-01

    Arctic sea ice is an important component of the global climate system and, due to feedback effects, the Arctic ice cover is changing rapidly. Predictive mathematical models are of paramount importance for accurate estimates of the future ice trajectory. However, the sea ice components of Global Climate Models (GCMs) vary significantly in their prediction of the future state of Arctic sea ice and have generally underestimated the rate of decline in minimum sea ice extent seen over the past thirty years. One of the contributing factors to this variability is the sensitivity of the sea ice state to internal model parameters. A new sea ice model that holds some promise for improving sea ice predictions incorporates an anisotropic elastic-decohesive rheology and dynamics solved using the material-point method (MPM), which combines Lagrangian particles for advection with a background grid for gradient computations. We evaluate the variability of this MPM sea ice code and compare it with the Los Alamos National Laboratory CICE code for a single year simulation of the Arctic basin using consistent ocean and atmospheric forcing. Sensitivities of ice volume, ice area, ice extent, root mean square (RMS) ice speed, central Arctic ice thickness,and central Arctic ice speed with respect to ten different dynamic and thermodynamic parameters are evaluated both individually and in combination using the Design Analysis Kit for Optimization and Terascale Applications (DAKOTA). We find similar responses for the two codes and some interesting seasonal variability in the strength of the parameters on the solution.

  20. The ASIBIA sea-ice facility: First results from the Atmosphere-Sea-Ice-Biogeochemistry in the Arctic chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    France, James L.; Thomas, Max

    2016-04-01

    Working in the natural ocean-ice-atmosphere system is very difficult, as conducting fieldwork on sea-ice presents many challenges ice including costs, safety, experimental controls and access. The new ASIBIA (Atmosphere-Sea-Ice-Biogeochemistry in the Arctic) coupled Ocean-Sea-Ice-(Snow)-Atmosphere chamber facility at the University of East Anglia, UK, we are aiming to perform controlled first-year sea-ice investigations in areas such as sea-ice physics, physicochemical and biogeochemical processes in sea-ice and quantification of the bi-directional flux of gases in various states of first-year sea-ice conditions. The facility is a medium sized chamber with programmable temperatures from -55°C to +30°C, allowing a full range of first year sea-ice growing conditions in both the Arctic and Antarctic to be simulated. The water depth can be up to 1 m (including up to 25 cm of sea-ice) and an optional 1 m tall Teflon film atmosphere on top of the sea-ice, thus creating a closed and coupled ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere mesocosm. Ice growth in the tank is well suited for studying first-year sea-ice physical properties, with in-situ ice-profile measurements of temperature, salinity, conductivity, pressure and spectral light transmission. Underwater and above ice cameras are installed to record the physical development of the sea-ice. Here, we present the data from the first suites of experiments in the ASIBIA chamber focussing on sea-ice physics and give a brief description of the capabilities of the facility going forward. The ASIBIA chamber was funded as part of an ERC consolidator grant to the late Prof. Roland von Glasow and we hope this work and further development of the facility will act as a lasting legacy.

  1. Antarctic Sea Ice Thickness From Surface Elevation: A Multi-Sensor Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Necsoiu, M.; Lewis, M. J.; Parra, J.; Ackley, S. F.; Weissling, B.; Hwang, B.

    2011-12-01

    Sea ice is an important component of the climate system affecting ocean-atmospheric interactions and global energy balance. The assessment of sea ice thickness using satellite and airborne laser altimetry is largely dependent upon isostatic buoyancy relationships between snow, ice, slush and ocean water. The use of these relationships in estimating sea ice thickness is complicated by a number of factors including spatial resolution, changing sea level reference, varying snow and ice density, and snow-ice interface flooding. Previous work has suggested that the effects of these factors can be reduced using a multi-sensor approach. The X-band backscatter from TerraSAR-X (TSX) is sensitive to surface roughness, snow and ice properties, and the presence of wet snow. The combined use of TSX for sea ice characterization and laser altimetry has the potential to provide more accurate estimates of sea ice thickness. In this study, we examine the feasibility of using TSX dual-polarized backscatter data to determine ice characteristics in the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Sea in the Antarctic region. Actual surface sea ice characteristics were derived from sea ice station measurements during the J.C. Ross (ICEBell) and Oden Southern Ocean (OSO) expeditions during the austral summer of 2010-11. Data from ice mass-balance buoys emplaced during the two cruises continued through summer melt and bridged the transition into fall freeze up conditions in the snow pack and ice cover. Shannon entropy derived from TSX, measures the statistical disorder of a medium illuminated by the radar, being a sum of two contributions related to intensity and the degree of polarization. A geostatistical approach is employed to correlate measured surface properties and sea ice freeboard with TSX-derived Shannon entropy. The floes are subsequently classified based on Shannon entropy and used in an empirically-based buoyancy model to estimate sea ice thickness. This approach is then compared with

  2. Sea Ice and Oceanographic Conditions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oceanus, 1986

    1986-01-01

    The coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea are covered with ice three-fourths of the year. These waters (during winter) are discussed by considering: consolidation of coastal ice; under-ice water; brine circulation; biological energy; life under the ice (including kelp and larger animals); food chains; and ice break-up. (JN)

  3. Interannual Variability of Snow and Ice and Impact on the Carbon Cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yung, Yuk L.

    2004-01-01

    The goal of this research is to assess the impact of the interannual variability in snow/ice using global satellite data sets acquired in the last two decades. This variability will be used as input to simulate the CO2 interannual variability at high latitudes using a biospheric model. The progress in the past few years is summarized as follows: 1) Albedo decrease related to spring snow retreat; 2) Observed effects of interannual summertime sea ice variations on the polar reflectance; 3) The Northern Annular Mode response to Arctic sea ice loss and the sensitivity of troposphere-stratosphere interaction; 4) The effect of Arctic warming and sea ice loss on the growing season in northern terrestrial ecosystem.

  4. Mass Balance of Arctic Sea Ice North of Svalbard during N-ICE2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rösel, A.; Gerland, S.; King, J.; Itkin, P.

    2015-12-01

    The N-ICE2015 cruise, led by the Norwegian Polar Institute, was a drift experiment with the research vessel R/V Lancefrom January to June 2015, where the ship started the drift North of Svalbard at 83°14.45' N, 21°31.41' E. The drift was repeated as soon as the vessel drifted free. Altogether during the 6 month, 4 ice stations where installed and the complex ocean-sea ice-atmosphere system was studied with an interdisciplinary approach. During the N-ICE2015 cruise, extensive ice thickness and snow depth measurements were performed during both, winter and summer conditions. Total ice and snow thickness was measured with ground-based and airborne electromagnetic instruments like EM31, GEM, and EM-bird; snow depth was measured with a GPS snow depth probe. Additionally, ice mass balance and snow buoys were deployed. Snow and ice thickness measurements were performed on repeated transects to quantify the ice growth or loss as well as the snow accumulation and melt rate. Additionally, we collected independent values on surveys to determine the general ice thickness distribution. In terms of mass balance, average snow depths of 32 cm on first year ice, and 52 cm on multiyear ice were measured in January, the mean snow depth on all ice types even increased until end of March to 49 cm. The average total ice and snow thickness in winter conditions was 1.92 cm. During winter, we found an unusual small growth rate on multiyear ice of about 15 cm in 2 months, due to above-average snow depths and some extraordanary storm events that came along with mild temperatures. In contrast thereto, we were also able to study new ice formation and thin ice on refrozen leads. In summer conditions an enormous melt rate, mainly driven by a warm Atlantic water inflow in the marginal ice zone, was observed during two ice stations with melt rates of up to 20 cm per 24 hours. The here presented dataset is a mandatory parameter for understanding the ocean-ice-atmosphere interactions, for

  5. State of Arctic Sea Ice North of Svalbard during N-ICE2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rösel, Anja; King, Jennifer; Gerland, Sebastian

    2016-04-01

    The N-ICE2015 cruise, led by the Norwegian Polar Institute, was a drift experiment with the research vessel R/V Lance from January to June 2015, where the ship started the drift North of Svalbard at 83°14.45' N, 21°31.41' E. The drift was repeated as soon as the vessel drifted free. Altogether, 4 ice stations where installed and the complex ocean-sea ice-atmosphere system was studied with an interdisciplinary Approach. During the N-ICE2015 cruise, extensive ice thickness and snow depth measurements were performed during both, winter and summer conditions. Total ice and snow thickness was measured with ground-based and airborne electromagnetic instruments; snow depth was measured with a GPS snow depth probe. Additionally, ice mass balance and snow buoys were deployed. Snow and ice thickness measurements were performed on repeated transects to quantify the ice growth or loss as well as the snow accumulation and melt rate. Additionally, we collected independent values on surveys to determine the general ice thickness distribution. Average snow depths of 32 cm on first year ice, and 52 cm on multi-year ice were measured in January, the mean snow depth on all ice types even increased until end of March to 49 cm. The average total ice and snow thickness in winter conditions was 1.92 m. During winter we found a small growth rate on multi-year ice of about 15 cm in 2 months, due to above-average snow depths and some extraordinary storm events that came along with mild temperatures. In contrast thereto, we also were able to study new ice formation and thin ice on newly formed leads. In summer conditions an enormous melt rate, mainly driven by a warm Atlantic water inflow in the marginal ice zone, was observed during two ice stations with melt rates of up to 20 cm per 24 hours. To reinforce the local measurements around the ship and to confirm their significance on a larger scale, we compare them to airborne thickness measurements and classified SAR-satellite scenes. The

  6. Atmospheric mercury over sea ice during the OASIS-2009 campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, A.; Bottenheim, J.; Cole, A.; Douglas, T. A.; Ebinghaus, R.; Friess, U.; Netcheva, S.; Nghiem, S.; Sihler, H.; Staebler, R.

    2013-03-01

    Measurements of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) and particulate mercury (PHg) were collected on sea ice near open leads in the Beaufort Sea near Barrow, Alaska in March 2009 as part of the Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snowpack (OASIS) International Polar Year Program. These results represent the first atmospheric mercury speciation measurements collected on the sea ice. Concentrations of PHg over the sea ice averaged 393.5 pg m-3 (range 47.1-900.1 pg m-3) during the two week long study. RGM concentrations averaged 30.1 pg m-3 (range 3.5-105.4 pg m-3). The mean GEM concentration of 0.59 ng m-3 during the entire study (range 0.01-1.51 ng m-3) was depleted compared to annual Arctic ambient boundary layer concentrations. It was shown that when ozone (O3) and bromine oxide (BrO) chemistry are active there is a~linear relationship between GEM, PHg and O3 but there was no correlation between RGM and O3. There was a linear relationship between RGM and BrO and our results suggest that the origin and age of air masses play a role in determining this relationship. These results were the first direct measurements of these atmospheric components over the sea ice. For the first time, GEM was measured simultaneously over the tundra and the sea ice. The results show a significant difference in the magnitude of the emission of GEM from the two locations where significantly higher emission occurs over the tundra. Elevated chloride levels in snow over sea ice are believed to be the cause of lower GEM emissions over the sea ice because chloride has been shown to suppress photoreduction processes of Hg(II) to Hg(0) (GEM) in snow. These results are important because while GEM is emitted after depletion events on snow inland, less GEM is emitted over sea ice. Since the snow pack on sea ice retains more mercury than inland snow current models of the Arctic mercury cycle, which are based predominantly on land based measurements, may greatly underestimate

  7. Comparisons of Arctic In-Situ Snow and Ice Data with Airborne Passive Microwave Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markus, T.; Cavalien, D. J.; Gasiewski, A.; Sturm, M.; Klein, M.; Maslanik, J.; Stroeve, J.; Heinrichs, J.; Holmgren, J.; Irisov, V.

    2004-01-01

    As part of the AMSR-E sea ice validation campaign in March 2003, aircraft flights over the Arctic sea ice were coordinated with ground measurements of snow and sea ice properties. The surface-based measurements were in the vicinity of Barrow, AK, and at a Navy ice camp located in the Beaufort Sea. The NASA P-3 aircraft was equipped with the NOAA ETL PSR microwave radiometer that has the same frequencies as the AMSR-E sensor. The goal was to validate the standard AMSR-E products ice temperature and snow depth on sea ice. Ground measurements are the only way to validate these parameters. The higher spatial resolution of the PSR instrument (between 30 and 500 m, depending on altitude) enables a better comparison between ground measurements and microwave data because of the expected smaller spatial variability. Maps of PSR data can then be used for further down-scaling to AMSR-E pixel areas. Initial results show a good qualitative agreement between the in-situ snow depths and the PSR data. Detailed studies are underway and latest results will be presented.

  8. Remote sensing as a research tool. [sea ice surveillance from aircraft and spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carsey, F. D.; Zwally, H. J.

    1986-01-01

    The application of aircraft and spacecraft remote sensing techniques to sea ice surveillance is evaluated. The effects of ice in the air-sea-ice system are examined. The measurement principles and characteristics of remote sensing methods for aircraft and spacecraft surveillance of sea ice are described. Consideration is given to ambient visible light, IR, passive microwave, active microwave, and laser altimeter and sonar systems. The applications of these systems to sea ice surveillance are discussed and examples are provided. Particular attention is placed on the use of microwave data and the relation between ice thickness and sea ice interactions. It is noted that spacecraft and aircraft sensing techniques can successfully measure snow cover; ice thickness; ice type; ice concentration; ice velocity field; ocean temperature; surface wind vector field; and air, snow, and ice surface temperatures.

  9. Variability of light transmission through Arctic land-fast sea ice during spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaus, M.; Petrich, C.; Hudson, S. R.; Granskog, M. A.

    2012-10-01

    The amount of solar radiation transmitted through Arctic sea ice is determined by the thickness and physical properties of snow and sea ice. Light transmittance is highly variable in space and time since thickness and physical properties of snow and sea ice are highly heterogeneous on variable time and length scales. We present field measurements of under-ice irradiance along repeated (March, May, June 2010) transects under un-deformed land-fast sea ice at Barrow, Alaska. The objective was to quantify seasonal evolution and spatial variability of light transmittance through snow and sea ice. Along with optical measurements, snow depth, sea ice thickness, and freeboard were recorded, and ice cores were analyzed for Chlorophyll a and particulate matter. Our results show that snow cover variability prior to onset of snow melt may cause as much spatial variability of relative light transmittance as the contrast of ponded and white ice during summer. In both instances, a spatial variability of up to three times above and below the mean was measured. In addition, we found a thirtyfold increase of light transmittance as a result of partial snowmelt. Hence, the seasonal evolution of transmittance through sea ice exceeded the spatial variability. Nevertheless, more comprehensive under-ice radiation measurements are needed for a more generalized and large-scale understanding of the under-ice energy budget for physical, biological, and geochemical applications.

  10. Radiative transfer in atmosphere-sea ice-ocean system

    SciTech Connect

    Jin, Z.; Stamnes, K.; Weeks, W.F.; Tsay, S.C.

    1996-04-01

    Radiative energy is critical in controlling the heat and mass balance of sea ice, which significantly affects the polar climate. In the polar oceans, light transmission through the atmosphere and sea ice is essential to the growth of plankton and algae and, consequently, to the microbial community both in the ice and in the ocean. Therefore, the study of radiative transfer in the polar atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean system is of particular importance. Lacking a properly coupled radiative transfer model for the atmosphere-sea ice-ocean system, a consistent study of the radiative transfer in the polar atmosphere, snow, sea ice, and ocean system has not been undertaken before. The radiative transfer processes in the atmosphere and in the ice and ocean have been treated separately. Because the radiation processes in the atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean depend on each other, this separate treatment is inconsistent. To study the radiative interaction between the atmosphere, clouds, snow, sea ice, and ocean, a radiative transfer model with consistent treatment of radiation in the coupled system is needed and is under development.

  11. Polarimetric signatures of sea ice. 1: Theoretical model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Kwok, R.; Yueh, S. H.; Drinkwater, M. R.

    1995-01-01

    Physical, structral, and electromagnetic properties and interrelating processes in sea ice are used to develop a composite model for polarimetric backscattering signatures of sea ice. Physical properties of sea ice constituents such as ice, brine, air, and salt are presented in terms of their effects on electromagnetic wave interactions. Sea ice structure and geometry of scatterers are related to wave propagation, attenuation, and scattering. Temperature and salinity, which are determining factors for the thermodynamic phase distribution in sea ice, are consistently used to derive both effective permittivities and polarimetric scattering coefficients. Polarmetric signatures of sea ice depend on crystal sizes and brine volumes, which are affected by ice growth rates. Desalination by brine expulsion, drainage, or other mechanisms modifies wave penetration and scattering. Sea ice signatures are further complicated by surface conditions such as rough interfaces, hummocks, snow cover, brine skim, or slush layer. Based on the same set of geophysical parameters characterizing sea ice, a composite model is developed to calculate effective permittivities and backscattering covariance matrices at microwave frequencies to interpretation of sea ice polarimetric signatures.

  12. Polarimetric Signatures of Sea Ice. Part 1; Theoretical Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Kwok, R.; Yueh, S. H.; Drinkwater, M. R.

    1995-01-01

    Physical, structural, and electromagnetic properties and interrelating processes in sea ice are used to develop a composite model for polarimetric backscattering signatures of sea ice. Physical properties of sea ice constituents such as ice, brine, air, and salt are presented in terms of their effects on electromagnetic wave interactions. Sea ice structure and geometry of scatterers are related to wave propagation, attenuation, and scattering. Temperature and salinity, which are determining factors for the thermodynamic phase distribution in sea ice, are consistently used to derive both effective permittivities and polarimetric scattering coefficients. Polarimetric signatures of sea ice depend on crystal sizes and brine volumes, which are affected by ice growth rates. Desalination by brine expulsion, drainage, or other mechanisms modifies wave penetration and scattering. Sea ice signatures are further complicated by surface conditions such as rough interfaces, hummocks, snow cover, brine skim, or slush layer. Based on the same set of geophysical parameters characterizing sea ice, a composite model is developed to calculate effective permittivities and backscattering covariance matrices at microwave frequencies for interpretation of sea ice polarimetric signatures.

  13. Modeling of Antarctic sea ice in a general circulation model

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Xingren; Budd, W.F.; Simmonds, I.

    1997-04-01

    A dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice model is developed and coupled with the Melbourne University general circulation model to simulate the seasonal cycle of the Antarctic sea ice distributions The model is efficient, rapid to compute, and useful for a range of climate studies. The thermodynamic part of the sea ice model is similar to that developed by Parkinson and Washington, the dynamics contain a simplified ice rheology that resists compression. The thermodynamics is based on energy conservation at the top surface of the ice/snow, the ice/water interface, and the open water area to determine the ice formation, accretion, and ablation. A lead parameterization is introduced with an effective partitioning scheme for freezing between and under the ice floes. The dynamic calculation determines the motion of ice, which is forced with the atmospheric wind, taking account of ice resistance and rafting. The simulated sea ice distribution compares reasonably well with observations. The seasonal cycle of ice extent is well simulated in phase as well as in magnitude. Simulated sea ice thickness and concentration are also in good agreement with observations over most regions and serve to indicate the importance of advection and ocean drift in the determination of the sea ice distribution. 64 refs., 15 figs., 2 tabs.

  14. Comparison of AMSR-E derived Antarctic snow-ice interface temperatures with previous surface observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, M.; Ackley, S. F.; Xie, H.; Cicek, B.

    2006-12-01

    The AMSR-E Sea Ice Temperature (L3 25 km) data product derived from passive microwave emissions at 6.9 GHz is available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The Sea Ice Temperature data represents the temperature at the surface of the sea ice, or the temperature corresponding to the snow-ice interface. Antarctic sea ice images from 2005 were obtained at approximate 5-day intervals corresponding to typical days of the four seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall. Available measurements conducted during previous field campaigns were obtained from the literature. The field data of snow-ice interface temperatures roughly corresponding to the typical days of the four seasons, albeit over much more limited areas of ice cover and at times different from the satellite images, were utilized for comparison. The field measurements give insight into the physical behavior of the Antarctic ice surface temperature. These field data show: 1) during the summer season, mean ice surface temperatures invariably range from 0 to -2ºC, corresponding to an isothermal snowpack or surface flooded with ocean water; 2) during the spring season, mean ice surface temperatures are generally above -8ºC, as increases in air temperature and solar radiation result in interface temperatures that lie between the air temperature (mean above -10ºC) and the seawater temperature at the ice-water interface (-1.8ºC); 3) during fall and winter seasons, warmest interface temperatures are found beneath the deepest snow cover, which either better insulates the surface from colder air temperatures than thin snow cover or causes surface flooding from the increased overburden, leading to sea ice interface temperatures near -1.8ºC. While the field data are not a validation sensu strictu, the AMSR-E product appears to conflict with several of these generally observed properties. The coldest interface temperatures from the satellite data are reported for spring and summer, which are lower than winter

  15. Arctic Sea Ice Model Sensitivities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, K. J.; Bochev, P.; Paskaleva, B.

    2010-12-01

    Arctic sea ice is an important component of the global climate system and, due to feedback effects, the Arctic ice cover is changing rapidly. Predictive mathematical models are of paramount importance for accurate estimates of the future ice trajectory. However, the sea ice components of Global Climate Models (GCMs) vary significantly in their prediction of the future state of Arctic sea ice and have generally underestimated the rate of decline in minimum sea ice extent seen over the past thirty years. One of the contributing factors to this variability is the sensitivity of the sea ice state to internal model parameters. A new sea ice model that holds some promise for improving sea ice predictions incorporates an anisotropic elastic-decohesive rheology and dynamics solved using the material-point method (MPM), which combines Lagrangian particles for advection with a background grid for gradient computations. We evaluate the variability of this MPM sea ice code and compare it with the Los Alamos National Laboratory CICE code for a single year simulation of the Arctic basin using consistent ocean and atmospheric forcing. Sensitivities of ice volume, ice area, ice extent, root mean square (RMS) ice speed, central Arctic ice thickness,and central Arctic ice speed with respect to ten different dynamic and thermodynamic parameters are evaluated both individually and in combination using the Design Analysis Kit for Optimization and Terascale Applications (DAKOTA). We find similar responses for the two codes and some interesting seasonal variability in the strength of the parameters on the solution. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U. S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under Contract DE-AC04-94-AL85000.

  16. MODIS Data at the National Snow and Ice Data Center: Improvements for Collection 6

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, T.; Fowler, D. K.; McAllister, M.; Hall, D. K.; Riggs, G. A.

    2012-12-01

    For more than a decade, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has archived and distributed snow cover and sea ice products derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments, onboard NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua and Terra satellites. As the MODIS science team studies and refines the algorithms that generate these products, the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) periodically reprocesses an entire collection of MODIS data and produces a new suite of products incorporating the latest enhancements. Collection 6 represents the next revision to NSIDC's MODIS archive, mainly affecting the snow-cover products. Based on scores of journal papers and workshop proceedings, Collection 6 specifically addresses the needs of the MODIS science community by targeting the scenarios that have historically confounded snow detection and introduced errors into the snow-cover and fractional snow-cover maps. Although MODIS snow-cover maps are typically 90 percent accurate or better under good observing conditions, Collection 6 uses revised algorithms to discriminate between snow and clouds, resolve uncertainties along the edges of snow-covered region, and detect summer snow cover in mountains. Furthermore, Collection 6 applies modified and additional snow detection screens and new Quality Assessment protocols that enhance the overall accuracy of the snow maps compared with Collection 5. Finally, Collection 6 introduces new MODIS snow products, including a daily climate modeling-grid, cloud gap-filled (CGF) snow-cover map. The CGF algorithm generates cloud-free maps by using the most recent clear observation of the surface when the current day is cloudy, and tracks cloud persistence to account for uncertainties created by the age of a snow observation. By considering prior days, the CGF dramatically increases the number of observable grid cells and can potentially improve the accuracy of other snow-cover products

  17. Winter Ice and Snow as Models of Igneous Rock Formation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romey, William D.

    1983-01-01

    Examines some features of ice and snow that offer teachers and researchers help in understanding many aspects of igneous processes and configurations. Careful observation of such processes as melting, decay, evolution, and snow accumulation provide important clues to understanding processes by which many kinds of rocks form. (Author/JN)

  18. NASA IceBridge: Airborne surveys of the polar sea ice covers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter-Menge, J.; Farrell, S. L.

    2014-12-01

    The NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB) airborne sea ice surveys are designed to continue a valuable series of sea ice thickness measurements by bridging the gap between NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which operated from 2003 to 2009, and ICESat-2, which is scheduled for launch in 2017. Initiated in 2009, OIB has conducted campaigns over the western Arctic Ocean (March/April) and Southern Oceans (October/November) on an annual basis. Primary OIB sensors being used for sea ice observations include the Airborne Topographic Mapper laser altimeter, the Digital Mapping System digital camera, a Ku-band radar altimeter, a frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) snow radar, and a KT-19 infrared radiation pyrometer. Data from the campaigns are available to the research community at: http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge/. This presentation will summarize the spatial and temporal extent of the campaigns and highlight key scientific accomplishments, which include: • Documented changes in the Arctic marine cryosphere since the dramatic sea ice loss of 2007 • Novel snow depth measurements over sea ice in the Arctic • Improved skill of April-to-September sea ice predictions via numerical ice/ocean models • Validation of satellite altimetry measurements (ICESat, CryoSat-2, and IceSat-2/MABEL)

  19. Mapping of ice layer extent and snow accumulation in the percolation zone of the Greenland ice sheet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Steffen, K.; Neumann, G.; Huff, R.

    2005-01-01

    The Greenland ice sheet underwent record extensive melt in 2002 and prolonged melt in 2003. The severe melting created a significant and extensive ice layer over the Greenland ice sheet. An innovative approach is developed to detect the ice layer formation using data acquired by the SeaWinds scatterometer on the QuikSCAT satellite. QuikSCAT backscatter together with in situ data from automatic weather stations of the Greenland Climate Network are used to map the extent of ice layer formation. The results reveal areas of extensive ice layer formed by the 2002 melt, which is consistent with the maximum melt extent in 2002. Moreover, during freezing seasons, QuikSCAT data show a linear decrease in backscatter (in decibels or dB) that is related to the amount of snow accumulation in the ice layer formation region. This snow accumulation signature is caused by the attenuation of radar waves in the snow layer, accumulating since the last major melt event, whose thickness appears as an exponential function in relation to the backscatter signature. We use the Greenland Climate Network data to calibrate the QuikSCAT accumulation rate in order to estimate and map snow accumulation. QuikSCAT results capture the extreme snowfall in mid-April 2003, which deposited more than 0.5 m of snow in a day as measured by the automated weather station at the NASA South East site. Large-scale QuikSCAT results show an anomalous increase of snow accumulation over the southeast region of Greenland during the 2002-2003 freezing season.

  20. EOS Aqua AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice Validation Program: Arctic2003 Aircraft Campaign Flight Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Markus,T.

    2003-01-01

    In March 2003 a coordinated Arctic sea ice validation field campaign using the NASA Wallops P-3B aircraft was successfully completed. This campaign was part of the program for validating the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) sea ice products. The AMSR-E, designed and built by the Japanese National Space Development Agency for NASA, was launched May 4, 2002 on the EOS Aqua spacecraft. The AMSR-E sea ice products to be validated include sea ice concentration, sea ice temperature, and snow depth on sea ice. This flight report describes the suite of instruments flown on the P-3, the objectives of each of the seven flights, the Arctic regions overflown, and the coordination among satellite, aircraft, and surface-based measurements. Two of the seven aircraft flights were coordinated with scientists making surface measurements of snow and ice properties including sea ice temperature and snow depth on sea ice at a study area near Barrow, AK and at a Navy ice camp located in the Beaufort Sea. Two additional flights were dedicated to making heat and moisture flux measurements over the St. Lawrence Island polynya to support ongoing air-sea-ice processes studies of Arctic coastal polynyas. The remaining flights covered portions of the Bering Sea ice edge, the Chukchi Sea, and Norton Sound.

  1. Using IceBridge data to study changes on multi- and first-year sea ice in the western Arctic between 2009-2015

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boisvert, L.; Kurtz, N. T.; Stroeve, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Since the late 1970's there has been a marked decrease in September sea ice extent and with that the sea ice pack has changed from a predominantly multi-year ice pack to one that is predominantly first-year ice. During this same period the sea ice has thinned, however the impact of snow depth changes on the overall state of the sea ice pack are relatively uncertain. In this study we use Lagrangian tracking ice type data along with IceBridge and CryoSat sea ice thickness and snow depth data products and surface temperature to examine the changes in the multi-year and first year ice regimes in March between 2009-2015. We will show the regional and annual changes in ice thickness and snow depth on multi-year and first year sea ice (as well as their locations) in the Canadian Arctic and Beaufort Sea. We will also anlalyze links in snow depth and thickness changes based on AIRS 925 hPa air temperature, 925 hPa geopotential height, precipitable water and Calipso cloud fraction in DJF, and changes in mixed layer temperatures to freeze-up dates. Lastly, we will analyze melt onset differences between multi-year and first- year sea ice to see how snow thickness and ice type play a role.

  2. Snow and Ice Applications of AVHRR in Polar Regions: Report of a Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steffen, K.; Bindschadler, R.; Casassa, G.; Comiso, J.; Eppler, D.; Fetterer, F.; Hawkins, J.; Key, J.; Rothrock, D.; Thomas, R.; Weaver, R.; Welch, R.

    1993-01-01

    The third symposium on Remote Sensing of Snow and Ice, organized by the International Glaciological Society, took place in Boulder, Colorado, 17-22 May 1992. As part of this meeting a total of 21 papers was presented on snow and ice applications of Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) satellite data in polar regions. Also during this meeting a NASA sponsored Workshop was held to review the status of polar surface measurements from AVHRR. In the following we have summarized the ideas and recommendations from the workshop, and the conclusions of relevant papers given during the regular symposium sessions. The seven topics discussed include cloud masking, ice surface temperature, narrow-band albedo, ice concentration, lead statistics, sea-ice motion and ice-sheet studies with specifics on applications, algorithms and accuracy, following recommendations for future improvements. In general, we can affirm the strong potential of AVHRR for studying sea ice and snow covered surfaces, and we highly recommend this satellite data set for long-term monitoring of polar process studies. However, progress is needed to reduce the uncertainty of the retrieved parameters for all of the above mentioned topics to make this data set useful for direct climate applications such as heat balance studies and others. Further, the acquisition and processing of polar AVHRR data must become better coordinated between receiving stations, data centers and funding agencies to guarantee a long-term commitment to the collection and distribution of high quality data.

  3. Microwave signatures of snow and fresh water ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmugge, T.; Wilheit, T. T.; Gloersen, P.; Meier, M. F.; Frank, D.; Dirmhirn, I.

    1973-01-01

    During March of 1971, the NASA Convair 990 Airborne Observatory carrying microwave radiometers in the wavelength range 0.8 to 21 cm was flown over dry snow with different substrata: Lake ice at Bear Lake in Utah; wet soil in the Yampa River Valley near Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and glacier ice, firm and wet snow on the South Cascade Glacier in Washington. The data presented indicate that the transparency of the snow cover is a function of wavelength. False-color images of microwave brightness temperatures obtained from a scanning radiometer operating at a wavelength of 1.55 cm demonstrate the capability of scanning radiometers for mapping snowfields.

  4. Climate Sensitivity to Realistic Solar Heating of Snow and Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanner, M.; Zender, C. S.

    2004-12-01

    Snow and ice-covered surfaces are highly reflective and play an integral role in the planetary radiation budget. However, GCMs typically prescribe snow reflection and absorption based on minimal knowledge of snow physical characteristics. We performed climate sensitivity simulations with the NCAR CCSM including a new physically-based multi-layer snow radiative transfer model. The model predicts the effects of vertically resolved heating, absorbing aerosol, and snowpack transparency on snowpack evolution and climate. These processes significantly reduce the model's near-infrared albedo bias over deep snowpacks. While the current CCSM implementation prescribes all solar radiative absorption to occur in the top 2 cm of snow, we estimate that about 65% occurs beneath this level. Accounting for the vertical distribution of snowpack heating and more realistic reflectance significantly alters snowpack depth, surface albedo, and surface air temperature over Northern Hemisphere regions. Implications for the strength of the ice-albedo feedback will be discussed.

  5. Sea Ice on the Southern Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacobs, Stanley S.

    1998-01-01

    Year-round satellite records of sea ice distribution now extend over more than two decades, providing a valuable tool to investigate related characteristics and circulations in the Southern Ocean. We have studied a variety of features indicative of oceanic and atmospheric interactions with Antarctic sea ice. In the Amundsen & Bellingshausen Seas, sea ice extent was found to have decreased by approximately 20% from 1973 through the early 1990's. This change coincided with and probably contributed to recently warmer surface conditions on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula, where air temperatures have increased by approximately 0.5 C/decade since the mid-1940's. The sea ice decline included multiyear cycles of several years in length superimposed on high interannual variability. The retreat was strongest in summer, and would have lowered the regional mean ice thickness, with attendant impacts upon vertical heat flux and the formation of snow ice and brine. The cause of the regional warming and loss of sea ice is believed to be linked to large-scale circulation changes in the atmosphere and ocean. At the eastern end of the Weddell Gyre, the Cosmonaut Polyna revealed greater activity since 1986, a recurrence pattern during recent winters and two possible modes of formation. Persistence in polynya location was noted off Cape Ann, where the coastal current can interact more strongly with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. As a result of vorticity conservation, locally enhanced upwelling brings warmer deep water into the mixed layer, causing divergence and melting. In the Ross Sea, ice extent fluctuates over periods of several years, with summer minima and winter maxima roughly in phase. This leads to large interannual cycles of sea ice range, which correlate positively with meridinal winds, regional air temperatures and subsequent shelf water salinities. Deep shelf waters display considerable interannual variability, but have freshened by approximately 0.03/decade

  6. Influence of ice thickness and surface properties on light transmission through Arctic sea ice.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katlein, Christian; Arndt, Stefanie; Nicolaus, Marcel; Jakuba, Michael V.; Laney, Samuel; Elliott, Stephen; Whitcomb, Louis L.; McFarland, Christopher J.; Suman, Stefano; Gerdes, Rüdiger; Boetius, Antje; German, Christopher R.

    2015-04-01

    The observed changes in physical properties of sea ice such as decreased thickness and increased melt pond cover severely impact the energy balance of Arctic sea ice. Increased light transmission leads to increased deposition of solar energy and thus plays a crucial role for sea-ice-melt as well as for the amount and timing of under-ice primary production. Recent developments in underwater technology provide new opportunities to undertake challenging research at the largely inaccessible underside of sea ice. We measured spectral under-ice radiance and irradiance onboard the new Nereid Under-Ice (Nereid-UI) underwater robotic vehicle, during a cruise of the R/V Polarstern to 83°N 6°W in the Arctic Ocean in July 2014. Nereid-UI is a next generation hybrid remotely operated vehicle (H-ROV) designed for both remotely-piloted and autonomous surveys underneath fixed and moving sea ice. Here we present results from the first comprehensive scientific dive of Nereid-UI employing its interdisciplinary sensor suite. We combine under-ice optical measurements with three dimensional under-ice topography (multibeam sonar) and aerial images of the surface conditions. We investigate the influence of spatially varying ice-thickness and surface properties on the spatial variability of light transmittance on floe scale. Our results indicate that surface properties dominate the spatial distribution of the under-ice light field, while sea ice-thickness and snow-depth are most important for mean light levels.

  7. Observations of Recent Arctic Sea Ice Volume Loss and Its Impact on Ocean-Atmosphere Energy Exchange and Ice Production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurtz, N. T.; Markus, T.; Farrell, S. L.; Worthen, D. L.; Boisvert, L. N.

    2011-01-01

    Using recently developed techniques we estimate snow and sea ice thickness distributions for the Arctic basin through the combination of freeboard data from the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and a snow depth model. These data are used with meteorological data and a thermodynamic sea ice model to calculate ocean-atmosphere heat exchange and ice volume production during the 2003-2008 fall and winter seasons. The calculated heat fluxes and ice growth rates are in agreement with previous observations over multiyear ice. In this study, we calculate heat fluxes and ice growth rates for the full distribution of ice thicknesses covering the Arctic basin and determine the impact of ice thickness change on the calculated values. Thinning of the sea ice is observed which greatly increases the 2005-2007 fall period ocean-atmosphere heat fluxes compared to those observed in 2003. Although there was also a decline in sea ice thickness for the winter periods, the winter time heat flux was found to be less impacted by the observed changes in ice thickness. A large increase in the net Arctic ocean-atmosphere heat output is also observed in the fall periods due to changes in the areal coverage of sea ice. The anomalously low sea ice coverage in 2007 led to a net ocean-atmosphere heat output approximately 3 times greater than was observed in previous years and suggests that sea ice losses are now playing a role in increasing surface air temperatures in the Arctic.

  8. Stalactite Growth beneath Sea Ice.

    PubMed

    Paige, R A

    1970-01-01

    Fresh ice stalactites were observed beneath sea ice in Antarctica. They are hollow, tapering, inverted cones having a base diameter between 10 and 20 centimeters and a tip diameter of 4 to 10 centimeters extending downward about 100 centimeters. The stalactites form when dense, chilled brine drains downward from the ice sheet into seawater of norma1 salinity and near-freezing temperature.

  9. Arctic Sea Ice Predictability and the Sea Ice Prediction Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiggins, H. V.; Stroeve, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    Drastic reductions in Arctic sea ice cover have increased the demand for Arctic sea ice predictions by a range of stakeholders, including local communities, resource managers, industry and the public. The science of sea-ice prediction has been challenged to keep up with these developments. Efforts such as the SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook (SIO; http://www.arcus.org/sipn/sea-ice-outlook) and the Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook have provided a forum for the international sea-ice prediction and observing community to explore and compare different approaches. The SIO, originally organized by the Study of Environmental Change (SEARCH), is now managed by the new Sea Ice Prediction Network (SIPN), which is building a collaborative network of scientists and stakeholders to improve arctic sea ice prediction. The SIO synthesizes predictions from a variety of methods, including heuristic and from a statistical and/or dynamical model. In a recent study, SIO data from 2008 to 2013 were analyzed. The analysis revealed that in some years the predictions were very successful, in other years they were not. Years that were anomalous compared to the long-term trend have proven more difficult to predict, regardless of which method was employed. This year, in response to feedback from users and contributors to the SIO, several enhancements have been made to the SIO reports. One is to encourage contributors to provide spatial probability maps of sea ice cover in September and the first day each location becomes ice-free; these are an example of subseasonal to seasonal, local-scale predictions. Another enhancement is a separate analysis of the modeling contributions. In the June 2014 SIO report, 10 of 28 outlooks were produced from models that explicitly simulate sea ice from dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice models. Half of the models included fully-coupled (atmosphere, ice, and ocean) models that additionally employ data assimilation. Both of these subsets (models and coupled models with data

  10. Cladoceran zooplankton abundance under clear and snow-covered ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeBates, T.J.; Chipps, S.R.; Ward, M.C.; Werlin, K.B.; Lorenzen, P.B.

    2003-01-01

    We described the distribution of cladoceran zooplankton under the ice in a natural, glacial lake. Local light availability apparently altered the spatial distribution of cladocerans. Light levels measured under snow-covered areas (0.178 lux) were an order of magnitude less than those measured at the same depth under clear ice (1.750 lux). Cladoceran density under snow-covered areas was significantly higher (Bosmina spp.=3.34/L; Daphnia spp.=0.61/L) than cladoceran abundance under clear ice (Bosmina spp.=0.91/L; Daphnia spp.=0.19/L).

  11. The Relationship Between Arctic Sea Ice Albedo and the Geophysical Parameters of the Ice Cover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riihelä, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic sea ice cover is thinning and retreating. Remote sensing observations have also shown that the mean albedo of the remaining ice cover is decreasing on decadal time scales, albeit with significant annual variability (Riihelä et al., 2013, Pistone et al., 2014). Attribution of the albedo decrease between its different drivers, such as decreasing ice concentration and enhanced surface melt of the ice, remains an important research question for the forecasting of future conditions of the ice cover. A necessary step towards this goal is understanding the relationships between Arctic sea ice albedo and the geophysical parameters of the ice cover. Particularly the question of the relationship between sea ice albedo and ice age is both interesting and not widely studied. The recent changes in the Arctic sea ice zone have led to a substantial decrease of its multi-year sea ice, as old ice melts and is replaced by first-year ice during the next freezing season. It is generally known that younger sea ice tends to have a lower albedo than older ice because of several reasons, such as wetter snow cover and enhanced melt ponding. However, the quantitative correlation between sea ice age and sea ice albedo has not been extensively studied to date, excepting in-situ measurement based studies which are, by necessity, focused on a limited area of the Arctic Ocean (Perovich and Polashenski, 2012).In this study, I analyze the dependencies of Arctic sea ice albedo relative to the geophysical parameters of the ice field. I use remote sensing datasets such as the CM SAF CLARA-A1 (Karlsson et al., 2013) and the NASA MeaSUREs (Anderson et al., 2014) as data sources for the analysis. The studied period is 1982-2009. The datasets are spatiotemporally collocated and analysed. The changes in sea ice albedo as a function of sea ice age are presented for the whole Arctic Ocean and for potentially interesting marginal sea cases. This allows us to see if the the albedo of the older sea

  12. Snow and ice volume on Mount Spurr Volcano, Alaska, 1981

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    March, Rod S.; Mayo, Lawrence R.; Trabant, Dennis C.

    1997-01-01

    Mount Spurr (3,374 meters altitude) is an active volcano 130 kilometers west of Anchorage, Alaska, with an extensive covering of seasonal and perennial snow, and glaciers. Knowledge of the volume and distribution of snow and ice on a volcano aids in assessing hydrologic hazards such as floods, mudflows, and debris flows. In July 1981, ice thickness was measured at 68 locations on the five main glaciers of Mount Spurr: 64 of these measurements were made using a portable 1.7 megahertz monopulse ice-radar system, and 4 measurements were made using the helicopter altimeter where the glacier bed was exposed by ice avalanching. The distribution of snow and ice derived from these measurements is depicted on contour maps and in tables compiled by altitude and by drainage basins. Basal shear stresses at 20 percent of the measured locations ranged from 200 to 350 kilopascals, which is significantly higher than the 50 to 150 kilopascals commonly referred to in the literature as the 'normal' range for glaciers. Basal shear stresses higher than 'normal' have also been found on steep glaciers on volcanoes in the Cascade Range in the western United States. The area of perennial snow and ice coverage on Mount Spurr was 360 square kilometers in 1981, with an average thickness of 190?50 meters. Seasonal snow increases the volume about 1 percent and increases the area about 30 percent with a maximum in May or June. Runoff from Mount Spurr feeds the Chakachatna River and the Chichantna River (a tributary of the Beluga River). The Chakachatna River drainage contains 14 cubic kilometers of snow and ice and the Chichantna River drainage contains 53 cubic kilometers. The snow and ice volume on the mountain was 67?17 cubic kilometers, approximately 350 times more snow and ice than was on Mount St. Helens before its May 18, 1980, eruption, and 15 times more snow and ice than on Mount Rainier, the most glacierized of the measured volcanoes in the Cascade Range. On the basis of these relative

  13. About uncertainties in sea ice thickness retrieval from satellite radar altimetry: results from the ESA-CCI Sea Ice ECV Project Round Robin Exercise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kern, S.; Khvorostovsky, K.; Skourup, H.; Rinne, E.; Parsakhoo, Z. S.; Djepa, V.; Wadhams, P.; Sandven, S.

    2014-03-01

    One goal of the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative sea ice Essential Climate Variable project is to provide a quality controlled 20 year long data set of Arctic Ocean winter-time sea ice thickness distribution. An important step to achieve this goal is to assess the accuracy of sea ice thickness retrieval based on satellite radar altimetry. For this purpose a data base is created comprising sea ice freeboard derived from satellite radar altimetry between 1993 and 2012 and collocated observations of snow and sea ice freeboard from Operation Ice Bridge (OIB) and CryoSat Validation Experiment (CryoVEx) air-borne campaigns, of sea ice draft from moored and submarine Upward Looking Sonar (ULS), and of snow depth from OIB campaigns, Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer aboard EOS (AMSR-E) and the Warren Climatology (Warren et al., 1999). An inter-comparison of the snow depth data sets stresses the limited usefulness of Warren climatology snow depth for freeboard-to-thickness conversion under current Arctic Ocean conditions reported in other studies. This is confirmed by a comparison of snow freeboard measured during OIB and CryoVEx and snow freeboard computed from radar altimetry. For first-year ice the agreement between OIB and AMSR-E snow depth within 0.02 m suggests AMSR-E snow depth as an appropriate alternative. Different freeboard-to-thickness and freeboard-to-draft conversion approaches are realized. The mean observed ULS sea ice draft agrees with the mean sea ice draft computed from radar altimetry within the uncertainty bounds of the data sets involved. However, none of the realized approaches is able to reproduce the seasonal cycle in sea ice draft observed by moored ULS satisfactorily. A sensitivity analysis of the freeboard-to-thickness conversion suggests: in order to obtain sea ice thickness as accurate as 0.5 m from radar altimetry, besides a freeboard estimate with centimetre accuracy, an ice-type dependent sea ice density is as mandatory

  14. Geochemical Characteristics And Zones Of Surface Snow On East Antarctic Ice sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, J.

    2004-12-01

    Geochemical characteristics and zones of surface snow on east Antarctic Ice Sheet Jiancheng KANG1,4, Leibao LIU1, Dahe QIN2, Dali WANG1, Jiahong WEN1, Dejun TAN1, Zhongqin LI2, Jun LI3 & Xiaowei ZHANG1,4 1 Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai 200129, China; 2 Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China; 3 Australian Antarctic Division and Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC, Private Bag 80 Hobart, Tasmania, 7001, Australia; 4 Geography Department of Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China Correspondence should be addressed to Jiancheng KANG (email: kangjc@sh163.net, kangjc@126.com ) Abstract The surface-snow geochemical characteristics are discussed on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, depending on the stable isotopes ratios of oxygen and hydrogen, concentration of impurities (soluble-ions and insoluble micro-particle) in surface snow collected on the ice sheet. The purpose is to study geochemical zones on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet and to research sources and transportation route of the water vapor and the impurities in surface snow. It has been found that the ratio coefficients, as S1, d1 in the equation ƒOD = S1ƒO18O + d1, are changed near the elevation 2000m on the ice sheet. The weight ratio of Cl-/Na+ at the area below the elevation of 2000m is close to the ratio in the sea salt; but it is about 2 times that of the sea salt, at the inland area up to the elevation of 2000m. The concentrations of non-sea-salt Ca2+ ion (nssCa2+) and fine-particle increase at the interior up to the elevation 2000m. At the region below the elevation of 2000m, the impurity concentration is decreasing with the elevation increasing. Near coastal region, the surface snow has a high concentration of impurity, where the elevation is below 800m. Combining the translating processes of water-vapor and impurities, it suggests that the region up to the elevation 2000m is affected by large

  15. C-Band Backscatter Measurements of Winter Sea-Ice in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drinkwater, M. R.; Hosseinmostafa, R.; Gogineni, P.

    1995-01-01

    During the 1992 Winter Weddell Gyre Study, a C-band scatterometer was used from the German ice-breaker R/V Polarstern to obtain detailed shipborne measurement scans of Antarctic sea-ice. The frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FM-CW) radar operated at 4-3 GHz and acquired like- (VV) and cross polarization (HV) data at a variety of incidence angles (10-75 deg). Calibrated backscatter data were recorded for several ice types as the icebreaker crossed the Weddell Sea and detailed measurements were made of corresponding snow and sea-ice characteristics at each measurement site, together with meteorological information, radiation budget and oceanographic data. The primary scattering contributions under cold winter conditions arise from the air/snow and snow/ice interfaces. Observations indicate so e similarities with Arctic sea-ice scattering signatures, although the main difference is generally lower mean backscattering coefficients in the Weddell Sea. This is due to the younger mean ice age and thickness, and correspondingly higher mean salinities. In particular, smooth white ice found in 1992 in divergent areas within the Weddell Gyre ice pack was generally extremely smooth and undeformed. Comparisons of field scatterometer data with calibrated 20-26 deg incidence ERS-1 radar image data show close correspondence, and indicate that rough Antarctic first-year and older second-year ice forms do not produce as distinctively different scattering signatures as observed in the Arctic. Thick deformed first-year and second-year ice on the other hand are clearly discriminated from younger undeformed ice. thereby allowing successful separation of thick and thin ice. Time-series data also indicate that C-band is sensitive to changes in snow and ice conditions resulting from atmospheric and oceanographic forcing and the local heat flux environment. Variations of several dB in 45 deg incidence backscatter occur in response to a combination of thermally-regulated parameters

  16. Kindergarten Explorations with Snow, Ice, and Water

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Martha A.

    1978-01-01

    Using winter snow, kindergarten students can explore the properties of water. Students demonstrate melting, freezing, expansion, and evaporation through a number of activities involving a paper cup and a scoop of snow. Procedures and student reactions are described in detail by the teacher-author. (MA)

  17. Numerical simulations on artificial reduction of snow and ice ablation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olefs, M.; Obleitner, F.

    2007-06-01

    This snow modeling study investigates two methods to artificially reduce ablation in Alpine glacier ski resorts. Using the snow cover model SNTHERM, a first set of sensitivity studies focuses on the potential effects of artificial compaction of snow during winter. In comparison to a reference run representing the natural conditions, a stepwise increase of the model's new snow density toward 500 kg m-3 yields no more than 218 kg m-2 water equivalent being saved at the end of the ablation period. Further studies consider effects of covering the snow surface with different materials in spring. The physical properties and the energetic processes at the model's surface node are parameterized accordingly. The results show that 2489 kg m-2 water equivalent are saved compared to the reference run. Thus 15% of the winter snow cover as well as the whole amount of the underlying glacier ice are preserved. This indicates that surface covering reduces snow and ice ablation more effectively than snow compaction, which is confirmed by field measurements.

  18. Measurements of sea ice proxies from Antarctic coastal shallow cores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maffezzoli, Niccolò; Vallelonga, Paul; Spolaor, Andrea; Barbante, Carlo; Frezzotti, Massimo

    2015-04-01

    Despite its close relationship with climate, the climatic impact of sea ice remains only partially understood: an indication of this is the Arctic sea ice which is declining at a faster rate than models predict. Thus, the need for reliable sea ice proxies is of crucial importance. Among the sea ice proxies that can be extracted from ice cores, interest has recently been shown in the halogens Iodine (I) and Bromine (Br) (Spolaor, A., et al., 2013a, 2013b). The production of sea ice is a source of Sodium and Bromine aerosols through frost flower crystal formation and sublimation of salty blowing snow, while Iodine is emitted by the algae living underneath sea ice. We present here the results of Na, Br and I measurements in Antarctic shallow cores, drilled during a traverse made in late 2013 - early 2014 from Talos Dome (72° 00'S, 159°12'E) to GV7 (70° 41'S, 158° 51'E) seeking for sea ice signature. The samples were kept frozen until the analyses, that were carried out by Sector Field Mass Spectroscopy Inductive Coupled Plasma (SFMS-ICP): special precautions and experimental steps were adopted for the detection of such elements. The coastal location of the cores allows a clear signal from the nearby sea ice masses. The multiple cores are located about 50 km from each other and can help us to infer the provenance of the sea ice that contributed to the proxy signature. Moreover, by simultaneously determining other chemical elements and compounds in the snow, it is possible to determine the relative timing of their deposition, thus helping us to understand their processes of emission and deposition.

  19. Managing IceBridge Airborne Mission Data at the National Snow and Ice Data Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brodzik, M.; Kaminski, M. L.; Deems, J. S.; Scambos, T. A.

    2010-12-01

    a map-based interface. This portal will provide flight line rendering and multi-instrument data previewing capabilities to facilitate use of the wide array of data types, resolutions, and configurations in this dynamic airborne mission. Together with the IceBridge Science Team and Ice Bridge Science Working Groups, NSIDC is generating value-added products from the Ice Bridge data streams and other ancillary data. These products will provide simple, useful combinations of Ice Bridge products and regional maps of important geophysical parameters from other sources. Planned value-added products include: (1) gridded products in which new profiles from Ice Bridge (e.g. elevation or ice thickness) are combined with existing DEMs or bed maps to produce revised grids and (2) flight-profile multi-instrument products in which data from several instruments are combined into ice sheet profiles (surface elevation, ice thickness, internal reflection data, bed reflection intensity, and gravimetry), sea ice profiles (freeboard, snow cover, and thickness), and surface data profiles (elevation, slope, roughness, near-surface layering, and imagery).

  20. Online sea ice data platform: www.seaiceportal.de

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaus, Marcel; Asseng, Jölund; Bartsch, Annekathrin; Bräuer, Benny; Fritzsch, Bernadette; Grosfeld, Klaus; Hendricks, Stefan; Hiller, Wolfgang; Heygster, Georg; Krumpen, Thomas; Melsheimer, Christian; Ricker, Robert; Treffeisen, Renate; Weigelt, Marietta; Nicolaus, Anja; Lemke, Peter

    2016-04-01

    There is an increasing public interest in sea ice information from both Polar Regions, which requires up-to-date background information and data sets at different levels for various target groups. In order to serve this interest and need, seaiceportal.de (originally: meereisportal.de) was developed as a comprehensive German knowledge platform on sea ice and its snow cover in the Arctic and Antarctic. It was launched in April 2013. Since then, the content and selection of data sets increased and the data portal received increasing attention, also from the international science community. Meanwhile, we are providing near-real time and archive data of many key parameters of sea ice and its snow cover. The data sets result from measurements acquired by various platforms as well as numerical simulations. Satellite observations of sea ice concentration, freeboard, thickness and drift are available as gridded data sets. Sea ice and snow temperatures and thickness as well as atmospheric parameters are available from autonomous platforms (buoys). Additional ship observations, ice station measurements, and mooring time series are compiled as data collections over the last decade. In parallel, we are continuously extending our meta-data and uncertainty information for all data sets. In addition to the data portal, seaiceportal.de provides general comprehensive background information on sea ice and snow as well as expert statements on recent observations and developments. This content is mostly in German in order to complement the various existing international sites for the German speaking public. We will present the portal, its content and function, but we are also asking for direct user feedback.

  1. NASA IceBridge: Scientific Insights from Airborne Surveys of the Polar Sea Ice Covers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter-Menge, J.; Farrell, S. L.

    2015-12-01

    The NASA Operation IceBridge (OIB) airborne sea ice surveys are designed to continue a valuable series of sea ice thickness measurements by bridging the gap between NASA's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which operated from 2003 to 2009, and ICESat-2, which is scheduled for launch in 2017. Initiated in 2009, OIB has conducted campaigns over the western Arctic Ocean (March/April) and Southern Oceans (October/November) on an annual basis when the thickness of sea ice cover is nearing its maximum. More recently, a series of Arctic surveys have also collected observations in the late summer, at the end of the melt season. The Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) laser altimeter is one of OIB's primary sensors, in combination with the Digital Mapping System digital camera, a Ku-band radar altimeter, a frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) snow radar, and a KT-19 infrared radiation pyrometer. Data from the campaigns are available to the research community at: http://nsidc.org/data/icebridge/. This presentation will summarize the spatial and temporal extent of the OIB campaigns and their complementary role in linking in situ and satellite measurements, advancing observations of sea ice processes across all length scales. Key scientific insights gained on the state of the sea ice cover will be highlighted, including snow depth, ice thickness, surface roughness and morphology, and melt pond evolution.

  2. Physical characteristics of summer sea ice across the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tucker, W. B.; Gow, A. J.; Meese, D. A.; Bosworth, H. W.; Reimnitz, E.

    1999-01-01

    Sea ice characteristics were investigated during July and August on the 1994 transect across the Arctic Ocean. Properties examined from ice cores included salinity, temperature, and ice structure. Salinities measured near zero at the surface, increasing to 3-4‰ at the ice-water interface. Ice crystal texture was dominated by columnar ice, comprising 90% of the ice sampled. Surface albedos of various ice types, measured with radiometers, showed integrated shortwave albedos of 0.1 to 0.3 for melt ponds, 0.5 for bare, discolored ice, and 0.6 to 0.8 for a deteriorated surface or snow-covered ice. Aerial photography was utilized to document the distribution of open melt ponds, which decreased from 12% coverage of the ice surface in late July at 76°N to almost none in mid-August at 88°N. Most melt ponds were shallow, and depth bore no relationship to size. Sediment was pervasive from the southern Chukchi Sea to the north pole, occurring in bands or patches. It was absent in the Eurasian Arctic, where it had been observed on earlier expeditions. Calculations of reverse trajectories of the sediment-bearing floes suggest that the southernmost sediment was entrained during ice formation in the Beaufort Sea while more northerly samples probably originated in the East Siberian Sea, some as far west as the New Siberian Islands.

  3. Physical characteristics of summer sea ice across the Arctic Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tucker, W. B.; Gow, A.J.; Meese, D.A.; Bosworth, H.W.; Reimnitz, E.

    1999-01-01

    Sea ice characteristics were investigated during July and August on the 1994 transect across the Arctic Ocean. Properties examined from ice cores included salinity, temperature, and ice structure. Salinities measured near zero at the surface, increasing to 3-4??? at the ice-water interface. Ice crystal texture was dominated by columnar ice, comprising 90% of the ice sampled. Surface albedos of various ice types, measured with radiometers, showed integrated shortwave albedos of 0.1 to 0.3 for melt ponds, 0.5 for bare, discolored ice, and 0.6 to 0.8 for a deteriorated surface or snow-covered ice. Aerial photography was utilized to document the distribution of open melt ponds, which decreased from 12% coverage of the ice surface in late July at 76??N to almost none in mid-August at 88??N. Most melt ponds were shallow, and depth bore no relationship to size. Sediment was pervasive from the southern Chukchi Sea to the north pole, occurring in bands or patches. It was absent in the Eurasian Arctic, where it had been observed on earlier expeditions. Calculations of reverse trajectories of the sediment-bearing floes suggest that the southernmost sediment was entrained during ice formation in the Beaufort Sea while more northerly samples probably originated in the East Siberian Sea, some as far west as the New Siberian Islands.

  4. Investigation of radar backscattering from second-year sea ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lei, Guang-Tsai; Moore, Richard K.; Gogineni, S. P.

    1988-01-01

    The scattering properties of second-year ice were studied in an experiment at Mould Bay in April 1983. Radar backscattering measurements were made at frequencies of 5.2, 9.6, 13.6, and 16.6 GHz for vertical polarization, horizontal polarization and cross polarizations, with incidence angles ranging from 15 to 70 deg. The results indicate that the second-year ice scattering characteristics were different from first-year ice and also different from multiyear ice. The fading properties of radar signals were studied and compared with experimental data. The influence of snow cover on sea ice can be evaluated by accounting for the increase in the number of independent samples from snow volume with respect to that for bare ice surface. A technique for calculating the snow depth was established by this principle and a reasonable agreement has been observed. It appears that this is a usable way to measure depth in snow or other snow-like media using radar.

  5. Data sets for snow cover monitoring and modelling from the National Snow and Ice Data Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holm, M.; Daniels, K.; Scott, D.; McLean, B.; Weaver, R.

    2003-04-01

    A wide range of snow cover monitoring and modelling data sets are pending or are currently available from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). In-situ observations support validation experiments that enhance the accuracy of remote sensing data. In addition, remote sensing data are available in near-real time, providing coarse-resolution snow monitoring capability. Time series data beginning in 1966 are valuable for modelling efforts. NSIDC holdings include SMMR and SSM/I snow cover data, MODIS snow cover extent products, in-situ and satellite data collected for NASA's recent Cold Land Processes Experiment, and soon-to-be-released ASMR-E passive microwave products. The AMSR-E and MODIS sensors are part of NASA's Earth Observing System flying on the Terra and Aqua satellites Characteristics of these NSIDC-held data sets, appropriateness of products for specific applications, and data set access and availability will be presented.

  6. Arctic Sea Ice Minimum, 2015

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation shows the evolution of the Arctic sea ice cover from its wintertime maximum extent, which was reached on Feb. 25, 2015, and was the lowest on record, to its apparent yearly minimum, ...

  7. The Dynamics of Snow and Ice Masses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wettlaufer, J. S.

    On Earth today we enjoy a relatively comfortable climate, which is a fortunate consequence of the present extent of the global ice cover. Although more than two-thirds of the surface of Earth is covered by water, it is the water to ice conversion, and vice versa, that makes an important fraction of the globe habitable today. Hence, changes in the global scale dynamics of the ice cover capture scientific and public interest principally because of their role in global warming and ice-age events. It is in this sense that ice is the ultimate geomorphological fluid mechanic.

  8. CO2 deposition over the multi-year ice of the western Weddell Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zemmelink, H. J.; Delille, B.; Tison, J. L.; Hintsa, E. J.; Houghton, L.; Dacey, J. W. H.

    2006-07-01

    Field measurements by eddy correlation (EC) indicate an average uptake of 0.6 g CO2 m-2 d-1 by the ice-covered western Weddell Sea in December 2004. At the same time, snow that covers ice floes of the western Weddell Sea becomes undersaturated with CO2 relative to the atmosphere during early summer. Gradients of CO2 from the ice to the atmosphere do not support significant diffusive fluxes and are not strong enough to explain the observed CO2 deposition. We hypothesize that the transport of air through the snow pack is controlled by turbulence and that undersaturation of CO2 is caused by biological productivity at the ice-snow and snow-atmosphere interface. The total carbon uptake by the multi-year ice zone of the western Weddell Sea in December could have been as high as 6.6 Tg C y-1.

  9. Development of a Sea Ice Model for Use in Zonally Averaged Energy Balance Climate Models.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harvey, L. D. Danny

    1988-12-01

    A sea ice model for use in zonally averaged energy balance climate models is presented which includes the following processes: surface melting, basal freezing and melting, lateral melting from ice-flee water or growth of new ice in leads, snowfall and the formation of white ice, ice advection, and a parameterized ice and snow thickness distribution which represents the effects of small-scale dynamics. The ice growth equations of Hibler are solved analytically, thereby permitting a gradual increase in zonal ice fraction in fall and winter. Both lateral and vertical melting lead to a continuous decrease of ice fraction during ice decay.The correlation between ice thickness and ice thickness sensitivity to the upward heat flux at the ice base is of opposite sign seasonally and latitudinally. The parameterized feedback between ice thickness and the minimum permitted lead fraction is found to be very important to the ice simulation, and is a process which needs to be studied using higher resolution, dynamic-thermodynamic sea ice models. The interaction between lateral melting and advection is crucial to the simulated rapid retreat of Southern Hemisphere ice area in spring. With uniform snow on ice, the introduction of an ice-thickness distribution increases mean annual ice thickness by up to 20%, but simultaneously introducing an ice and snow thickness distribution such that the ratio of snow to ice thickness is constant for each ice thickness category leads to increase of mean ice thickness of up to 90%. The effect on mean annual sea ice thickness of the parameterized surface albedo temperature dependence tends to increase with increasing latitude, even though the length of the melt season and incident solar radiation decrease with latitude. Model sensitivity to variation of time-step length from 1 to 6 days is insignificant.

  10. Multiple Scattering of Laser Pulses in Snow Over Ice: Modeling the Potential Bias in ICESat Altimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, A. B.; Varnai, T.; Marshak, A.

    2010-01-01

    The primary goal of NASA's current ICESat and future ICESat2 missions is to map the altitude of the Earth's land ice with high accuracy using laser altimetry technology, and to measure sea ice freeboard. Ice however is a highly transparent optical medium with variable scattering and absorption properties. Moreover, it is often covered by a layer of snow with varying depth and optical properties largely dependent on its age. We describe a modeling framework for estimating the potential altimetry bias caused by multiple scattering in the layered medium. We use both a Monte Carlo technique and an analytical diffusion model valid for optically thick media. Our preliminary numerical results are consistent with estimates of the multiple scattering delay from laboratory measurements using snow harvested in Greenland, namely, a few cm. Planned refinements of the models are described.

  11. Arctic Sea Ice, Summer 2014

    NASA Video Gallery

    An animation of daily Arctic sea ice extent in summer 2014, from March 21, 2014 to Sept. 17, 2014 – when the ice appeared to reach it’s minimum extent for the year. It’s the sixth lowest minimum se...

  12. Arctic sea ice microwave signature and geophysical processes study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Onstott, Robert G.; Shuchman, Robert A.

    1993-01-01

    Studies on the validation and utilization of ERS-1 SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) derived liquid and solid ocean information and the study of the interregional, regional, and temporal variation of the microwave signatures of sea ice and snow, are reported. Initial interests are focused on the accuracy of the estimates of ice type, ice form, deformation state, or thickness, and the ability to retrieve ice physical property information. Two in situ campaigns were conducted for the purpose of 'truth' ERS-1 SAR products and to gather data in support of the above science studies.

  13. Physically-based Ice Thickness and Surface Roughness Retrievals over Rough Deformed Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Li; Gaiser, Peter; Allard, Richard; Posey, Pamela; Hebert, David; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline; Polashenski, Christopher; Claffey, Keran

    2016-04-01

    The observations of sea ice thickness and ice surface roughness are critical for our understanding of the state of the changing Arctic. Currently, the Radar and/or LiDAR data of sea ice freeboard are used to infer sea ice thickness via isostasy. The underlying assumption is that the LiDAR signal returns at the air/snow interface and radar signal at the snow/ice interface. The elevations of these interfaces are determined based on LiDAR/Radar return waveforms. However, the commonly used threshold-based surface detection techniques are empirical in nature and work well only over level/smooth sea ice. Rough sea ice surfaces can modify the return waveforms, resulting in significant Electromagnetic (EM) bias in the estimated surface elevations, and thus large errors in the ice thickness retrievals. To understand and quantify such sea ice surface roughness effects, a combined EM rough surface and volume scattering model was developed to simulate radar returns from the rough sea ice 'layer cake' structure. A waveform matching technique was also developed to fit observed waveforms to a physically-based waveform model and subsequently correct the roughness induced EM bias in the estimated freeboard. This new EM Bias Corrected (EMBC) algorithm was able to better retrieve surface elevations and estimate the surface roughness parameter simultaneously. Both the ice thickness and surface roughness retrievals are validated using in-situ data. For the surface roughness retrievals, we applied this EMBC algorithm to co-incident LiDAR/Radar measurements collected during a Cryosat-2 under-flight by the NASA IceBridge missions. Results show that not only does the waveform model fit very well to the measured radar waveform, but also the roughness parameters derived independently from the LiDAR and radar data agree very well for both level and deformed sea ice. For sea ice thickness retrievals, validation based on in-situ data from the coordinated CRREL/NRL field campaign demonstrates

  14. Mercury deposition to snow and ice provides a link between the lower atmosphere and the cryosphere in northern Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douglas, T. A.; Sturm, M.; Simpson, W. R.; Alvarez-Aviles, L.; Blum, J. D.; Perovich, D. K.; Keeler, G. J.; Lammers, A.; Biswas, A.

    2005-12-01

    We investigated a wide range of snow and ice forms as potential scavengers of atmospheric mercury during mercury depletion events (MDEs). Our work was part of a large campaign near Barrow, Alaska in the spring of 2005 (LEADEX-2005). Gaseous and reactive phase mercury, ozone and halogen oxide measurements were made at numerous locations along the Arctic Ocean Coast as part of the campaign and allowed us to identify when MDEs were occurring. Results from previous work implicated sea ice leads and the near shore coastal snow pack as locations where elevated mercury concentrations in frost flowers (75-185 ng/L) and surface hoar (~900 ng/L) were likely. In LEADEX-2005 the previous work was expanded by sampling snow along transects away from the lead edge and from daily sampling of diamond dust and surface snow at a site located 6 kilometers inland from the lead. Vapor condensate was also collected on chilled sample bottles hoisted above the lead on a 2 m2 kite and from a 2-m high pole. We also sampled surface hoar, rime ice, wind slab, fresh snow and blowing snow near the leads. Diamond dust was collected in glass trays and rime was scraped from the leading edge of an unmanned aerial vehicle wing. Nilas and frost flowers of varying ages were collected from a boat in open water at the lead. Elevated mercury concentrations were measured in virtually every type of vapor deposited snow or ice form, including some samples that yielded concentrations well over 1000 ng/L. Our results suggest that deposition of mercury to snow and ice during MDEs is controlled by four processes: 1) scavenging during crystallization or snow fall, 2) impaction of mercury laden aerosols onto crystalline surfaces, 3) sublimation of snow and ice, and 4) condensation driven by temperature gradients. We believe these four factors combine to control elevated mercury concentrations where the lower atmosphere and cryosphere meet.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. 30 CFR 56.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 56... Travelways § 56.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow and ice as soon as practicable....

  17. 30 CFR 56.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 56... Travelways § 56.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow and ice as soon as practicable....

  18. 30 CFR 56.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 56... Travelways § 56.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow and ice as soon as practicable....

  19. 30 CFR 56.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 56... Travelways § 56.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow and ice as soon as practicable....

  20. 30 CFR 56.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 56... Travelways § 56.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow and ice as soon as practicable....

  1. Halogen-based reconstruction of Russian Arctic sea ice area from the Akademii Nauk ice core (Severnaya Zemlya)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spolaor, A.; Opel, T.; McConnell, J. R.; Maselli, O. J.; Spreen, G.; Varin, C.; Kirchgeorg, T.; Fritzsche, D.; Saiz-Lopez, A.; Vallelonga, P.

    2016-01-01

    The role of sea ice in the Earth climate system is still under debate, although it is known to influence albedo, ocean circulation, and atmosphere-ocean heat and gas exchange. Here we present a reconstruction of 1950 to 1998 AD sea ice in the Laptev Sea based on the Akademii Nauk ice core (Severnaya Zemlya, Russian Arctic). The chemistry of halogens bromine (Br) and iodine (I) is strongly active and influenced by sea ice dynamics, in terms of physical, chemical and biological process. Bromine reacts on the sea ice surface in autocatalyzing "bromine explosion" events, causing an enrichment of the Br / Na ratio and hence a bromine excess (Brexc) in snow compared to that in seawater. Iodine is suggested to be emitted from algal communities growing under sea ice. The results suggest a connection between Brexc and spring sea ice area, as well as a connection between iodine concentration and summer sea ice area. The correlation coefficients obtained between Brexc and spring sea ice (r = 0.44) as well as between iodine and summer sea ice (r = 0.50) for the Laptev Sea suggest that these two halogens could become good candidates for extended reconstructions of past sea ice changes in the Arctic.

  2. Melting Ice, Rising Seas

    NASA Video Gallery

    Sea level rise is an indicator that our planet is warming. Much of the world's population lives on or near the coast, and rising seas are something worth watching. Sea level can rise for two reason...

  3. Water, ice and mud: Lahars and lahar hazards at ice- and snow-clad volcanoes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waythomas, Christopher F.

    2014-01-01

    Large-volume lahars are significant hazards at ice and snow covered volcanoes. Hot eruptive products produced during explosive eruptions can generate a substantial volume of melt water that quickly evolves into highly mobile flows of ice, sediment and water. At present it is difficult to predict the size of lahars that can form at ice and snow covered volcanoes due to their complex flow character and behaviour. However, advances in experiments and numerical approaches are producing new conceptual models and new methods for hazard assessment. Eruption triggered lahars that are ice-dominated leave behind thin, almost unrecognizable sedimentary deposits, making them likely to be under-represented in the geological record.

  4. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oakley, K.; Whalen, M.; Douglas, D.; Udevitz, M.; Atwood, T.; Jay, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. One highly visible consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades - a decline projected to continue and result in ice-free summers likely as soon as 2030. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are dependent on sea ice over the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean's marginal seas. The continental shelves are shallow regions with high biological productivity, supporting abundant marine life within the water column and on the sea floor. Polar bears use sea ice as a platform for hunting ice seals; walruses use sea ice as a resting platform between dives to forage for clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates. How have sea ice changes affected polar bears and walruses? How will anticipated changes affect them in the future?

  5. Jet formation at the sea ice edge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feltham, D. L.; Heorton, H. D.

    2014-12-01

    The sea ice edge presents a region of many feedback processes between the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice, which are inadequately represented in current climate models. Here we focus on on-ice atmospheric and oceanic flows at the sea ice edge. Mesoscale jet formation due to the Coriolis effect is well understood over sharp changes in surface roughness such as coastlines. This sharp change in surface roughness is experienced by the atmosphere flowing over, and ocean flowing under, a compacted sea ice edge. We have studied a dynamic sea ice edge responding to atmospheric and oceanic jet formation. The shape and strength of atmospheric and oceanic jets during on-ice flows is calculated from existing studies of the sea ice edge and prescribed to idealised models of the sea ice edge. An idealised analytical model of sea ice drift is developed and compared to a sea ice climate model (the CICE model) run on an idealised domain. The response of the CICE model to jet formation is tested at various resolutions. We find that the formation of atmospheric jets during on-ice winds at the sea ice edge increases the wind speed parallel to the sea ice edge and results in the formation of a sea ice edge jet. The modelled sea ice edge jet is in agreement with an observed jet although more observations are needed for validation. The increase in ice drift speed is dependent upon the angle between the ice edge and wind and can result in a 40% increase in ice transport along the sea ice edge. The possibility of oceanic jet formation during on-ice currents and the resultant effect upon the sea ice edge is less conclusive. Observations and climate model data of the polar oceans has been analysed to show areas of likely atmospheric jet formation, with the Fram Strait being of particular interest.

  6. Arctic sea ice decline: Projected changes in timing and extent of sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Douglas, D.C.

    2010-01-01

    The Arctic region is warming faster than most regions of the world due in part to increasing greenhouse gases and positive feedbacks associated with the loss of snow and ice cover. One consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades?a decline that is projected to continue by state-of-the-art models. Many stakeholders are therefore interested in how global warming may change the timing and extent of sea ice Arctic-wide, and for specific regions. To inform the public and decision makers of anticipated environmental changes, scientists are striving to better understand how sea ice influences ecosystem structure, local weather, and global climate. Here, projected changes in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are examined because sea ice influences the presence of, or accessibility to, a variety of local resources of commercial and cultural value. In this study, 21st century sea ice conditions in the Bering and Chukchi Seas are based on projections by 18 general circulation models (GCMs) prepared for the fourth reporting period by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007. Sea ice projections are analyzed for each of two IPCC greenhouse gas forcing scenarios: the A1B `business as usual? scenario and the A2 scenario that is somewhat more aggressive in its CO2 emissions during the second half of the century. A large spread of uncertainty among projections by all 18 models was constrained by creating model subsets that excluded GCMs that poorly simulated the 1979-2008 satellite record of ice extent and seasonality. At the end of the 21st century (2090-2099), median sea ice projections among all combinations of model ensemble and forcing scenario were qualitatively similar. June is projected to experience the least amount of sea ice loss among all months. For the Chukchi Sea, projections show extensive ice melt during July and ice-free conditions during August, September, and October by the end of the century, with high agreement

  7. Roughness of Weddell Sea Ice and Estimates of the Air-Ice Drag Coefficient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreas, Edgar L.; Lange, Manfred A.; Ackley, Stephen F.; Wadhams, Peter

    1993-07-01

    The roughness of a sheet of sea ice encodes its deformational history and determines its aerodynamic coupling with the overlying air and underlying water. Here we report snow surface, ice surface, and ice underside roughness computed from 47 surface elevation profiles collected during a transect of the Weddell Sea. The roughness for each surface, parameterized as the standard deviation of the surface elevation, segregates according to whether or not a floe has been deformed: deformed ice has greater roughness than undeformed ice. Regardless of deformational history, the underside roughness is almost always greater than the snow surface and ice surface roughnesses, which are nearly equal. Roughness spectra for all three surfaces and for both deformed and undeformed ice roll off roughly as k-1 when the wavenumber k is between 0.1 and 3 rad m-1. The snow surface and underside spectra roll off somewhat faster than k-1, and the ice surface spectra roll off somewhat slower than k-1. Both top and underside Arctic ice roughness spectra, on the other hand, have been reported to roll off faster than k-2. We speculate that the excess spectral intensity at high wavenumbers in the Antarctic ice surface spectra results from the small-scale roughness that the ice sheet had on consolidation. This excess high-wavenumber spectral intensity persists in the ice surface spectra of second-year ice. Evidently, once formed, the ice surface remains unchanged on the microscale until the entire ice sheet melts. With a remote measurement of roughness, we should be able to decide whether an ice floe is deformed or undeformed. Our spectral analysis hints that remote sensing may also be able to differentiate between first-year and second-year ice. From the snow surface spectra, we compute a roughness scale ξ that parameterizes the air-ice momentum coupling and lets us estimate the neutral stability drag coefficient referenced to a height of 10 m, CDN10. Typical CDN10 values are 1.1-1.4 × 10

  8. The sensitivity of a one-dimensional thermodynamic sea ice model to changes in cloudiness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shine, K. P.; Crane, R. G.

    1984-01-01

    A thermodynamic sea ice-lead model is used to assess the importance of cloud cover changes to modeled ice thickness. For regions of either permanent multiyear ice or seasonal sea ice, the cloud amount variations have relatively little impact. However, for regions where the presence of summer ice is variable from year to year, the predicted ice thickness is strongly dependent on cloud cover. In general, with a snow covered surface, decreased cloud leads to surface cooling while increased cloud gives rise to a surface warming. For a melting bare ice surface, the reverse occurs. The ice model response time is too long for interannual variations in cloud amount to explain interannual variations in ice thickness and extent. Nevertheless, the implication of the results is that numerical modeling of sea ice distribution requires accurate cloud data or cloud prediction and that trends in cloud cover may lead to significant perturbations in sea ice extent and thickness.

  9. A Lagrangian analysis of sea ice dynamics in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szanyi, S.; Lukovich, J. V.; Haller, G.; Barber, D. G.

    2014-12-01

    Recent studies have highlighted acceleration in sea ice drift and deformation in the Arctic over the last several decades, underlining the need for improved understanding of sea ice dynamics and dispersion. In this study we present Lagrangian diagnostics to quantify changes in the dynamical characteristics of the Arctic sea ice cover from 1979 to 2012 during the transition from a predominantly multi-year to a first-year ice regime. Examined in particular is the evolution in finite-time Lyapunov exponents (FTLEs), which monitor the rate at which neighboring particle trajectories diverge, and stretching rates throughout the Arctic. In this analysis we compute FTLEs for the Arctic ice drift field using National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) Polar Pathfinder Daily 25 km EASE-Grid weekly sea ice motion vectors for the annual cycle beginning both from the sea ice minimum in September, and maximum in March. Sensitivity analyses show that maximal FTLEs, or ridges, are robust even with the introduction of significant noise. Probability density functions and mean values of FTLEs show a trend towards higher FTLE values characteristic of increased mixing in the Arctic in the last decade, in keeping with a transition to a weaker, thinner ice cover.

  10. Snow crystal imaging using scanning electron microscopy: III. Glacier ice, snow and biota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rango, A.; Wergin, W.P.; Erbe, E.F.; Josberger, E.G.

    2000-01-01

    Low-temperature scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to observe metamorphosed snow, glacial firn, and glacial ice obtained from South Cascade Glacier in Washington State, USA. Biotic samples consisting of algae (Chlamydomonas nivalis) and ice worms (a species of oligochaetes) were also collected and imaged. In the field, the snow and biological samples were mounted on copper plates, cooled in liquid nitrogen, and stored in dry shipping containers which maintain a temperature of -196??C. The firn and glacier ice samples were obtained by extracting horizontal ice cores, 8 mm in diameter, at different levels from larger standard glaciological (vertical) ice cores 7.5 cm in diameter. These samples were cooled in liquid nitrogen and placed in cryotubes, were stored in the same dry shipping container, and sent to the SEM facility. In the laboratory, the samples were sputter coated with platinum and imaged by a low-temperature SEM. To image the firn and glacier ice samples, the cores were fractured in liquid nitrogen, attached to a specimen holder, and then imaged. While light microscope images of snow and ice are difficult to interpret because of internal reflection and refraction, the SEM images provide a clear and unique view of the surface of the samples because they are generated from electrons emitted or reflected only from the surface of the sample. In addition, the SEM has a great depth of field with a wide range of magnifying capabilities. The resulting images clearly show the individual grains of the seasonal snowpack and the bonding between the snow grains. Images of firn show individual ice crystals, the bonding between the crystals, and connected air spaces. Images of glacier ice show a crystal structure on a scale of 1-2 mm which is considerably smaller than the expected crystal size. Microscopic air bubbles, less than 15 ??m in diameter, clearly marked the boundaries between these crystal-like features. The life forms associated with the glacier were

  11. The NRL 2011 Airborne Sea-Ice Thickness Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozena, J. M.; Gardner, J. M.; Liang, R.; Ball, D.; Richter-Menge, J.

    2011-12-01

    In March of 2011, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) performed a study focused on the estimation of sea-ice thickness from airborne radar, laser and photogrammetric sensors. The study was funded by ONR to take advantage of the Navy's ICEX2011 ice-camp /submarine exercise, and to serve as a lead-in year for NRL's five year basic research program on the measurement and modeling of sea-ice scheduled to take place from 2012-2017. Researchers from the Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) and NRL worked with the Navy Arctic Submarine Lab (ASL) to emplace a 9 km-long ground-truth line near the ice-camp (see Richter-Menge et al., this session) along which ice and snow thickness were directly measured. Additionally, US Navy submarines collected ice draft measurements under the groundtruth line. Repeat passes directly over the ground-truth line were flown and a grid surrounding the line was also flown to collect altimeter, LiDAR and Photogrammetry data. Five CRYOSAT-2 satellite tracks were underflown, as well, coincident with satellite passage. Estimates of sea ice thickness are calculated assuming local hydrostatic balance, and require the densities of water, ice and snow, snow depth, and freeboard (defined as the elevation of sea ice, plus accumulated snow, above local sea level). Snow thickness is estimated from the difference between LiDAR and radar altimeter profiles, the latter of which is assumed to penetrate any snow cover. The concepts we used to estimate ice thickness are similar to those employed in NASA ICEBRIDGE sea-ice thickness estimation. Airborne sensors used for our experiment were a Reigl Q-560 scanning topographic LiDAR, a pulse-limited (2 nS), 10 GHz radar altimeter and an Applanix DSS-439 digital photogrammetric camera (for lead identification). Flights were conducted on a Twin Otter aircraft from Pt. Barrow, AK, and averaged ~ 5 hours in duration. It is challenging to directly compare results from the swath LiDAR with the

  12. Recent ice sheet snow accumulation and firn storage of meltwater inferred by ground and airborne radars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miege, Clement

    Recent surface mass balance changes in space and time over the polar ice sheets need to be better constrained in order to estimate the ice-sheet contribution to sea-level rise. The mass balance of any ice body is obtained by subtracting mass losses from mass gains. In response to climate changes of the recent decades, ice-sheet mass losses have increased, making ice-sheet mass balance negative and raising sea level. In this work, I better quantify the mass gained by snowfall across the polar ice sheets; I target specific regions over both Greenland and West Antarctica where snow accumulation changes are occurring due to rising air temperature. Southeast Greenland receives 30% of the total snow accumulation of the Greenland ice sheet. In this work, I combine internal layers observed in ice-penetrating radar data with firn cores to derive the last 30 years of accumulation and to measure the spatial pattern of accumulation toward the southeast coastline. Below 1800 m elevation, in the percolation zone, significant surface melt is observed in the summer, which challenges both firn-core dating and internal-layer tracing. While firn-core drilling at 1500 m elevation, liquid water was found at ˜20-m depth in a firn aquifer that persisted over the winter. The presence of this water filling deeper pore space in the firn was unexpected, and has a significant impact on the ice sheet thermal state and the estimate of mass balance made using satellite altimeters. Using a 400-MHz ice-penetrating radar, the extent of this widespread aquifer was mapped on the ground, and also more extensively from the air with a 750-MHz airborne radar as part of the NASA Operation IceBridge mission. Over three IceBridge flight campaigns (2011-2013), based on radar data, the firn aquifer is estimated to cover ˜30,000 km2 area within the wet-snow zone of the ice sheet. I use repeated flightlines to understand the temporal variability of the water trapped in the firn aquifer and to simulate its

  13. EOS Aqua AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice Validation Program: Intercomparison Between Modeled and Measured Sea Ice Brightness Temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stroeve, J.; Markus, T.; Cavalieri, D. J.; Maslanik, J.; Sturm, M.; Henrichs, J.; Gasiewski, A.; Klein, M.

    2004-01-01

    During March 2003, an extensive field campaign was conducted near Barrow, Alaska to validate AQUA Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) sea ice products. Field, airborne and satellite data were collected over three different types of sea ice: 1) first year ice with little deformation, 2) first year ice with various amounts of deformation and 3) mixed first year ice and multi-year ice with various degrees of deformation. The validation plan relies primarily on comparisons between satellite, aircraft flights and ground-based measurements. Although these efforts are important, key aspects such as the effects of atmospheric conditions, snow properties, surface roughness, melt processes, etc on the sea ice algorithms are not sufficiently well understood or documented. To improve our understanding of these effects, we combined the detailed, in-situ data collection from the 2003 field campaign with radiance modeling using a radiative transfer model to simulate the top of the atmosphere AMSR brightness temperatures. This study reports on the results of the simulations for a variety of snow and ice types and compares the results with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Environmental Technology Laboratory Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (NOAA) (ETL) (PSR) microwave radiometer that was flown on the NASA P-3.

  14. Melt ponds and marginal ice zone from new algorithm of sea ice concentration retrieval

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Repina, Irina; Tikhonov, Vasiliy; Komarova, Nataliia; Raev, Mikhail; Sharkov, Evgeniy

    2016-04-01

    Studies of spatial and temporal properties of sea ice distribution in polar regions help to monitor global environmental changes and reveal their natural and anthropogenic factors, as well as make forecasts of weather, marine transportation and fishing conditions, assess perspectives of mineral mining on the continental shelf, etc. Contact methods of observation are often insufficient to meet the goals, very complicated technically and organizationally and not always safe for people involved. Remote sensing techniques are believed to be the best alternative. Its include monitoring of polar regions by means of passive microwave sensing with the aim to determine spatial distribution, types, thickness and snow cover of ice. However, the algorithms employed today to retrieve sea ice characteristics from passive microwave sensing data for different reasons give significant errors, especially in summer period and also near ice edges and in cases of open ice. A new algorithm of sea ice concentration retrieval in polar regions from satellite microwave radiometry data is discussed. Beside estimating sea ice concentration, the algorithm makes it possible to indicate ice areas with melting snow and melt ponds. Melt ponds are an important element of the Arctic climate system. Covering up to 50% of the surface of drifting ice in summer, they are characterized by low albedo values and absorb several times more incident shortwave radiation than the rest of the snow and ice cover. The change of melt ponds area in summer period 1987-2015 is investigated. The marginal ice zone (MIZ) is defined as the area where open ocean processes, including specifically ocean waves, alter significantly the dynamical properties of the sea ice cover. Ocean wave fields comprise short waves generated locally and swell propagating from the large ocean basins. Depending on factors like wind direction and ocean currents, it may consist of anything from isolated, small and large ice floes drifting over a

  15. Processes and imagery of first-year fast sea ice during the melt season

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, B.; Digby, S. A.

    1985-01-01

    In June and July 1982, a field program was conducted in the Canadian Arctic on Prince Patrick Island to study sea ice during the melt season with in situ measurements and microwave instrumentation operated near the surface and from aircraft. The objective of the program was to measure physical characteristics together with microwave backscatter and emission coefficients of sea ice during this major period of transition. The present paper is concerned with a study of both surface measurements and imagery of first-year fast ice during the melt season. The melting process observed in first-year fast ice was found to begin with the gradual reduction of the snow cover. For a two- to three-day period in this melt stage, a layer of superimposed ice nodules formed at the snow/ice interface as meltwater froze around ice and snow grains.

  16. Variability of Arctic Sea Ice as Viewed from Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    1998-01-01

    year and region to region are large, overall the Arctic ice extents did show a statistically significant, 2.8%/ decade negative trend over the 18.2-year period. Ice season lengths, which vary from only a few weeks near the ice margins to the full year in the large region of perennial ice coverage, also experienced interannual variability, and mapping their trends allows detailed geographic information on exactly where the ice season lengthened and where it shortened. Over the 18 years, ice season lengthening occurred predominantly in the western hemisphere and was strongest in the western Labrador Sea, while ice season shortening occurred predominantly in the eastern hemisphere and was strongest in the eastern Barents Sea. Much information about other important Arctic sea ice variables has also been obtained from satellite data, including information about melt ponding, temperature, snow cover, and ice velocities. For instance, maps of ice velocities have now been made from satellite scatterometry data, including information about melt ponding, temperature, snow cover, and ice velocities.

  17. Dimethylsulfide emissions over the multi-year ice of the western Weddell Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zemmelink, H. J.; Dacey, J. W. H.; Houghton, L.; Hintsa, E. J.; Liss, P. S.

    2008-03-01

    This study, conducted in December 2004, is the first to present observations of DMS in a snow pack covering the multi-year sea ice of the western Weddell Sea. The snow layer is important because it is the interface through which DMS needs to be transported in order to be emitted directly from the ice to the overlying atmosphere. High concentrations of DMS, up to 6000 nmol m-3, were found during the first weeks of December but concentrations sharply decline as late spring-early summer progresses. This implies that DMS contained in sea ice is efficiently vented through the snow into the atmosphere. Indeed, field measurements by relaxed eddy accumulation indicate an average release of 11 μmol DMS m-2 d-1 from the ice and snow throughout December.

  18. Arctic sea ice freeboard from AltiKa and comparison with CryoSat-2 and Operation IceBridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armitage, Thomas W. K.; Ridout, Andy L.

    2015-08-01

    Satellite radar altimeters have improved our knowledge of Arctic sea ice thickness over the past decade. The main sources of uncertainty in sea ice thickness retrievals are associated with inadequate knowledge of the snow layer depth and the radar interaction with the snow pack. Here we adapt a method of deriving sea ice freeboard from CryoSat-2 to data from the AltiKa Ka band radar altimeter over the 2013-14 Arctic sea ice growth season. AltiKa measures basin-averaged freeboards between 4.4 cm and 6.9 cm larger than CryoSat-2 in October and March, respectively. Using airborne laser and radar measurements from spring 2013 and 2014, we estimate the effective scattering horizon for each sensor. While CryoSat-2 echoes penetrate to the ice surface over first-year ice and penetrate the majority (82 ± 3%) of the snow layer over multiyear ice, AltiKa echoes are scattered from roughly the midpoint (46 ± 5%) of the snow layer over both ice types.

  19. Sea Ice Concentration and Extent

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino C.

    2014-01-01

    Among the most seasonal and most dynamic parameters on the surface of the Earth is sea ice which at any one time covers about 3-6% of the planet. In the Northern Hemisphere, sea ice grows in extent from about 6 x 10(exp 6) sq km to 16 x 10(exp 6) sq km, while in the Southern Hemisphere, it grows from about 3 x 10(exp 6) sq km to about 19 x 10(exp 6) sq km (Comiso, 2010; Gloersen et al., 1992). Sea ice is up to about 2-3 m thick in the Northern Hemisphere and about 1 m thick in the Southern Hemisphere (Wadhams, 2002), and compared to the average ocean depth of about 3 km, it is a relatively thin, fragile sheet that can break due to waves and winds or melt due to upwelling of warm water. Being constantly advected by winds, waves, and currents, sea ice is very dynamic and usually follows the directions of the many gyres in the polar regions. Despite its vast expanse, the sea ice cover was previously left largely unstudied and it was only in recent years that we have understood its true impact and significance as related to the Earths climate, the oceans, and marine life.

  20. DMSP and DMS cycling within Antarctic sea ice during the winter-spring transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damm, E.; Nomura, D.; Martin, A.; Dieckmann, G. S.; Meiners, K. M.

    2016-09-01

    This study describes within-ice concentrations of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), its degradation product dimethylsulphide (DMS), as well as nutrients and chlorophyll a, that were sampled during the Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystems eXperiment-2 (SIPEX-2) in 2012. DMSP is a methylated substrate produced in large amounts annually by ice-associated microalgae, while DMS plays a significant role in carbon and sulphur cycling in the Southern Ocean. In the East Antarctic study area between 115-125°E and 64-66°S, ice and slush cores, brine, under-ice seawater and zooplankton (Antarctic krill) samples were collected at 6 ice stations. The pack-ice was characterised by high snow loading which initiated flooding events and triggered nutrient supply to the sea-ice surface, while variation in ice conditions influenced sea-ice permeability. This ranged from impermeable surface and middle sections of the sea ice, to completely permeable ice cores at some stations. Chlorophyll a maxima shifted from the sea-ice surface horizon at the first station to the sea ice bottom layer at the last station. Highest DMSP concentrations were detected in brine samples at the sea-ice surface, reflecting a mismatch with respect to the distribution of chlorophyll a. Our data suggest enhanced DMSP production by sea-ice surface algal communities and its release into brine during freezing and melting, which in turn is coupled to flooding events early in the season. A time-cycle of DMS production by DMSP degradation and DMS efflux is evident at the sea ice-snow interface when slush is formed during melt. Seawater under the ice contained only low concentrations of DMSP and DMS, even when brine drainage was evident and the sea ice became permeable. We postulate that in situ grazing by zooplankton may act as sink for the DMSP produced early in the season.

  1. Seasonal development of the properties and composition of landfast sea ice in the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granskog, Mats A.; LeppäRanta, Matti; Kawamura, Toshiyuki; Ehn, Jens; Shirasawa, Kunio

    2004-02-01

    The seasonal development of the structure, salinity, and stable oxygen isotopic composition (δ18O) of landfast sea ice was studied during the winter seasons 1999-2001 in the Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea. The main focuses were on the seasonal and the interannual variability in ice properties and composition and on the contribution of meteoric ice to sea ice mass balance. Results provide a first statistical description of the seasonal evolution of sea ice in mild ice climate conditions. The ice has a characteristic structure with an upper granular ice layer, composed almost exclusively of superimposed ice and snow-ice, averaging at 20-35% of the total ice thickness. The remaining is composed of columnar or intermediate granular columnar ice, depending on growth conditions. While salinity shows a uniform profile through the ice, δ18O shows lower values in the surface because of meteoric ice formation. The thin ice cover is susceptible to changes in atmospheric conditions, and rapid changes in ice salinity are connected to changes in the ice thermal regime and flooding. The contribution of meteoric ice varied from 0 to 35% (by mass), depending on season and year. Superimposed ice formation is a recurring process and significantly contributed to ice growth (up to 20% by mass), especially late in the season during snowmelt-freeze cycles. Liquid precipitation also cause formation of intermittent superimposed ice layers at these latitudes. The contribution of meteoric ice to sea ice mass balance is largely dependent on the amount and timing of snow accumulation and timing of snowmelt-freeze processes, which all showed large year-to-year variation. The conditions presented here may start to occur at higher latitudes if global warming continues.

  2. Improving the WRF model's (version 3.6.1) simulation over sea ice surface through coupling with a complex thermodynamic sea ice model (HIGHTSI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, Yao; Huang, Jianbin; Luo, Yong; Zhao, Zongci

    2016-06-01

    Sea ice plays an important role in the air-ice-ocean interaction, but it is often represented simply in many regional atmospheric models. The Noah sea ice scheme, which is the only option in the current Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model (version 3.6.1), has a problem of energy imbalance due to its simplification in snow processes and lack of ablation and accretion processes in ice. Validated against the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) in situ observations, Noah underestimates the sea ice temperature which can reach -10 °C in winter. Sensitivity tests show that this bias is mainly attributed to the simulation within the ice when a time-dependent ice thickness is specified. Compared with the Noah sea ice model, the high-resolution thermodynamic snow and ice model (HIGHTSI) uses more realistic thermodynamics for snow and ice. Most importantly, HIGHTSI includes the ablation and accretion processes of sea ice and uses an interpolation method which can ensure the heat conservation during its integration. These allow the HIGHTSI to better resolve the energy balance in the sea ice, and the bias in sea ice temperature is reduced considerably. When HIGHTSI is coupled with the WRF model, the simulation of sea ice temperature by the original Polar WRF is greatly improved. Considering the bias with reference to SHEBA observations, WRF-HIGHTSI improves the simulation of surface temperature, 2 m air temperature and surface upward long-wave radiation flux in winter by 6, 5 °C and 20 W m-2, respectively. A discussion on the impact of specifying sea ice thickness in the WRF model is presented. Consistent with previous research, prescribing the sea ice thickness with observational information results in the best simulation among the available methods. If no observational information is available, we present a new method in which the sea ice thickness is initialized from empirical estimation and its further change is predicted by a complex thermodynamic

  3. Dual Frequency Radar Observations of Snow and Ice Properties: Esa's COREH2O Candidate Satellite Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duguay, C.; Rott, H.; Cline, D. W.; Essery, R.; Etchevers, P.; Hajnsek, I.; Kern, M.; Macelloni, G.; Malnes, E.; Pulliainen, J. T.; Yueh, S. H.

    2012-12-01

    The satellite mission COld REgions Hydrology High-resolution Observatory (CoReH2O) is a candidate Earth Explorer mission within the Living Planet Programme of the European Space Agency. Detailed scientific and technical feasibility studies (Phase-A) for defining the satellite mission are going on. The mission will perform spatially detailed measurements of snow and ice in order to advance the modeling and prediction of water balance and streamflow in cold regions, and to improve the parameterization of snow and ice processes for climate models and numerical weather prediction. The primary snow and ice parameters to be delivered by the satellite are the area extent and mass (the water equivalent, SWE) of snow cover on land surfaces and the mass of winter snow accumulating on glaciers. In addition, the mission will make observations of various sea ice and lake ice parameters. The grid size of the final snow and ice products will vary between 200 m and 500 m, depending on the parameter and application. The sensor will be a dual-frequency dual-polarized SAR, operating at Ku-band (17.2 GHz) and X-band (9.6 GHz), VV and VH polarizations, with a swath width of about 100 km. Two mission phases with different repeat cycles and coverage are proposed. During the first two years a three-day repeat cycle is planned providing frequent repeat coverage over limited areas, in order to match the time scale of meteorological forcing by typical mid- and high-latitude weather systems. This orbit addresses in particular the parameterization of snow and ice processes in hydrological models and mesoscale atmospheric circulation models. The second mission phase shall deliver near complete observations of the global snow and ice areas at a repeat cycle of 12 to 15 days. Primary motivations for this phase are the validation of continental-scale hydrological models and climate models, and the development of downscaling techniques for coarse resolution satellite snow measurements. A processing

  4. Observed and Modeled Trends in Southern Ocean Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parkinson, Claire L.

    2003-01-01

    Conceptual models and global climate model (GCM) simulations have both indicated the likelihood of an enhanced sensitivity to climate change in the polar regions, derived from the positive feedbacks brought about by the polar abundance of snow and ice surfaces. Some models further indicate that the changes in the polar regions can have a significant impact globally. For instance, 37% of the temperature sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 in simulations with the GCM of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is attributable exclusively to inclusion of sea ice variations in the model calculations. Both sea ice thickness and sea ice extent decrease markedly in the doubled CO, case, thereby allowing the ice feedbacks to occur. Stand-alone sea ice models have shown Southern Ocean hemispherically averaged winter ice-edge retreats of 1.4 deg latitude for each 1 K increase in atmospheric temperatures. Observations, however, show a much more varied Southern Ocean ice cover, both spatially and temporally, than many of the modeled expectations. In fact, the satellite passive-microwave record of Southern Ocean sea ice since late 1978 has revealed overall increases rather than decreases in ice extents, with ice extent trends on the order of 11,000 sq km/year. When broken down spatially, the positive trends are strongest in the Ross Sea, while the trends are negative in the Bellingshausen/Amundsen Seas. Greater spatial detail can be obtained by examining trends in the length of the sea ice season, and those trends show a coherent picture of shortening sea ice seasons throughout almost the entire Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula and in the far western Weddell Sea immediately to the east of the Peninsula, with lengthening sea ice seasons around much of the rest of the continent. This pattern corresponds well with the spatial pattern of temperature trends, as the Peninsula region is the one region in the Antarctic with a strong

  5. ICESat Observations of Arctic Sea Ice: A First Look

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwok, Ron; Zwally, H. Jay; Yi, Dong-Hui

    2004-01-01

    Analysis of near-coincident ICESat and RADARSAT imagery shows that the retrieved elevations from the laser altimeter are sensitive to new openings (containing thin ice or open water) in the sea ice cover as well as to surface relief of old and first-year ice. The precision of the elevation estimates, measured over relatively flat sea ice, is approx. 2 cm Using the thickness of thin-ice in recent openings to estimate sea level references, we obtain the sea-ice free-board along the altimeter tracks. This step is necessitated by the large uncertainties in the time-varying sea surface topography compared to that required for accurate determination of free-board. Unknown snow depth introduces the largest uncertainty in the conversion of free-board to ice thickness. Surface roughness is also derived, for the first time, from the variability of successive elevation estimates along the altimeter track Overall, these ICESat measurements provide an unprecedented view of the Arctic Ocean ice cover at length scales at and above the spatial dimension of the altimeter footprint.

  6. ICESat Observations of Arctic Sea Ice: A First Look

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwok, Ron; Zwally, H. Jay; Yi, Donghui

    2004-01-01

    Analysis of near-coincident ICESat and RADARSAT imagery shows that the retrieved elevations from the laser altimeter are sensitive to new openings (containing thin ice or open water) in the sea ice cover as well as to surface relief of old and first-year ice. The precision of the elevation estimates, measured over relatively flat sea ice, is approx. 2 cm. Using the thickness of thin-ice in recent openings to estimate sea level references, we obtain the sea-ice freeboard along the altimeter tracks. This step is necessitated by the large uncertainties in the sea surface topography compared to that required for accurate determination of freeboard. Unknown snow depth introduces the largest uncertainty in the conversion of freeboard to ice thickness. Surface roughness is also derived, for the first time, from the variability of successive elevation estimates along the altimeter track. Overall, these ICESat measurements provide an unprecedented view of the Arctic Ocean ice cover at length scales at and above the spatial dimension of the altimeter footprint of approx. 70 m.

  7. Validating Satellite Radar Altimetry Estimates of Antarctic sea ice Thickness Using the ASPeCt Data set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giles, K. A.; Laxon, S. W.; Worby, T.

    2006-12-01

    Measurements of sea ice freeboard from spaceborne radar altimeters have been used to calculate Artic sea ice thickness on a basin wide scale during the winter. The same technique has the potential to be used in the Antarctic. The technique used to convert freeboard to thickness assumes hydrostatic equilibrium and uses estimates of snow depth and density and water and ice density from climatology. The nature of the Arctic climate means that the sea ice has a positive freeboard and that it becomes entirely snow free during the summer months, which simplifies the analysis of the radar return from the sea ice. However, in the Antarctic the situation may be more complicated with negative ice freeboards and flooded and refrozen snow resulting in inaccurate estimate of sea ice freeboard and therefore ice thickness. We present, for the first time, a comparison of estimates of Antarctic sea ice thickness calculated from satellite radar altimetry measurements of sea ice freeboard with ship observation of sea ice thickness from the ASPeCt data set. We describe the both the satellite and ship borne estimates of Antarctic sea ice thickness, the method used to compare the two data sets and outcome of the validation. We also assess the future potential of satellite radar altimetry to provide sea ice thickness in the Antarctic.

  8. Perennial snow and ice volumes on Iliamna Volcano, Alaska, estimated with ice radar and volume modeling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trabant, Dennis C.

    1999-01-01

    The volume of four of the largest glaciers on Iliamna Volcano was estimated using the volume model developed for evaluating glacier volumes on Redoubt Volcano. The volume model is controlled by simulated valley cross sections that are constructed by fitting third-order polynomials to the shape of the valley walls exposed above the glacier surface. Critical cross sections were field checked by sounding with ice-penetrating radar during July 1998. The estimated volumes of perennial snow and glacier ice for Tuxedni, Lateral, Red, and Umbrella Glaciers are 8.6, 0.85, 4.7, and 0.60 cubic kilometers respectively. The estimated volume of snow and ice on the upper 1,000 meters of the volcano is about 1 cubic kilometer. The volume estimates are thought to have errors of no more than ?25 percent. The volumes estimated for the four largest glaciers are more than three times the total volume of snow and ice on Mount Rainier and about 82 times the total volume of snow and ice that was on Mount St. Helens before its May 18, 1980 eruption. Volcanoes mantled by substantial snow and ice covers have produced the largest and most catastrophic lahars and floods. Therefore, it is prudent to expect that, during an eruptive episode, flooding and lahars threaten all of the drainages heading on Iliamna Volcano. On the other hand, debris avalanches can happen any time. Fortunately, their influence is generally limited to the area within a few kilometers of the summit.

  9. Detection of ice crust formation on snow with satellite data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartsch, Annett; Bulygina, Olga N.; Kumpula, Timo; Forbes, Bruce; Stammler, Florian

    2010-05-01

    Short term thawing of the snow surface and subsequent refreeze can lead to the formation of ice crusts. These events are related to specific meteorological conditions such us rain-on-snow events and/or temporary increase of air temperature above zero degree Celsius. The structure change in the snow pack has adverse effect especially on wild life and also the local community related to reindeer herding. Active microwave satellite data can be used to monitor changes of snow related to thawing. So far they have been mostly employed for spring thaw detection. Coarse spatial resolution sensors such as scatterometer feature short revisit intervals. Seawinds QuikScat (Ku-band, 25km, 1999-2009) acquired data several times per day at high latitudes. This allows precise detection of the timing of thaw events. Also the change of structure in the snow itself impacts the backscatter. Values increase significantly. A method has been developed to monitor these events at high latitudes (>60°N) on circumpolar scale. Validation is carried out based on air temperature records and snow course data over Northern Eurasia. Events during midwinter of the last nine years (November - February 2000/1 - 2008/9) have been frequent in northern Europe, European Russia and Alaska. They have occurred up to once a year in central Siberia, the Russian Far East and most of northern Canada. Monitoring is important as such events are discussed in relation to climate change especially over Northern Eurasia.

  10. Export of algal biomass from the melting Arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Boetius, Antje; Albrecht, Sebastian; Bakker, Karel; Bienhold, Christina; Felden, Janine; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hendricks, Stefan; Katlein, Christian; Lalande, Catherine; Krumpen, Thomas; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Rabe, Benjamin; Rogacheva, Antonina; Rybakova, Elena; Somavilla, Raquel; Wenzhöfer, Frank

    2013-03-22

    In the Arctic, under-ice primary production is limited to summer months and is restricted not only by ice thickness and snow cover but also by the stratification of the water column, which constrains nutrient supply for algal growth. Research Vessel Polarstern visited the ice-covered eastern-central basins between 82° to 89°N and 30° to 130°E in summer 2012, when Arctic sea ice declined to a record minimum. During this cruise, we observed a widespread deposition of ice algal biomass of on average 9 grams of carbon per square meter to the deep-sea floor of the central Arctic basins. Data from this cruise will contribute to assessing the effect of current climate change on Arctic productivity, biodiversity, and ecological function.

  11. March 2003 EOS Aqua AMSR-E Arctic Sea Ice Field Campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, Donald J.; Markus, Thorsten; Maslanik, James A.; Sturm, Matthew; Lobl, Elena

    2006-01-01

    An overview of the March 2003 coordinated sea ice field campaign in the Alaskan Arctic is presented with reference to the papers in this special section. This campaign is part of the program to validate the Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) sea ice products. Standard AMSR-E sea ice products include sea ice concentration, sea ice temperature, and snow depth on sea ice. The validation program consists of three elements, namely: 1) satellite data comparisons; 2) coordinated satellite/aircraft surface measurements; and 3) modeling and sensitivity analyses. Landsat-7 and RADARSAT observations were used in comparative studies with the retrieved AMSR-E sea ice concentrations. The aircraft sensors provided high-resolution microwave imagery of the surface, atmospheric profiles of temperature and humidity, and digital records of sea ice conditions. When combined with in situ measurements, aircraft data were used to validate the AMSR-E sea ice temperature and snow-depth products. The modeling studies helped interpret the field-data comparisons, provided insight on the limitations of the AMSR-E sea ice algorithms, and suggested potential improvements to the AMSR-E retrieval algorithms.

  12. Organic iodine in Antarctic sea ice: A comparison between winter in the Weddell Sea and summer in the Amundsen Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granfors, Anna; Ahnoff, Martin; Mills, Matthew M.; Abrahamsson, Katarina

    2014-12-01

    Recent studies have recognized sea ice as a source of reactive iodine to the Antarctic boundary layer. Volatile iodinated compounds (iodocarbons) are released from sea ice, and they have been suggested to contribute to the formation of iodine oxide (IO), which takes part in tropospheric ozone destruction in the polar spring. We measured iodocarbons (CH3I, CH2ClI, CH2BrI, and CH2I2) in sea ice, snow, brine, and air during two expeditions to Antarctica, OSO 10/11 to the Amundsen Sea during austral summer and ANT XXIX/6 to the Weddell Sea in austral winter. These are the first reported measurements of iodocarbons from the Antarctic winter. Iodocarbons were enriched in sea ice in relation to seawater in both summer and winter. During summer, the positive relationship to chlorophyll a biomass indicated a biological origin. We suggest that CH3I is formed biotically in sea ice during both summer and winter. For CH2ClI, CH2BrI, and CH2I2, an additional abiotic source at the snow/ice interface in winter is suggested. Elevated air concentrations of CH3I and CH2ClI during winter indicate that they are enriched in lower troposphere and may take part in the formation of IO at polar sunrise.

  13. AMSR2 Daily Arctic Sea Ice - 2014

    NASA Video Gallery

    In this animation, the daily Arctic sea ice and seasonal land cover change progress through time, from March 21, 2014 through the 3rd of August, 2014. Over the water, Arctic sea ice changes from da...

  14. A mechanism for biologically induced iodine emissions from sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saiz-Lopez, A.; Blaszczak-Boxe, C. S.; Carpenter, L. J.

    2015-09-01

    Ground- and satellite-based measurements have reported high concentrations of iodine monoxide (IO) in coastal Antarctica. The sources of such a large iodine burden in the coastal Antarctic atmosphere remain unknown. We propose a mechanism for iodine release from sea ice based on the premise that micro-algae are the primary source of iodine emissions in this environment. The emissions are triggered by the biological production of iodide (I-) and hypoiodous acid (HOI) from micro-algae (contained within and underneath sea ice) and their diffusion through sea-ice brine channels, ultimately accumulating in a thin brine layer (BL) on the surface of sea ice. Prior to reaching the BL, the diffusion timescale of iodine within sea ice is depth-dependent. The BL is also a vital component of the proposed mechanism as it enhances the chemical kinetics of iodine-related reactions, which allows for the efficient release of iodine to the polar boundary layer. We suggest that iodine is released to the atmosphere via three possible pathways: (1) emitted from the BL and then transported throughout snow atop sea ice, from where it is released to the atmosphere; (2) released directly from the BL to the atmosphere in regions of sea ice that are not covered with snowpack; or (3) emitted to the atmosphere directly through fractures in the sea-ice pack. To investigate the proposed biology-ice-atmosphere coupling at coastal Antarctica we use a multiphase model that incorporates the transport of iodine species, via diffusion, at variable depths, within brine channels of sea ice. Model simulations were conducted to interpret observations of elevated springtime IO in the coastal Antarctic, around the Weddell Sea. While a lack of experimental and observational data adds uncertainty to the model predictions, the results nevertheless show that the levels of inorganic iodine (i.e. I2, IBr, ICl) released from sea ice through this mechanism could account for the observed IO concentrations during

  15. Microstructural Considerations of Transporting Sea Ice Samples from Polar Regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lieb-Lappen, R.; Obbard, R. W.

    2012-12-01

    High latitude regions are at the forefront of climate change research as these regions have and will experience the greatest impact due to changing environmental conditions (e.g. Antarctic and recent Arctic stratospheric ozone holes, large temperature increases on the Antarctic Peninsula, changes in the extent and age of Arctic sea ice). One of the major challenges of polar scientific research is the preservation of frozen sea ice samples during their transport back to the laboratory and subsequent storage. Small fluctuations in temperature have been shown to have a significant effect on the microstructure of snow and ice samples. This is especially true for sea ice specimens where transport and storage temperatures are often only slightly below the eutectic point for its different constituents (i.e. salts). Furthermore, sea ice can have a 30 deg C in situ vertical temperature gradient that is lost during transport and storage. Sea ice plays a critical role in mediating the exchange of heat, gases, and chemical species across the ocean-atmosphere interface. The kinetics of these exchanges is highly dependent upon the brine channel microstructure, which is strongly coupled to temperature. To determine the degree of microstructural variation between samples shipped at different temperatures, ten samples of a single sea ice core collected in March 2012 were transported from Barrow, Alaska to Hanover, NH using two common techniques: with blue ice packs enclosed in a Styrofoam box (~ -25 deg C) and in a dry liquid nitrogen cryoshipper (~ -182 deg C). In addition, snow lying on the sea ice and blowing snow samples were collected and shipped via both techniques. All samples were then stored for analysis in a cold room maintained at ~ -33 deg C. The microstructure of both sets of samples was analyzed using x-ray micro-computed tomography (μ-CT), with samples on a Peltier cold stage to maintain a scanning temperature of -20 deg C. We compare sea ice porosity and brine

  16. Multi-year Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Video Gallery

    The most visible change in the Arctic region in recent years has been the rapid decline of the perennial ice cover. The perennial ice is the portion of the sea ice floating on the surface of the oc...

  17. Atmospheric mercury over sea ice during the OASIS-2009 campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffen, A.; Bottenheim, J.; Cole, A.; Douglas, T. A.; Ebinghaus, R.; Friess, U.; Netcheva, S.; Nghiem, S.; Sihler, H.; Staebler, R.

    2013-07-01

    Measurements of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), reactive gaseous mercury (RGM) and particulate mercury (PHg) were collected on the Beaufort Sea ice near Barrow, Alaska, in March 2009 as part of the Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snowpack (OASIS) and OASIS-Canada International Polar Year programmes. These results represent the first atmospheric mercury speciation measurements collected on the sea ice. Concentrations of PHg averaged 393.5 pg m-3 (range 47.1-900.1 pg m-3) and RGM concentrations averaged 30.1 pg m-3 (range 3.5-105.4 pg m-3) during the two-week-long study. The mean concentration of GEM during the study was 0.59 ng m-3 (range 0.01-1.51 ng m-3) and was depleted compared to annual Arctic ambient boundary layer concentrations. It is shown that when ozone (O3) and bromine oxide (BrO) chemistry were active there is a positive linear relationship between GEM and O3, a negative one between PHg and O3, a positive correlation between RGM and BrO, and none between RGM and O3. For the first time, GEM was measured simultaneously over the tundra and the sea ice. The results show a significant difference in the magnitude of the emission of GEM from the two locations, with significantly higher emission over the tundra. Elevated chloride levels in snow over sea ice are proposed to be the cause of lower GEM emissions over the sea ice because chloride has been shown to suppress photoreduction processes of RGM to GEM in snow. Since the snowpack on sea ice retains more mercury than inland snow, current models of the Arctic mercury cycle may greatly underestimate atmospheric deposition fluxes because they are based predominantly on land-based measurements. Land-based measurements of atmospheric mercury deposition may also underestimate the impacts of sea ice changes on the mercury cycle in the Arctic. The predicted changes in sea ice conditions and a more saline future snowpack in the Arctic could enhance retention of atmospherically deposited mercury and increase the amount of

  18. 30 CFR 57.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 57... MINES Travelways and Escapeways Travelways-Surface and Underground § 57.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow...

  19. 30 CFR 57.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 57... MINES Travelways and Escapeways Travelways-Surface and Underground § 57.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow...

  20. 30 CFR 57.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 57... MINES Travelways and Escapeways Travelways-Surface and Underground § 57.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow...

  1. 30 CFR 57.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 57... MINES Travelways and Escapeways Travelways-Surface and Underground § 57.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow...

  2. 30 CFR 57.11016 - Snow and ice on walkways and travelways.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. 57... MINES Travelways and Escapeways Travelways-Surface and Underground § 57.11016 Snow and ice on walkways and travelways. Regularly used walkways and travelways shall be sanded, salted, or cleared of snow...

  3. Improved Upper Ocean/Sea Ice Modeling in the GISS GCM for Investigating Climate Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This project built on our previous results in which we highlighted the importance of sea ice in overall climate sensitivity by determining that for both warming and cooling climates, when sea ice was not allowed to change, climate sensitivity was reduced by 35-40%. We also modified the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) 8 deg x lO deg atmospheric General Circulation Model (GCM) to include an upper-ocean/sea-ice model involving the Semtner three-layer ice/snow thermodynamic model, the Price et al. (1986) ocean mixed layer model and a general upper ocean vertical advection/diffusion scheme for maintaining and fluxing properties across the pycnocline. This effort, in addition to improving the sea ice representation in the AGCM, revealed a number of sensitive components of the sea ice/ocean system. For example, the ability to flux heat through the ice/snow properly is critical in order to resolve the surface temperature properly, since small errors in this lead to unrestrained climate drift. The present project, summarized in this report, had as its objectives: (1) introducing a series of sea ice and ocean improvements aimed at overcoming remaining weaknesses in the GCM sea ice/ocean representation, and (2) performing a series of sensitivity experiments designed to evaluate the climate sensitivity of the revised model to both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice, determine the sensitivity of the climate response to initial ice distribution, and investigate the transient response to doubling CO2.

  4. Improved Upper Ocean/Sea Ice Modeling in the GISS GCM for Investigating Climate Change

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This project built on our previous results in which we highlighted the importance of sea ice in overall climate sensitivity by determining that for both warming and cooling climates, when sea ice was not allowed to change, climate sensitivity was reduced by 35-40%. We also modified the GISS 8 deg x lO deg atmospheric GCM to include an upper-ocean/sea-ice model involving the Semtner three-layer ice/snow thermodynamic model, the Price et al. (1986) ocean mixed layer model and a general upper ocean vertical advection/diffusion scheme for maintaining and fluxing properties across the pycnocline. This effort, in addition to improving the sea ice representation in the AGCM, revealed a number of sensitive components of the sea ice/ocean system. For example, the ability to flux heat through the ice/snow properly is critical in order to resolve the surface temperature properly, since small errors in this lead to unrestrained climate drift. The present project, summarized in this report, had as its objectives: (1) introducing a series of sea ice and ocean improvements aimed at overcoming remaining weaknesses in the GCM sea ice/ocean representation, and (2) performing a series of sensitivity experiments designed to evaluate the climate sensitivity of the revised model to both Antarctic and Arctic sea ice, determine the sensitivity of the climate response to initial ice distribution, and investigate the transient response to doubling CO2.

  5. Sensitivity of Antarctic sea ice to form drag parameterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbic, Gaia; Tsamados, Michel; Petty, Alek; Schroeder, David; Holland, Paul; Feltham, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    A new drag parametrization accounting explicitly for form drag has been recently formulated and applied to the Arctic sea ice (Lupkes et al, 2012 and Tsamados et al, 2014). We summarize here the fundamental elements of this formulation and we then adapt it to the Antarctic sea ice. Considering the general expression of the momentum balance of sea ice, we analyze the total (neutral) drag coefficients by studying separately air-ice and ocean-ice momentum fluxes, and by introducing the parameterization for both the atmospheric neutral drag coeffcient (ANDC) and the oceanic neutral drag coeffcient (ONDC). The two coefficients are calculated as a sum of their skin frictional contribution and form drag contribution, which comes from ridges and floe edges for the ANDC and keels and floe edges for the ONDC. Due to the contrasting geography of the two polar regions, there are important differences, both dynamic and thermodynamic, between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. In the Antarctic, sea ice is younger, less ridged (hence thinner and smoother). Due to the intense snowfalls, the snow cover is generally thicker than in the Arctic, with values that vary significantly both seasonally and regionally and can affect the roughness of the surface and can lead to flooding of the ice. At the outer boundary of the Southern Ocean, the ice is unconstrained by land, divergent and subject to meridional advection, which leads to a much faster ice drift than in the Arctic. We show here how the new parameterization accounting for form drag influences the Antarctic sea ice characteristics.

  6. Albedo of coastal landfast sea ice in Prydz Bay, Antarctica: Observations and parameterization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Qinghua; Liu, Jiping; Leppäranta, Matti; Sun, Qizhen; Li, Rongbin; Zhang, Lin; Jung, Thomas; Lei, Ruibo; Zhang, Zhanhai; Li, Ming; Zhao, Jiechen; Cheng, Jingjing

    2016-05-01

    The snow/sea-ice albedo was measured over coastal landfast sea ice in Prydz Bay, East Antarctica (off Zhongshan Station) during the austral spring and summer of 2010 and 2011. The variation of the observed albedo was a combination of a gradual seasonal transition from spring to summer and abrupt changes resulting from synoptic events, including snowfall, blowing snow, and overcast skies. The measured albedo ranged from 0.94 over thick fresh snow to 0.36 over melting sea ice. It was found that snow thickness was the most important factor influencing the albedo variation, while synoptic events and overcast skies could increase the albedo by about 0.18 and 0.06, respectively. The in-situ measured albedo and related physical parameters (e.g., snow thickness, ice thickness, surface temperature, and air temperature) were then used to evaluate four different snow/ice albedo parameterizations used in a variety of climate models. The parameterized albedos showed substantial discrepancies compared to the observed albedo, particularly during the summer melt period, even though more complex parameterizations yielded more realistic variations than simple ones. A modified parameterization was developed, which further considered synoptic events, cloud cover, and the local landfast sea-ice surface characteristics. The resulting parameterized albedo showed very good agreement with the observed albedo.

  7. Loss of sea ice in the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Perovich, Donald K; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline A

    2009-01-01

    The Arctic sea ice cover is in decline. The areal extent of the ice cover has been decreasing for the past few decades at an accelerating rate. Evidence also points to a decrease in sea ice thickness and a reduction in the amount of thicker perennial sea ice. A general global warming trend has made the ice cover more vulnerable to natural fluctuations in atmospheric and oceanic forcing. The observed reduction in Arctic sea ice is a consequence of both thermodynamic and dynamic processes, including such factors as preconditioning of the ice cover, overall warming trends, changes in cloud coverage, shifts in atmospheric circulation patterns, increased export of older ice out of the Arctic, advection of ocean heat from the Pacific and North Atlantic, enhanced solar heating of the ocean, and the ice-albedo feedback. The diminishing Arctic sea ice is creating social, political, economic, and ecological challenges.

  8. The Sea Ice Board Game

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bertram, Kathryn Berry

    2008-01-01

    The National Science Foundation-funded Arctic Climate Modeling Program (ACMP) provides "curriculum resource-based professional development" materials that combine current science information with practical classroom instruction embedded with "best practice" techniques for teaching science to diverse students. The Sea Ice Board Game, described…

  9. Timing and regional patterns of snowmelt on Antarctic sea ice from passive microwave satellite observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaus, M.; Arndt, S.; Willmes, S.; Dierking, W.

    2015-12-01

    The timing and regional distribution of surface properties of Antarctic sea ice is crucial for the atmosphere-ocean interaction and characterizes the mass and energy budgets of sea ice. Therefore, it is important to map and analyze changes and trends of the related processes and parameters. Since Antarctic sea ice is covered with snow during most of the year, inter-annual and regional variations in summer surface melt can be described through the timing of snowmelt onset. So far, the melt onset was described through the amplitude of diurnal freeze-thaw cycles detected by microwave brightness temperatures using a fixed threshold. However, other studies reveal that the strength of the diurnal variations is differing between the perennial snowpack characterized by strong snow metamorphism and the thinner and less complex seasonal snow cover. Therefore, we present two complementary approaches to improve the existing melt onset algorithms: (1) We consider regional differences of the diurnal variations in the brightness temperature. (2) We combine brightness temperature measured at different polarizations and frequencies in order to describe also subsurface melt processes. Our analysis includes a comparison with autonomous measurements from snow buoys and previous studies on snow melt onset detection of Antarctic sea ice. In doing so, we derive a distinct latitudinal dependence of the surface and subsurface snow melt onset. The major part of the East-Antarctic sea ice is dominated by lateral and bottom melt with negligible diurnal surface variations. Although a positive trend in sea-ice extent and concentration of Antarctic sea ice is observed, our melt onset time series do not indicate a significant trend from 1988/89 to 2014/15. Instead its inter-annual variability is not changing over time. From the assumed dynamically induced sea-ice growth in the Southern Ocean we expect an increasing importance of surface freeze-thaw cycles.

  10. Drones application on snow and ice surveys in alpine areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Rocca, Leonardo; Bonetti, Luigi; Fioletti, Matteo; Peretti, Giovanni

    2015-04-01

    scientific point of view. All flight was performed by remote controlled aero models with high resolution camera. Aero models were able to take off and to ground on snow covered or icy surfaces since the specific aerodynamic configuration and specific engine used to. All winter surveys were executed flying low to obtain a tridimensional reconstruction of an High resolution Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of snow cover and ice cover and on summer as been developed the DEM were snow amass in the maximum avalanche risk period. The difference between winter and summer DEM (difference between two point clouds) let to individuate the snow depth, and it was used as input data for the snow avalanche model for the Aprica site (Bergamo - Italy).

  11. The NASA IceBridge Project Quickly Delivers Snow and Ice Elevation Measurements of Dynamic Polar Landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tressel, S. S.; Kaminski, M. L.; Brodzik, M.

    2012-12-01

    NASA's Operation IceBridge was formulated to bridge the gap between the ICESat and ICESat-2 satellite missions. IceBridge data are collected by a wide variety of instrumentation aboard aircraft that trace routes around Greenland, Alaska and Antarctica, concentrating on areas experiencing accelerated change. Data parameters such as ice surface elevation, ice bottom elevation, snow and ice depth, grounding line position, sea ice distribution and freeboard are extracted at resolutions better than what can be expected by satellite. IceBridge provides the continuity of such data until the launch of the ICESat-2 satellite, expected in 2016. NSIDC manages the data distribution and makes the data available quickly and effectively to any and all interested parties. For example, the MCoRDS L1B Geolocated Radar Echo Strength Profiles data represents one of 60 total data products available through the IceBridge project. The MCoRDS L1B data for the Greenland 2012 campaign exhibit ice surface and ice bottom information for areas of Greenland between 27 March 2012 and 17 May 2012. In July of 2012, these data were made available on the NSIDC Web site, allowing users to begin analyzing the data only a couple of months after the data collection. The data are distributed in MATLAB files with associated PDF, TIFF and PNG files. Comparable data are available starting in 2009 for periodic campaigns covering both Greenland and Antarctica. These data can be combined with an array of other parameters to track the state of the most crucial areas of the Earth's cryosphere.

  12. Dynamics of sea ice in the Baltic Sea and applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leppäranta, M.; Andrejev, O.; Oikkonen, A.

    2009-04-01

    Sea ice forms in the Baltic Sea annually. Coastal and archipelago areas are covered by landfast ice, while further offshore the ice drifts under the influence of winds and currents. The length scale of the Baltic Sea basins is 100 km and the scale of the ice thickness is ½ m, and the characteristics of the ice dynamics are similar to the ice dynamics in the polar seas. The drifting of the ice has major practical implications. First, the navigation conditions are determined by the ice extent, presence of leads and ice pressure, and therefore the dynamical behaviour of ice may cause rapid changes for them. Recent research has focused on ice kinematics scales, evolution of landfast ice zone, and downscaling of pressure from mesoscale models to ship scales. The length scale of dynamics depends on the ice thickness showing up in the stiffness of the ice and expansion of the landfast ice zone. Oil spills are in particular difficult in drift ice conditions, which has led to development of oil spill drift and dispersion models. This is most critical in the Gulf of Finland, a narrow and shallow basin with large oil terminals in the eastern side. The formation of sea ice ridges has important consequences in shallow basins since they ground to scour the bottom and form tie points for the expansion of the landfast ice.

  13. Inference of optical properties from radiation profiles within melting landfast sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehn, J. K.; Papakyriakou, T. N.; Barber, D. G.

    2008-09-01

    Vertical in-ice spectral radiation profiles were measured within melting 1.5- to 1.7-m-thick landfast sea ice in western Hudson Bay on 25 April 2005. Because the surface ice was subject to extensive melting and refreezing, the sea ice had fractioned into two main types, i.e., areas of more reflective white ice and less reflective blue ice. The shortwave albedo was about 0.69 for white ice and 0.47 for bare blue ice. The corresponding shortwave transmittance through the ice cover was about 0.02 and 0.09, respectively. The inherent optical properties of the sea ice were inferred by tying the input and output of radiative transfer simulations to the radiation profiles and the ice physical properties, as well as to the irradiance measurements above and below the ice cover. To explain observed spectral albedo and transmittance simultaneously, the ice/snow above the interior ice was divided into three layers on the basis of the following observations: snow (white ice) or a thin soot containing layer (blue ice), drained ice above and saturated ice below the waterline. Similarly, the bottom portion was divided on the basis of the presence of a living ice algae layer adjacent to the seawater interface and a layer extending 30 cm above the bottom containing mostly detrital matter. The interior of the ice, i.e., roughly 20-40 cm from boundaries, was well-represented by a single layer of pure sea ice as the radiation field was nearly asymptotic and the absorption spectra showed little evidence of impurities. Representative values for the scattering coefficient ranged 600-800 m-1, with a Henyey-Greenstein asymmetry parameter of 0.995. Observations within white ice suggest that about 40% of the energy responsible of the internal melting was provided directly by shortwave radiation, while the rest is due to heat conduction.

  14. Sea Ice Characteristics and the Open-Linked Data World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khalsa, S. J. S.; McGuinness, D. L.; Duerr, R.; Pulsifer, P. L.; Fox, P. A.; Thompson, C.; Yan, R.

    2014-12-01

    The audience for sea ice data sets has broadened dramatically over the past several decades. Initially the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) sea ice products were used primarily by sea ice specialists. However, now they are in demand by researchers in many different domains and some are used by the public. This growth in the number and type of users has presented challenges to content providers aimed particularly at supporting interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary data use. In our experience, it is generally insufficient to simply make the data available as originally formatted. New audiences typically need data in different forms; forms that meet their needs, that work with their specific tools. Moreover, simple data reformatting is rarely enough. The data needs to be aggregated, transformed or otherwise converted into forms that better serve the needs of the new audience. The Semantic Sea Ice Interoperability Initiative (SSIII) is an NSF-funded research project aimed at making sea ice data more useful to more people using semantic technologies. The team includes domain and science data experts as well as knowledge representation and linked data experts. Beginning with a series of workshops involving members of the operations, sea ice research and modeling communities, as well as members of local communities in Alaska, a suite of ontologies describing the physical characteristics of sea ice have been developed and used to provide one of NSIDC's data sets, the operational Arctic sea ice charts obtained from the Canadian Ice Center, as open-linked data. These data extend nearly a decade into the past and can now be queried either directly through a publicly available SPARQL end point (for those who are familiar with open-linked data) or through a simple Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards map-based query tool. Questions like "What were the characteristics (i.e., sea ice concentration, form and stage of development) of the sea ice in the region

  15. Ice core evidence for a recent increase in snow accumulation in coastal Dronning Maud Land, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippe, Morgane; Tison, Jean-Louis; Fjøsne, Karen; Hubbard, Bryn; Kjær, Helle Astrid; Lenaerts, Jan; Sheldon, Simon Geoffrey; De Bondt, Kevin; Claeys, Philippe; Pattyn, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Ice cores provide temporal records of snow accumulation, a crucial component of Antarctic mass balance. Coastal areas are particularly under-represented in such records, despite their relatively high and sensitive accumulation rates. Here we present records from a 120 m ice core drilled on Derwael Ice Rise, coastal Dronning Maud Land (DML), East Antarctica in 2012. We date the ice core bottom back to 1745 ± 2 AD. δ18O and δD stratigraphy is supplemented by discontinuous major ion profiles, and verified independently by electrical conductivity measurements (ECM) to detect volcanic horizons. The resulting annual layer history is combined with the core density profile to calculate accumulation history, corrected for the influence of ice deformation. The mean long-term accumulation is 0.425 ± 0.035 m water equivalent (w.e.) a-1 (average corrected value). Reconstructed annual accumulation rates show an increase from 1955 onward to a mean value of 0.61 ± 0.02 m w.e. a-1 between 1955 and 2012. This trend is compared to other reported accumulation data in Antarctica, generally showing a high spatial variability. Applying the Community Earth System Model demonstrated that sea ice and atmosphere patterns largely explain the accumulation variability. This is the first and longest record from a coastal ice core in East Antarctica showing a steady increase during the 20th and 21st centuries, thereby confirming modelling predictions.

  16. CBSIT 2009: Airborne Validation of Envisat Radar Altimetry and In Situ Ice Camp Measurements Over Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connor, Laurence; Farrell, Sinead; McAdoo, David; Krabill, William; Laxon, Seymour; Richter-Menge, Jacqueline; Markus, Thorsten

    2010-01-01

    The past few years have seen the emergence of satellite altimetry as valuable tool for taking quantitative sea ice monitoring beyond the traditional surface extent measurements and into estimates of sea ice thickness and volume, parameters that arc fundamental to improved understanding of polar dynamics and climate modeling. Several studies have now demonstrated the use of both microwave (ERS, Envisat/RA-2) and laser (ICESat/GLAS) satellite altimeters for determining sea ice thickness. The complexity of polar environments, however, continues to make sea ice thickness determination a complicated remote sensing task and validation studies remain essential for successful monitoring of sea ice hy satellites. One such validation effort, the Arctic Aircraft Altimeter (AAA) campaign of2006. included underflights of Envisat and ICESat north of the Canadian Archipelago using NASA's P-3 aircraft. This campaign compared Envisat and ICESat sea ice elevation measurements with high-resolution airborne elevation measurements, revealing the impact of refrozen leads on radar altimetry and ice drift on laser altimetry. Continuing this research and validation effort, the Canada Basin Sea Ice Thickness (CBSIT) experiment was completed in April 2009. CBSIT was conducted by NOAA. and NASA as part of NASA's Operation Ice Bridge, a gap-filling mission intended to supplement sea and land ice monitoring until the launch of NASA's ICESat-2 mission. CBIST was flown on the NASA P-3, which was equipped with a scanning laser altimeter, a Ku-band snow radar, and un updated nadir looking photo-imaging system. The CB5IT campaign consisted of two flights: an under flight of Envisat along a 1000 km track similar to that flown in 2006, and a flight through the Nares Strait up to the Lincoln Sea that included an overflight of the Danish GreenArc Ice Camp off the coast of northern Greenland. We present an examination of data collected during this campaign, comparing airborne laser altimeter measurements

  17. Monitoring Arctic Sea ice using ERTS imagery. [Bering Sea, Beaufort Sea, Canadian Archipelago, and Greenland Sea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, J. C.; Bowley, C. J.

    1974-01-01

    Because of the effect of sea ice on the heat balance of the Arctic and because of the expanding economic interest in arctic oil and other minerals, extensive monitoring and further study of sea ice is required. The application of ERTS data for mapping ice is evaluated for several arctic areas, including the Bering Sea, the eastern Beaufort Sea, parts of the Canadian Archipelago, and the Greenland Sea. Interpretive techniques are discussed, and the scales and types of ice features that can be detected are described. For the Bering Sea, a sample of ERTS imagery is compared with visual ice reports and aerial photography from the NASA CV-990 aircraft.

  18. Operational sea ice charts: An integrated data product suitable for observing long-term changes in Arctic sea ice?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meier, W. N.; Fetterer, F.; Fowler, C.; Clemente-Colon, P.; Street, T.

    2006-12-01

    Passive microwave data has been the primary source for observing large-scale trends and variability in Arctic sea ice. This provides a consistent record of ice conditions since 1978. However, there are known deficiencies in the passive microwave data, including low spatial resolution that limits the precision of the ice edge location and an underestimation of summer ice area due to surface melt water. Operational ice analyses aim to provide the most accurate estimate of ice conditions using the best available information, including high spatial resolution satellite data. The manual analyses used to produce the charts provide consistent integration of the various sources as well as quality control of the final products. The National Snow and Ice Data Center, in collaboration with the U.S. National Ice Center (NIC), has updated the NIC ice chart climatology through 2004 and released hemispheric field in a format that is easy to access and analyze. This climatology provides a 30-year record of ice conditions and also yields information on different ice types (e.g., fast ice) that cannot be easily obtained from passive microwave data. However, the quality and quantity of data that is used to produce the ice charts has varied over time, leading to inconsistencies in the timeseries. For example, since 1995 the NIC charts have relied significantly on high resolution synthetic aperture radar imagery from Radarsat-1. This has resulted in higher area and extent estimates in the ice charts compared to earlier years that need to be accounted for if long-term trends are to be estimated from the ice chart climatology. On the other hand, ice charts from the Radarsat-1 era can provide a useful comparison for possible changes in the passive microwave data due to more extreme melt over the past ten years. Here we examine the new NIC ice chart climatology to investigate the consistency of the timeseries through statistical analysis and comparison with the passive microwave record.

  19. Light Absorption in Arctic Sea Ice - Black Carbon vs Chlorophyll

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogunro, O. O.; Wingenter, O. W.; Elliott, S.; Hunke, E. C.; Flanner, M.; Wang, H.; Dubey, M. K.; Jeffery, N.

    2015-12-01

    The fingerprint of climate change is more obvious in the Arctic than any other place on Earth. This is not only because the surface temperature there has increased at twice the rate of global mean temperature but also because Arctic sea ice extent has reached a record low of 49% reduction relative to the 1979-2000 climatology. Radiation absorption through black carbon (BC) deposited on Arctic snow and sea ice surface is one of the major hypothesized contributors to the decline. However, we note that chlorophyll-a absorption owing to increasing biology activity in this region could be a major competitor during boreal spring. Modeling of sea-ice physical and biological processes together with experiments and field observations promise rapid progress in the quality of Arctic ice predictions. Here we develop a dynamic ice system module to investigate discrete absorption of both BC and chlorophyll in the Arctic, using BC deposition fields from version 5 of Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5) and vertically distributed layers of chlorophyll concentrations from Sea Ice Model (CICE). To this point, our black carbon mixing ratios compare well with available in situ data. Both results are in the same order of magnitude. Estimates from our calculations show that sea ice and snow around the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Baffin Bay has the least black carbon absorption while values at the ice-ocean perimeter in the region of the Barents Sea peak significantly. With regard to pigment concentrations, high amounts of chlorophyll are produced in Arctic sea ice by the bottom microbial community, and also within the columnar pack wherever substantial biological activity takes place in the presence of moderate light. We show that the percentage of photons absorbed by chlorophyll in the spring is comparable to the amount attributed to BC, especially in areas where the total deposition rates are decreasing with time on interannual timescale. We expect a continuous increase in

  20. Evolution of the Passive Microwave Signature of Thin Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wensnahn, Mark Robert

    1995-11-01

    Thin sea ice regulates heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere, salt fluxes into the ocean and the exchange of shortwave radiation at the ocean surface. The degree of regulation depends critically on the ice thickness for ice less than 50 cm thick. It was found from a statistical study of SSM/I satellite data of the Bering Sea that thin ice has its own unique passive microwave signature differentiable from open water and mature, thick ice. Further, the Horizontal polarization brightness temperature at 19 and 37 GHz steadily increased downwind of land with the signature changing or evolving as the ice aged and thickened. Field observations indicate that thin ice with a bare surface can produce only part of this evolution and that the signature of mature first-year ice ultimately is the result of frost flower formation or snow deposition. A theoretical model of emission from sea was developed and simulations of emission corroborated the observations and further indicated that the evolution of the thin ice signature can be explained either by the gradual drying out of a surface slush layer or by the slow, steady formation of frost flowers in combination with brine wicking. Time sequences of passive microwave satellite data were then compared with meteorological data. It was determined that the thin ice signature near land was, at times, sensitive to changes in windspeed, air temperature, and shortwave radiation, but, away from land, that sensitivity was substantially reduced. Snow also had a dramatic effect on emission from thin ice, increasing H polarization brightness temperature by as much as 50K. Finally, a theoretical model of ice dynamics was developed from which fields of ice age and thickness calculated. Relationships between brightness temperature and ice age and thickness were calculated from a regression analysis of these fields and SSM/I data. It was shown that 37 GHz, H pol brightness temperature provides a reasonable estimate of ice age and

  1. Mapping radiation transfer through sea ice using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaus, M.; Katlein, C.

    2012-09-01

    Light (solar short-wave radiation) transmission into and through sea ice is of high importance for various processes in Polar Regions. The amount of energy transferred through the ice determines formation and melt of sea ice and finally contributes to warming of the uppermost ocean. At the same time the amount and distribution of light, as the primary source of energy, is of critical importance for sea-ice associated organisms and bio-geochemical processes. However, our current understanding of these processes and their interdisciplinary interactions is still sparse. The main reason is that the under-ice environment is difficult to access and measurements require large logistical and instrumental efforts. Particularly, it was not possible to map light conditions under sea ice over larger areas. Here we present a detailed methodical description of operating spectral radiometers on a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the Central Arctic under sea ice. This new measurement concept resulted in a~most comprehensive data set of spectral radiance and irradiance under and above sea ice, complemented through various additional in-situ measurements of sea-ice, snow, and surface properties. Finally, such data sets allow quantifying the spatial variability of light under sea ice, especially highlighting differences between ponded and white ice as well as different ice types.

  2. The role of satellites in snow and ice measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiesnet, D. R.

    1974-01-01

    Earth-orbiting polar satellites are desirable platforms for the remote sensing of snow and ice. Geostationary satellites at a very high altitude (35,900 km) are also desirable platforms for many remote sensors, for communications relay, for flood warning systems, and for telemetry of data from unattended instrumentation in remote, inaccessible places such as the Arctic, Antarctic, or mountain tops. Optimum use of satellite platforms is achieved only after careful consideration of the temporal, spatial, and spectral requirements of the environmental mission. The National Environmental Satellite Service will maintain both types of environmental satellites as part of its mission.

  3. Sea Ice Mapping using Unmanned Aerial Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solbø, S.; Storvold, R.

    2011-12-01

    Mapping of sea ice extent and sea ice features is an important task in climate research. Since the arctic coastal and oceanic areas have a high probability of cloud coverage, aerial platforms are superior to satellite measurements for high-resolution optical measurements. However, routine observations of sea ice conditions present a variety of problems using conventional piloted aircrafts. Specially, the availability of suitable aircrafts for lease does not cover the demand in major parts of the arctic. With the recent advances in unmanned aerial systems (UAS), there is a high possibility of establishing routine, cost effective aerial observations of sea ice conditions in the near future. Unmanned aerial systems can carry a wide variety of sensors useful for characterizing sea-ice features. For instance, the CryoWing UAS, a system initially designed for measurements of the cryosphere, can be equipped with digital cameras, surface thermometers and laser altimeters for measuring freeboard of ice flows. In this work we will present results from recent CryoWing sea ice flights on Svalbard, Norway. The emphasis will be on data processing for stitching together images acquired with the non-stabilized camera payload, to form high-resolution mosaics covering large spatial areas. These data are being employed to map ice conditions; including ice and lead features and melt ponds. These high-resolution mosaics are also well suited for sea-ice mechanics, classification studies and for validation of satellite sea-ice products.

  4. The strength anisotropia of sea ice

    SciTech Connect

    Evdokimov, G.N.; Rogachko, S.I.

    1994-12-31

    The hydraulic-engineering structure calculations of sea ice formation force require the sea ice strength data. The strength characteristics values and the types of sea ice formations in view of water depth define the type and the design of future structures in each particular region of supposed construction. The most objective information on the sea ice physical and technical properties can be obtained by field investigations ad the existing methods of their calculations refer to a great number of errors. The accumulated bank of data on studying the sea ice formation strength properties show one that ice as a natural material is of great crystalline structure variety. The level ice fields have a number of particularities. The crystal sizes increase in ice thickness. The crystals consist of fresh-water thin plates 0.5--0.6 mm in thickness oriented by pickle-water interlayers. Difference in thickness of the sea ice cover structure is one of the main causes of the changes strength characteristics layer. Besides that the sea ice strength depends upon the destroying force direction in reference to crystal orientation which characterizes the sea ice anisotropia as a material.

  5. A Record of Rising 20th Century Snow Accumulation from the Denali Ice Core

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterberg, E. C.; Winski, D.; Ferris, D. G.; Wake, C. P.; Kreutz, K. J.; Campbell, S.

    2015-12-01

    Snow accumulation records derived from ice cores are one of the only direct archives of precipitation changes that extend prior to the instrumental period. In Alaska, the development of centennial scale precipitation records is needed to contextualize the current rapid changes in precipitation and glacial mass balance occurring along the North Pacific margin. Here, we investigate precipitation changes over the last three centuries using an ice core collected to bedrock from Mt. Hunter (63° N, 151° W, 4,000 meters above sea level) in Denali National Park, Alaska. To develop the snow accumulation record, we calculated water equivalent annual layer thicknesses in the ice core by identification of annual peaks in major ions (MSA, Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+) and water isotopes. We then corrected the annual layer thickness for thinning using three different flow models (Nye, Hooke and Dansgaard-Johnsen) that have been widely used to simulate layer thickness with depth near an ice divide. Each of these models is optimized such that the discrepancy between the annual layer counted age scale and the modeled age scale is minimized. Our results show that water equivalent annual accumulation has increased from 1.43 meters in 1900 to 2.03 meters by 2012, an increase of 42%. The Mt. Hunter accumulation record is regionally representative of precipitation in southwest and central Alaska based on strong correlations with reanalysis precipitation data. Comparisons with ERA-Interim reanalysis data show that years of high accumulation on Denali are associated with stronger southerly winds, warmer sea surface and air temperatures, and pressure anomalies resembling a positive phase of the East Pacific-North Pacific Pattern. Together, this analysis shows that precipitation on Mt. Hunter has a strong positive correlation (R2=0.73) with annual average meridional wind strength in southwestern Alaska, which is related to atmospheric pressure gradients between the

  6. The impact of melt ponds on summertime microwave brightness temperatures and sea-ice concentrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kern, Stefan; Rösel, Anja; Toudal Pedersen, Leif; Ivanova, Natalia; Saldo, Roberto; Tage Tonboe, Rasmus

    2016-09-01

    Sea-ice concentrations derived from satellite microwave brightness temperatures are less accurate during summer. In the Arctic Ocean the lack of accuracy is primarily caused by melt ponds, but also by changes in the properties of snow and the sea-ice surface itself. We investigate the sensitivity of eight sea-ice concentration retrieval algorithms to melt ponds by comparing sea-ice concentration with the melt-pond fraction. We derive gridded daily sea-ice concentrations from microwave brightness temperatures of summer 2009. We derive the daily fraction of melt ponds, open water between ice floes, and the ice-surface fraction from contemporary Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectance data. We only use grid cells where the MODIS sea-ice concentration, which is the melt-pond fraction plus the ice-surface fraction, exceeds 90 %. For one group of algorithms, e.g., Bristol and Comiso bootstrap frequency mode (Bootstrap_f), sea-ice concentrations are linearly related to the MODIS melt-pond fraction quite clearly after June. For other algorithms, e.g., Near90GHz and Comiso bootstrap polarization mode (Bootstrap_p), this relationship is weaker and develops later in summer. We attribute the variation of the sensitivity to the melt-pond fraction across the algorithms to a different sensitivity of the brightness temperatures to snow-property variations. We find an underestimation of the sea-ice concentration by between 14 % (Bootstrap_f) and 26 % (Bootstrap_p) for 100 % sea ice with a melt-pond fraction of 40 %. The underestimation reduces to 0 % for a melt-pond fraction of 20 %. In presence of real open water between ice floes, the sea-ice concentration is overestimated by between 26 % (Bootstrap_f) and 14 % (Bootstrap_p) at 60 % sea-ice concentration and by 20 % across all algorithms at 80 % sea-ice concentration. None of the algorithms investigated performs best based on our investigation of data from summer 2009. We suggest that those algorithms which are

  7. Arctic Cyclone Breaks Up Sea Ice

    NASA Video Gallery

    A powerful storm wreaked havoc on the Arctic sea ice cover in August 2012. This visualization shows the strength and direction of the winds and their impact on the ice: the red vectors represent th...

  8. Arctic Sea Ice Changes 2011-2012

    NASA Video Gallery

    Animation showing changes in monthly Arctic sea ice volume using data from ESA's CryoSat-2 (red dots) and estimates from the Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) (solid li...

  9. Modelling sea ice for climate studies: recent advances and future challenges (Louis Agassiz Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fichefet, Thierry

    2016-04-01

    Since the beginning of satellite measurements in 1979, the summer Arctic sea ice extent has shrunk at a mean rate of ~12% per decade, and there is evidence that the rate of decline has accelerated over the last decade. Current global climate models project further decrease in Arctic sea ice areal coverage through the 21st century if atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase. However, rates of loss vary greatly between models, yielding a large uncertainty as to when a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean may be realized. Narrowing this uncertainty is of crucial importance since such changes in the Arctic sea ice cover might have profound ramifications, including the global ocean circulation and heat budget, regional ecosystems and wildlife, the indigenous human population, and commercial exploration and transportation. Regarding the Antarctic sea ice, its extent has been observed to slightly increase during the last 37 years, which appears puzzling in a global warming context. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this feature, but the issue is far from being settled. On the other hand, the majority of global climate models simulate a decreasing trend in Antarctic sea ice extent over this period, which questions the validity of their Antarctic sea ice projections for the coming decades. In this lecture, we show through simulations conducted with the state of the art Louvain-la-Neuve Sea Ice Model (LIM) coupled to the Nucleous European Modelling of the Ocean (NEMO) platform that a number of small-scale sea ice processes, which are omitted or crudely represented in global climate models (in particular, the subgrid-scale sea ice thickness distribution, the thermodynamics and dynamics of brine pockets trapped within sea ice, processes related to snow on top of sea ice, including surface melt ponds, the sea ice mechanical deformation, and the subgrid-scale heterogeneity of atmosphere-ice-ocean interactions), play a significant role in

  10. Sensitivity of a thermodynamic sea-ice model to vertical resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vancoppenolle, M.; Fichefet, T.

    2003-04-01

    Results from a sophisticated thermodynamic sea-ice model are presented. The model has the following peculiarities. First, the sea-ice pack is represented by several layers of snow on top of several layers of ice. One can choose the number of ice and snow layers, and several profiles of layer thickness are available. Second, the heat-diffusion equation and its boundary conditions explicitly take into account the thermal damping effect of the brine pockets trapped into the ice. The main experiment consists in an almost-one-year integration of the model following the SIMIP2 (Sea-Ice Model Intercomparision Project) specifications, i.e., a lagrangian multiyear undeformed ice floe forced by observed hourly atmospheric and oceanic data fields. Model results are compared to weekly observations of ice and snow thicknesses. Sensitivity experiments are then carried out to evaluate the influence of both the vertical salinity profile and the brine-damping mechanism on sea-ice thermodynamics and to determine the optimal vertical resolution of the model for use in climate studies.

  11. Antarctic Data at the National Snow and Ice Data Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leitzell, K.; Bohlander, J. A.; Bauer, R. J.; Scambos, T. A.

    2010-12-01

    The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) archives and distributes data related to the Earth’s cryosphere. The center has a unique and extensive archive of data related to Antarctica, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs, and various NASA projects. This poster will highlight some of our newest and most significant data holdings for Antarctic ice and climate research. Antarctic data at NSIDC include: -New P.I.-contributed data sets from the Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC), an NSF-funded data archive facility at NSIDC. AGDC has been active for 12 years, and houses data sets from over 150 researchers, spanning all types of research in the Antarctic. -MODIS Mosaic of Antarctica (MOA) 2009 was released in fall of 2010. This is a 125 meter, resolution-enhanced seamless mosaic of Antarctica, compiled from over 250 MODIS images acquired between 20 November 2008 and 01 March 2009. It provides a uniquely clear and detailed view of the continent's subtle ice flow and surface features. The new version offers the opportunity for change detection (ice flow, iceberg calving events, changes in ice flow and wind features) in the five years between early 2009 and an identically processed mosaic assembled in 2004. -NASA’s “Making Earth Science Data Records for Use in Research Environments” (MEaSUREs) provides ice velocity data for all of Antarctica, derived from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture radar (InSAR) analysis. We will show the access and browse software to be used for MEaSURES/Antarctic Ice Velocity, called the Antarctic Cryosphere Access Portal (A-CAP).

  12. Sea Ice Friction: The Effect of Ice Rubble

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scourfield, S.; Sammonds, P. R.; Lishman, B.; Riska, K.; Marchenko, A. V.

    2015-12-01

    Ice deformation processes in the Arctic often generate ice rubble, and situations arise where ice fragments of varying size separate sea ice floes. While the shear forces between sea ice floes in direct contact with each other are controlled by ice-ice friction, what is not known is how the slip of the floes is affected by the presence of rubble between the sliding surfaces. We present the result of field experiments undertaken on fjord ice in Svea, Svalbard, which investigated the velocity and hold time dependence of sea ice friction involving ice gouge. Average air temperature for the duration of time in which experiments were run was -12.4°C, and the thickness of the level fjord ice was 70 cm. A double-direct-shear experiment was done on floating sea ice in the field, with the addition of rubble ice between the sliding surfaces. This was achieved by moving a floating ice block through a channel of open water whilst subjected to normal loading, which was transferred through regions of ice rubble on both sides of the mobile block. The ice rubble regions were 30 cm deep and 50 cm wide. The displacement of the block and the force needed to move the block were measured. The rate dependence of friction was investigated for speeds of 10-3 to 10-2 ms-1. To investigate the state dependence of friction, slide-hold-slide (SHS) tests were conducted for hold times ranging from 1 second to 18 hours. When comparing the results from these experiments with a model for ice friction presented by Schulson and Fortt (2013), similar behaviour is seen at low hold times, where the peak coefficient of friction has a linear relationship with the logarithm of hold time. This is not the case for long hold times, however, and we attribute this to thermal consolidation of the ice rubble region.

  13. Distinguishing Clouds from Ice over the East Siberian Sea, Russia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    As a consequence of its capability to retrieve cloud-top elevations, stereoscopic observations from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) can discriminate clouds from snow and ice. The central portion of Russia's East Siberian Sea, including one of the New Siberian Islands, Novaya Sibir, are portrayed in these views from data acquired on May 28, 2002.

    The left-hand image is a natural color view from MISR's nadir camera. On the right is a height field retrieved using automated computer processing of data from multiple MISR cameras. Although both clouds and ice appear white in the natural color view, the stereoscopic retrievals are able to identify elevated clouds based on the geometric parallax which results when they are observed from different angles. Owing to their elevation above sea level, clouds are mapped as green and yellow areas, whereas land, sea ice, and very low clouds appear blue and purple. Purple, in particular, denotes elevations very close to sea level. The island of Novaya Sibir is located in the lower left of the images. It can be identified in the natural color view as the dark area surrounded by an expanse of fast ice. In the stereo map the island appears as a blue region indicating its elevation of less than 100 meters above sea level. Areas where the automated stereo processing failed due to lack of sufficient spatial contrast are shown in dark gray. The northern edge of the Siberian mainland can be found at the very bottom of the panels, and is located a little over 250 kilometers south of Novaya Sibir. Pack ice containing numerous fragmented ice floes surrounds the fast ice, and narrow areas of open ocean are visible.

    The East Siberian Sea is part of the Arctic Ocean and is ice-covered most of the year. The New Siberian Islands are almost always covered by snow and ice, and tundra vegetation is very scant. Despite continuous sunlight from the end of April until the middle of August, the ice between the island and the

  14. MODIS Data and Services at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McAllister, M.; Fowler, D. K.

    2010-12-01

    For nearly a decade, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has archived and distributed snow and sea ice products derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua and Terra satellites. The archive contains a wide selection of data products relevant to cryospheric science, including snow and sea ice. NSIDC offers a variety of methods for obtaining these data. Our Data Pool is an online archive which allows a user to very quickly download desired products and also has a spatial and temporal search capability. The Warehouse Inventory Search Tool (WIST) contains a complete set of metadata for all products which can be searched for and ordered. WIST also allows a user to order spatial, temporal, and parameter subsets of the data. Users can also request that they be added to our subscription list which makes it possible to have new MODIS data automatically ftp’d or staged on a local server as it is archived at NSIDC. Since MODIS products are in HDF-EOS format, NSIDC has developed a number of tools to assist with browsing, editing, reprojection, resampling, and format conversion including MODIS Swath-to-Grid Toolbox (MS2GT) and the MODIS Interactive Subsetting Tool (MIST). MS2GT was created to produce a seamless output grid from multiple input files corresponding to successively acquired, 5-minute MODIS scenes. NSIDC created the MIST to also provide subsets of certain Version 5 MODIS products, over the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net) and the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA) stations.

  15. MODIS Data and Services at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McAllister, M.; Booker, L.; Fowler, D. K.; Haran, T. M.

    2014-12-01

    For close to 15 years, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) NASA Distributed Active Archive Center (NDAAC) has archived and distributed snow and sea ice products derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instruments on the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua and Terra satellites. The archive contains a wide selection of snow and sea ice data products relevant to cryospheric science. NSIDC offers a variety of methods for obtaining these data. Users can ftp data directly from an online archive which allows for a very quick download. The Reverb Search & Order Tool contains a complete set of metadata for all products which can be searched for and ordered. Reverb allows a user to order spatial, temporal, and parameter subsets of the data. Users can also request that they be added to our subscription list which makes it possible to have new MODIS data automatically ftp'd or staged on a local server as it is archived at NSIDC. Since MODIS products are in HDF-EOS format, a number of tools have been developed to assist with browsing, editing, reprojection, resampling, and format conversion. One such service, Data Access, can be accessed through Reverb and performs subsetting, reformatting, and reprojection. This service can also be accessed via an Application Programming Interface (API) from a user-written client. Other tools include the MODIS Swath-to-Grid Toolbox (MS2GT) and the MODIS Interactive Subsetting Tool (MIST). MS2GT was created to produce a seamless output grid from multiple input files corresponding to successively acquired, 5-minute MODIS scenes. NSIDC also created the MIST to provide subsets of certain Version 5 MODIS products, over the Greenland Climate Network (GC-Net) and the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA) stations. Tools from other sources include HDFView from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and the MODIS Reprojection Tool (MRT) and MRT Swath developed

  16. Impact of sea ice initialisation on sea ice and atmosphere prediction skill on seasonal timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guemas, Virginie; Chevallier, Matthieu; Deque, Michel; Bellprat, Omar; Doblas-Reyes, Francisco; Fuckar, Neven-Stjepan

    2016-04-01

    We present a robust assessment of the impact of sea ice initialisation from observations on the sea ice and atmosphere prediction skill. We ran two ensemble seasonal prediction experiments from 1979 to 2012: one using the highest possible quality for sea ice initial conditions and another where sea ice is initialized from a climatology, with two forecast systems. During the freezing season in the Arctic Ocean, sea ice forecasts become skilful with sea ice initialization until three to five months ahead, thanks to the memory held by sea ice thickness. During the melting season in both the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, sea ice forecasts are skilful for seven and two months respectively with negligible differences between the two experiments, the memory being held by the ocean heat content. A weak impact on the atmosphere prediction skill is obtained.

  17. Impact of sea ice initialization on sea ice and atmosphere prediction skill on seasonal timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guemas, V.; Chevallier, M.; Déqué, M.; Bellprat, O.; Doblas-Reyes, F.

    2016-04-01

    We present a robust assessment of the impact of sea ice initialization from reconstructions of the real state on the sea ice and atmosphere prediction skill. We ran two ensemble seasonal prediction experiments from 1979 to 2012 : one using realistic sea ice initial conditions and another where sea ice is initialized from a climatology, with two forecast systems. During the melting season in the Arctic Ocean, sea ice forecasts become skilful with sea ice initialization until 3-5 months ahead, thanks to the memory held by sea ice thickness. During the freezing season in both the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, sea ice forecasts are skilful for 7 and 2 months, respectively, with negligible differences between the two experiments, the memory being held by the ocean heat content. A weak impact on the atmosphere prediction skill is obtained.

  18. ASPECTS OF ARCTIC SEA ICE OBSERVABLE BY SEQUENTIAL PASSIVE MICROWAVE OBSERVATIONS FROM THE NIMBUS-5 SATELLITE.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, William J.; Gloersen, Per; Zwally, H. Jay; ,

    1984-01-01

    Observations made from 1972 to 1976 with the Electrically Scanning Microwave Radiometer on board the Nimbus-5 satellite provide sequential synoptic information of the Arctic sea ice cover. This four-year data set was used to construct a fairly continuous series of three-day average 19-GHz passive microwave images which has become a valuable source of polar information, yielding many anticipated and unanticipated discoveries of the sea ice canopy observed in its entirety through the clouds and during the polar night. Short-term, seasonal, and annual variations of key sea ice parameters, such as ice edge position, ice types, mixtures of ice types, ice concentrations, and snow melt on the ice, are presented for various parts of the Arctic.

  19. The Antarctic sea ice concentration budget of an ocean-sea ice coupled model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecomte, Olivier; Goosse, Hugues; Fichefet, Thierry; Holland, Paul R.; Uotila, Petteri

    2015-04-01

    The Antarctic sea ice concentration budget of the NEMO-LIM ocean-sea ice coupled model is computed and analyzed. Following a previously developed method, the sea ice concentration balance over the autumn-winter seasons is decomposed into four terms, including the sea ice concentration change during the period of interest, advection, divergence and a residual accounting for the net contribution of thermodynamics and ice deformation. Preliminary results from this analysis show that the geographical patterns of all budget terms over 1992-2010 are in qualitative agreement with the observed ones. Sea ice thermodynamic growth is maintained by horizontal divergence near the continent and in the central ice pack, while melting close to the ice edge is led by sea ice advection. Quantitatively however, the inner ice pack divergence and associated sea ice freezing are much stronger, as compared to observations. The advection of sea ice in both the central pack and the marginal areas are likewise stronger, which corroborates the findings of a previous study in which the same methods were applied to a fully coupled climate model. Nonetheless, the seasonal evolution of sea ice area and total extent are reasonably well simulated, since enhanced sea ice freezing due to larger divergence in the central pack is compensated by intensified melting in the outer pack owing to faster advection. Those strong dynamic components in the sea ice concentration budget are due to ice velocities that tend to be biased high all around Antarctica and particularly near the ice edge. The obtained results show that the applied method is particularly well suited for assessing the skills of an ocean-sea ice coupled model in simulating the seasonal and regional evolution of Antarctic sea ice for the proper physical reasons.

  20. Physical controls on the development and characteristics of Antarctic sea ice biological communities— a review and synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackley, S. F.; Sullivan, C. W.

    1994-10-01

    Ice structures found in Antarctic sea ice and related morphological processes are summarized, including: frazil ice growth; the flooded snow layer; pressure ridge induced flooding; thermally driven brine drainage; and platelet-ice formation. The associated colonization, physiological adaptation, and growth of sea ice biota within these structures, to the levels presently identifiable, are also reviewed. A strong interaction exists between the physical processes that form, evolve and deteriorate sea ice, and the biological communities located within sea ice. Variability of ice structure and associated biological communities over small spatial scales necessitated analysis of the biological component in combination with physical and chemical properties of the sea ice. The ice microstructure provides indications of the growth and evolution of the ice properties and initially defines how ice biota colonize the ice. The light, temperature, space and nutrient fields within which ice biota subsequently adapt and grow, are the other key determinants of the biology. While the ice microstructure shapes the localized biological response, relatively large regions of pack ice have characteristic microstructures. Regional patterns of biomass and biological productivity within the Antarctic sea ice zone may therefore be predictable as a result of these physical-biological associations. Examples from the drifting pack ice and fast ice zones of the Weddell and Ross Seas are given.

  1. Sea-ice thermodynamics and brine drainage.

    PubMed

    Worster, M Grae; Rees Jones, David W

    2015-07-13

    Significant changes in the state of the Arctic ice cover are occurring. As the summertime extent of sea ice diminishes, the Arctic is increasingly characterized by first-year rather than multi-year ice. It is during the early stages of ice growth that most brine is injected into the oceans, contributing to the buoyancy flux that mediates the thermo-haline circulation. Current operational sea-ice components of climate models often treat brine rejection between sea ice and the ocean similarly to a thermodynamic segregation process, assigning a fixed salinity to the sea ice, typical of multi-year ice. However, brine rejection is a dynamical, buoyancy-driven process and the salinity of sea ice varies significantly during the first growth season. As a result, current operational models may over predict the early brine fluxes from newly formed sea ice, which may have consequences for coupled simulations of the polar oceans. Improvements both in computational power and our understanding of the processes involved have led to the emergence of a new class of sea-ice models that treat brine rejection dynamically and should enhance predictions of the buoyancy forcing of the oceans.

  2. The Last Arctic Sea Ice Refuge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfirman, S. L.; Tremblay, B.; Newton, R.; Fowler, C.

    2010-12-01

    Summer sea ice may persist along the northern flank of Canada and Greenland for decades longer than the rest of the Arctic, raising the possibility of a naturally formed refugium for ice-associated species. Observations and models indicate that some ice in this region forms locally, while some is transported to the area by winds and ocean currents. Depending on future changes in melt patterns and sea ice transport rates, both the central Arctic and Siberian shelf seas may be sources of ice to the region. An international system of monitoring and management of the sea ice refuge, along with the ice source regions, has the potential to maintain viable habitat for ice-associated species, including polar bears, for decades into the future. Issues to consider in developing a strategy include: + the likely duration and extent of summer sea ice in this region based on observations, models and paleoenvironmental information + the extent and characteristics of the “ice shed” contributing sea ice to the refuge, including its dynamics, physical and biological characteristics as well as potential for contamination from local or long-range sources + likely assemblages of ice-associated species and their habitats + potential stressors such as transportation, tourism, resource extraction, contamination + policy, governance, and development issues including management strategies that could maintain the viability of the refuge.

  3. Variability and Trends in Sea Ice Extent and Ice Production in the Ross Sea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Comiso, Josefino; Kwok, Ronald; Martin, Seelye; Gordon, Arnold L.

    2011-01-01

    Salt release during sea ice formation in the Ross Sea coastal regions is regarded as a primary forcing for the regional generation of Antarctic Bottom Water. Passive microwave data from November 1978 through 2008 are used to examine the detailed seasonal and interannual characteristics of the sea ice cover of the Ross Sea and the adjacent Bellingshausen and Amundsen seas. For this period the sea ice extent in the Ross Sea shows the greatest increase of all the Antarctic seas. Variability in the ice cover in these regions is linked to changes in the Southern Annular Mode and secondarily to the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave. Over the Ross Sea shelf, analysis of sea ice drift data from 1992 to 2008 yields a positive rate of increase in the net ice export of about 30,000 sq km/yr. For a characteristic ice thickness of 0.6 m, this yields a volume transport of about 20 cu km/yr, which is almost identical, within error bars, to our estimate of the trend in ice production. The increase in brine rejection in the Ross Shelf Polynya associated with the estimated increase with the ice production, however, is not consistent with the reported Ross Sea salinity decrease. The locally generated sea ice enhancement of Ross Sea salinity may be offset by an increase of relatively low salinity of the water advected into the region from the Amundsen Sea, a consequence of increased precipitation and regional glacial ice melt.

  4. Singlet molecular oxygen on natural snow and ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bower, J. P.; Anastasio, C.

    2010-12-01

    Singlet molecular oxygen (1O2*) is a reactive intermediate formed when a chromophore absorbs light and subsequently transfers energy to dissolved oxygen. As an oxidant, 1O2* reacts rapidly with a number of electron-rich environmental pollutants. In our work, we show enhanced kinetics for 1O2* in frozen solutions, where its rate of formation (Rf) and steady state concentration ([1O2*]) can be many orders of magnitude higher than found in the same unfrozen solution. Our goal here is to identify the contribution of 1O2* to the decay of pollutants on snow and ice. We conducted experiments in laboratory solutions made to simulate the concentrations and characteristics of natural snow, as well as in natural snow collected in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California and at Summit, Greenland. Natural snow contains a mixture of inorganic salts and organic species that can function as sources and/or sinks for oxidants, as well as contribute colligative control on the volume of quasi-liquid layers that occur at the surface and grain boundaries of ice. In our experiments, solutions typically contained up to five components: (1) Furfuryl alcohol (FFA), a commonly used probe for 1O2*, (2) Rose Bengal (RB), a 1O2* sensitizer, (3) HOOH, a photochemical precursor for hydroxyl radical (●OH), (4) glycerol to simulate unknown, naturally occurring sinks for ●OH, and (5) sodium sulfate to control the total concentration of solutes. We illuminated samples in a temperature-controlled solar simulator and subsequently measured the loss of FFA using high performance liquid chromatography. To differentiate reactions of 1O2* from other sinks (e.g. ●OH), selective sink species were added to determine the fraction of FFA loss due to direct photolysis, reaction with 1O2*, and reaction with ●OH. We verified reactions of 1O2* with FFA by two methods. First, we utilized the kinetic solvent isotope effect, where an enhancement of FFA loss in a mixture of D2O/water is indicative 1O2* since [1

  5. Measurements of thermal infrared spectral reflectance of frost, snow, and ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salisbury, John W.; D'Aria, Dana M.; Wald, Andrew

    1994-01-01

    Because much of Earth's surface is covered by frost, snow, and ice, the spectral emissivities of these materials are a significant input to radiation balance calculations in global atmospheric circulation and climate change models. Until now, however, spectral emissivities of frost and snow have been calculated from the optical constants of ice. We have measured directional hemispherical reflectance spectra of frost, snow, and ice from which emissivities can be predicted using Kirchhoff's law (e = 1-R). These measured spectra show that contrary to conclusions about the emissivity of snow drawn from previously calculated spectra, snow emissivity departs significantly from blackbody behavior in the 8-14 micrometer region of the spectrum; snow emissivity decreases with both increasing particle size and increasing density due to packing or grain welding; while snow emissivity increases due to the presence of meltwater.

  6. [Reflectance of sea ice in Liaodong Bay].

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhan-tang; Yang, Yue-zhong; Wang, Gui-fen; Cao, Wen-xi; Kong, Xiang-peng

    2010-07-01

    In the present study, the relationships between sea ice albedo and the bidirectional reflectance distribution in Liaodong Bay were investigated. The results indicate that: (1) sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is closely related to the components of sea ice, the higher the particulate concentration in sea ice surface is, the lower the sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is. On the contrary, the higher the bubble concentration in sea ice is, the higher sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is. (2) Sea ice albedo alpha(lambda) is similar to the bidirectional reflectance factor R(f) when the probe locates at nadir. The R(f) would increase with the increase in detector zenith theta, and the correlation between R(f) and the detector azimuth would gradually increase. When the theta is located at solar zenith 63 degrees, the R(f) would reach the maximum, and the strongest correlation is also shown between the R(f) and the detector azimuth. (3) Different types of sea ice would have the different anisotropic reflectance factors.

  7. Seasonal evolution of the albedo of multiyear Arctic sea ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perovich, D. K.; Grenfell, T. C.; Light, B.; Hobbs, P. V.

    2002-10-01

    As part of ice albedo feedback studies during the Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) field experiment, we measured spectral and wavelength-integrated albedo on multiyear sea ice. Measurements were made every 2.5 m along a 200-m survey line from April through October. Initially, this line was completely snow covered, but as the melt season progressed, it became a mixture of bare ice and melt ponds. Observed changes in albedo were a combination of a gradual evolution due to seasonal transitions and abrupt shifts resulting from synoptic weather events. There were five distinct phases in the evolution of albedo: dry snow, melting snow, pond formation, pond evolution, and fall freeze-up. In April the surface albedo was high (0.8-0.9) and spatially uniform. By the end of July the average albedo along the line was 0.4, and there was significant spatial variability, with values ranging from 0.1 for deep, dark ponds to 0.65 for bare, white ice. There was good agreement between surface-based albedos and measurements made from the University of Washington's Convair-580 research aircraft. A comparison between net solar irradiance computed using observed albedos and a simplified model of seasonal evolution shows good agreement as long as the timing of the transitions is accurately determined.

  8. Satellite Observations of Blowing Snow in and Around Antarctica: Implications for Ice Sheet Mass Balance and Atmospheric Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palm, S. P.; Yang, Y.; Marshak, A.

    2014-12-01

    Blowing snow in the polar regions is known to be important for a variety of reasons including ice sheet mass balance, atmospheric water vapor transport, interpretation of paleoclimate records and atmospheric chemistry. Over Antarctica, persistent katabatic winds produce extreme blowing snow events often covering 100,000 square kilometers or more and reaching heights of 300-400 meters. New techniques of blowing snow detection using active and passive satellite data are providing a new understanding of the frequency, magnitude and spatial coverage of blowing snow over and around the Antarctic continent. Current research is utilizing these methods to obtain a nearly 10 year climatology of blowing snow events over Antarctica and estimate the amount of mass being blown off the continent and sublimated into the atmosphere on an annual basis. In addition, recent research indicates that blowing snow over sea ice may be important in the process of transporting seal salt aerosol into the atmosphere where it is implicated in the production of bromine compounds that strongly influence many aspects of tropospheric chemistry.

  9. Antarctic sea ice thickness data archival and recovery at the Australian Antarctic Data Centre

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worby, A. P.; Treverrow, A.; Raymond, B.; Jordan, M.

    2007-12-01

    A new effort is underway to establish a portal for Antarctic sea ice thickness data at the Australian Antarctic Data Centre (http://aadc-maps.aad.gov.au/aadc/sitd/). The intention is to provide a central online access point for a wide range of sea ice data sets, including sea ice and snow thickness data collected using a range of techniques, and sea ice core data. The recommendation to establish this facility came from the SCAR/CliC- sponsored International Workshop on Antarctic Sea Ice Thickness, held in Hobart in July 2006. It was recognised, in particular, that satellite altimetry retrievals of sea ice and snow cover thickness rely on large-scale assumptions of the sea ice and snow cover properties such as density, freeboard height, and snow stratigraphy. The synthesis of historical data is therefore particularly important for algorithm development. This will be closely coordinated with similar efforts in the Arctic. A small working group was formed to identify suitable data sets for inclusion in the archive. A series of standard proformas have been designed for converting old data, and to help standardize the collection of new data sets. These proformas are being trialled on two Antarctic sea ice research cruises in September - October 2007. The web-based portal allows data custodians to remotely upload and manage their data, and for all users to search the holdings and extract data relevant to their needs. This presentation will report on the establishment of the data portal, recent progress in identifying appropriate data sets and making them available online. maps.aad.gov.au/aadc/sitd/

  10. Unlocking a Sea Ice Secret

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Rachel Obbard

    2013-04-22

    Dr. Rachel Obbard and her research group from Dartmouth College traveled to the Antarctic to collect samples of sea ice. Next stop: the GeoSoilEnviroCARS x-ray beamline at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. This U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science synchrotron x-ray research facility gave the Obbard team the frontier scientific tools they needed to study the path bromide takes as it travels from the ocean to the atmosphere.

  11. Short-term sea ice forecasting: An assessment of ice concentration and ice drift forecasts using the U.S. Navy's Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hebert, David A.; Allard, Richard A.; Metzger, E. Joseph; Posey, Pamela G.; Preller, Ruth H.; Wallcraft, Alan J.; Phelps, Michael W.; Smedstad, Ole Martin

    2015-12-01

    In this study the forecast skill of the U.S. Navy operational Arctic sea ice forecast system, the Arctic Cap Nowcast/Forecast System (ACNFS), is presented for the period February 2014 to June 2015. ACNFS is designed to provide short term, 1-7 day forecasts of Arctic sea ice and ocean conditions. Many quantities are forecast by ACNFS; the most commonly used include ice concentration, ice thickness, ice velocity, sea surface temperature, sea surface salinity, and sea surface velocities. Ice concentration forecast skill is compared to a persistent ice state and historical sea ice climatology. Skill scores are focused on areas where ice concentration changes by ±5% or more, and are therefore limited to primarily the marginal ice zone. We demonstrate that ACNFS forecasts are skilful compared to assuming a persistent ice state, especially beyond 24 h. ACNFS is also shown to be particularly skilful compared to a climatologic state for forecasts up to 102 h. Modeled ice drift velocity is compared to observed buoy data from the International Arctic Buoy Programme. A seasonal bias is shown where ACNFS is slower than IABP velocity in the summer months and faster in the winter months. In February 2015, ACNFS began to assimilate a blended ice concentration derived from Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2) and the Interactive Multisensor Snow and Ice Mapping System (IMS). Preliminary results show that assimilating AMSR2 blended with IMS improves the short-term forecast skill and ice edge location compared to the independently derived National Ice Center Ice Edge product.

  12. The importance of large scale sea ice drift and ice type distribution on ice extent in the Weddell Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwegmann, S.; Haas, C.; Timmermann, R.; Gerdes, R.; Lemke, P.

    2009-12-01

    In austral winter large parts of Antarctic Seas are covered by sea ice. This modifies the exchange of heat, mass and momentum between ocean and atmosphere. The knowledge of ice extent and its variability is necessary for an adequate simulation of those fluxes and thus for climate modelling. The goal of this study is the observation of interannual and seasonal ice extent variations and their underlying causes. Variability is analysed by using monthly means of microwave and scatterometer satellite data. Results are correlated with ice drift variations calculated from a Finite Element Sea ice-Ocean Model (FESOM) and with satellite derived sea ice drift products to determine the dependency of ice extent on sea ice drift. An additional cause for changing ice extent could be the variability of ice type distribution, i.e. the contribution of first and second year ice to the total ice covered area. These ice types are determined on monthly time scales from scatterometer satellite data. Ice class distribution and sea ice drift variability are compared with the characteristics and variability of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) to evaluate the relative importance of different sea ice parameters for shaping Weddell Sea ice extent and its variability.

  13. Comparing springtime ice-algal chlorophyll a and physical properties of multi-year and first-year sea ice from the Lincoln Sea.

    PubMed

    Lange, Benjamin A; Michel, Christine; Beckers, Justin F; Casey, J Alec; Flores, Hauke; Hatam, Ido; Meisterhans, Guillaume; Niemi, Andrea; Haas, Christian

    2015-01-01

    With near-complete replacement of Arctic multi-year ice (MYI) by first-year ice (FYI) predicted to occur within this century, it remains uncertain how the loss of MYI will impact the abundance and distribution of sea ice associated algae. In this study we compare the chlorophyll a (chl a) concentrations and physical properties of MYI and FYI from the Lincoln Sea during 3 spring seasons (2010-2012). Cores were analysed for texture, salinity, and chl a. We identified annual growth layers for 7 of 11 MYI cores and found no significant differences in chl a concentration between the bottom first-year-ice portions of MYI, upper old-ice portions of MYI, and FYI cores. Overall, the maximum chl a concentrations were observed at the bottom of young FYI. However, there were no significant differences in chl a concentrations between MYI and FYI. This suggests little or no change in algal biomass with a shift from MYI to FYI and that the spatial extent and regional variability of refrozen leads and younger FYI will likely be key factors governing future changes in Arctic sea ice algal biomass. Bottom-integrated chl a concentrations showed negative logistic relationships with snow depth and bulk (snow plus ice) integrated extinction coefficients; indicating a strong influence of snow cover in controlling bottom ice algal biomass. The maximum bottom MYI chl a concentration was observed in a hummock, representing the thickest ice with lowest snow depth of this study. Hence, in this and other studies MYI chl a biomass may be under-estimated due to an under-representation of thick MYI (e.g., hummocks), which typically have a relatively thin snowpack allowing for increased light transmission. Therefore, we suggest the on-going loss of MYI in the Arctic Ocean may have a larger impact on ice-associated production than generally assumed. PMID:25901605

  14. Comparing springtime ice-algal chlorophyll a and physical properties of multi-year and first-year sea ice from the Lincoln Sea.

    PubMed

    Lange, Benjamin A; Michel, Christine; Beckers, Justin F; Casey, J Alec; Flores, Hauke; Hatam, Ido; Meisterhans, Guillaume; Niemi, Andrea; Haas, Christian

    2015-01-01

    With near-complete replacement of Arctic multi-year ice (MYI) by first-year ice (FYI) predicted to occur within this century, it remains uncertain how the loss of MYI will impact the abundance and distribution of sea ice associated algae. In this study we compare the chlorophyll a (chl a) concentrations and physical properties of MYI and FYI from the Lincoln Sea during 3 spring seasons (2010-2012). Cores were analysed for texture, salinity, and chl a. We identified annual growth layers for 7 of 11 MYI cores and found no significant differences in chl a concentration between the bottom first-year-ice portions of MYI, upper old-ice portions of MYI, and FYI cores. Overall, the maximum chl a concentrations were observed at the bottom of young FYI. However, there were no significant differences in chl a concentrations between MYI and FYI. This suggests little or no change in algal biomass with a shift from MYI to FYI and that the spatial extent and regional variability of refrozen leads and younger FYI will likely be key factors governing future changes in Arctic sea ice algal biomass. Bottom-integrated chl a concentrations showed negative logistic relationships with snow depth and bulk (snow plus ice) integrated extinction coefficients; indicating a strong influence of snow cover in controlling bottom ice algal biomass. The maximum bottom MYI chl a concentration was observed in a hummock, representing the thickest ice with lowest snow depth of this study. Hence, in this and other studies MYI chl a biomass may be under-estimated due to an under-representation of thick MYI (e.g., hummocks), which typically have a relatively thin snowpack allowing for increased light transmission. Therefore, we suggest the on-going loss of MYI in the Arctic Ocean may have a larger impact on ice-associated production than generally assumed.

  15. C-band radar backscatter of sea ice in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica during the austral winter of 1992

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hosseinmostafa, R.; Drinkwater, Mark R.; Gogineni, S. P.; Dierking, W.

    1993-01-01

    A C-band ship-based scatterometer was used to measure the backscatter coefficient of sea ice in the Weddell Sea during June and July 1992. These are the first microwave scatterometer data ever to be collected in the Antarctic sea ice cover during the austral winter. The instrument was a frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FM-CW) radar altimeter modified by the University of Kansas Radar Systems and Remote Sensing Laboratory to perform backscatter measurements. Measurements were taken as part of a Jet Propulsion Laboratory experiment aboard the German ice research vessel F.S. Polarstern. Backscatter measurements were performed at incidence angles ranging from 17 to 65 degrees with VV and HV polarization as the Polarstern travelled from east to west across the central Weddell Sea. Backscatter measurements were made of several different types of ice sea including pancake, dark nilas, white nilas, grey, first-year and second-year ice. Periodic external calibrations were performed with the aid of a Luneberg Lens to enable absolute values of backscatter to be derived from the data. At each radar measurement location, in-situ measurements were made of snow and sea ice. Physical and chemical analyses of ice core and snow samples, together with high magnification photography of snow crystallography provide important information with which to develop physical models of the scattering systems. Meteorological information and oceanographic conditions were also recorded throughout the experiment. Many of the stations were chosen to coincide with periods of near-simultaneous or coincident imaging by the ERS-1 satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). This enabled spaceborne imaging by the C-band SAR of areas of sea ice in which backscatter measurements were taken. This provides a valuable tool for interpretation of satellite SAR imagery from Antarctic sea ice in terms of the physical properties of the sea ice and snow. Preliminary results of the backscatter from the various ice

  16. C-band radar backscatter of sea ice in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica during the austral winter of 1992

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosseinmostafa, R.; Drinkwater, Mark R.; Gogineni, S. P.; Dierking, W.

    A C-band ship-based scatterometer was used to measure the backscatter coefficient of sea ice in the Weddell Sea during June and July 1992. These are the first microwave scatterometer data ever to be collected in the Antarctic sea ice cover during the austral winter. The instrument was a frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FM-CW) radar altimeter modified by the University of Kansas Radar Systems and Remote Sensing Laboratory to perform backscatter measurements. Measurements were taken as part of a Jet Propulsion Laboratory experiment aboard the German ice research vessel F.S. Polarstern. Backscatter measurements were performed at incidence angles ranging from 17 to 65 degrees with VV and HV polarization as the Polarstern travelled from east to west across the central Weddell Sea. Backscatter measurements were made of several different types of ice sea including pancake, dark nilas, white nilas, grey, first-year and second-year ice. Periodic external calibrations were performed with the aid of a Luneberg Lens to enable absolute values of backscatter to be derived from the data. At each radar measurement location, in-situ measurements were made of snow and sea ice. Physical and chemical analyses of ice core and snow samples, together with high magnification photography of snow crystallography provide important information with which to develop physical models of the scattering systems. Meteorological information and oceanographic conditions were also recorded throughout the experiment. Many of the stations were chosen to coincide with periods of near-simultaneous or coincident imaging by the ERS-1 satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). This enabled spaceborne imaging by the C-band SAR of areas of sea ice in which backscatter measurements were taken. This provides a valuable tool for interpretation of satellite SAR imagery from Antarctic sea ice in terms of the physical properties of the sea ice and snow. Preliminary results of the backscatter from the various ice

  17. Arctic Sea Ice from March to August 2016

    NASA Video Gallery

    In this animation, the daily Arctic sea ice and seasonal land cover change progress through time, from the prior sea ice maximum March 24, 2016, through Aug. 13, 2016. The Arctic sea ice cover like...

  18. Recent State of Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nghiem, S. V.; Rigor, I. G.; Clemente-Colón, P.; Perovich, D. K.; Richter-Menge, J. A.; Chao, Y.; Neumann, G.; Ortmeyer, M.

    2008-12-01

    We present the recent state of Arctic sea ice including observations from 2008 in a context of a multi-decadal perspective. A new record has been set in the reduction of Arctic perennial sea ice extent this winter. As of 1 March 2008, the extent of perennial sea ice was reduced by one million km2 compared to that at the same time last year as observed by the NASA SeaWinds scatterometer on the QuikSCAT satellite (QSCAT). This decrease of perennial ice continues the precipitous declining trend observed in this decade. Furthermore, the perennial sea ice pattern change was deduced by buoy-based estimates with 50 years of data from drifting buoys and measurement camps to track sea ice movement around the Arctic Ocean. The combination of the satellite and surface data records confirms that the reduction of winter perennial ice extent broke the record in 2008 compared to data over the last half century. In the winter, the loss of perennial ice extent was driven by winds that compressed the ice and transported it out of the Fram Strait and Nares Strait to warmer ocean waters at lower latitudes, where the ice melted very effectively. Another historical fact is that the boundary of perennial sea ice already crossed the North Pole (NP) in February 2008, leaving the area around the NP occupied by seasonal sea ice. This is the first time, not only from the satellite data record but also in the history of sea ice charting at the National Ice Center since the 1970's, that observations indicate the seasonal ice migration into the NP area so early in winter. In the Bering Sea by 12 March 2008, the sea ice edge reached to an extent that coincided with the continental shelf break, indicating bathymetric effects on the distribution of water masses along the Aleutian North Slope, Bering Slope, Anadyr, and Kamchatka Currents that governed the pattern of sea ice formation in this region. Moreover, QSCAT observations showed that, in the 2008 winter, seasonal ice occupied the Northern Sea

  19. Simulation of the satellite radar altimeter sea ice thickness retrieval uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonboe, R. T.; Pedersen, L. T.; Haas, C.

    2009-07-01

    Although it is well known that radar waves penetrate into snow and sea ice, the exact mechanisms for radar-altimeter scattering and its link to the depth of the effective scattering surface from sea ice are still unknown. Previously proposed mechanisms linked the snow ice interface, i.e. the dominating scattering horizon, directly with the depth of the effective scattering surface. However, simulations using a multilayer radar scattering model show that the effective scattering surface is affected by snow-cover and ice properties. With the coming Cryosat-2 (planned launch 2009) satellite radar altimeter it is proposed that sea ice thickness can be derived by measuring its freeboard. In this study we evaluate the radar altimeter sea ice thickness retrieval uncertainty in terms of floe buoyancy, radar penetration and ice type distribution using both a scattering model and ''Archimedes' principle''. The effect of the snow cover on the floe buoyancy and the radar penetration and on the ice cover spatial and temporal variability is assessed from field campaign measurements in the Arctic and Antarctic. In addition to these well known uncertainties we use high resolution RADARSAT SAR data to simulate errors due to the variability of the effective scattering surface as a result of the sub-footprint spatial backscatter and elevation distribution sometimes called preferential sampling. In particular in areas where ridges represent a significant part of the ice volume (e.g. the Lincoln Sea) the simulated altimeter thickness estimate is lower than the real average footprint thickness. This means that the errors are large, yet manageable if the relevant quantities are known a priori. A discussion of the radar altimeter ice thickness retrieval uncertainties concludes the paper.

  20. Quantifying Uncertainties in the Seasonal Cycle of Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucas, D. D.; Covey, C. C.; Klein, R.; Tannahill, J.; Ivanova, D. P.

    2013-12-01

    Many climate models project that the Arctic Ocean will be free of summertime sea ice within a century when forced with representative future greenhouse gas emission scenarios. To determine whether uncertainties in sea ice physics can also lead to an ice-free Arctic, we ran present-day ensemble simulations with the Community Climate System Model (CCSM4) that varied 7 parameters in the Community Ice Code (CICE4) over expert-provided ranges. The September minimum in sea ice extent computed by the ensemble ranges from 0.5 to 7.7 million km2, the lower end of which is significantly less than current observed values and lower than the models in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). CCSM4 can therefore simulate a summertime Arctic that is effectively free of sea ice either by increasing greenhouse gas forcing or by keeping the forcing constant and varying CICE4 parameters within recommended ranges. We identified three key CICE4 parameters related to radiative and thermal properties of snow that drive this extreme ensemble variability. Given observational data, machine learning algorithms were also used to quantify and constrain probability distribution functions for these parameters, which can be sampled to provide probabilistic assessments of sea ice characteristics simulated by CICE4. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344 and was funded by the Uncertainty Quantification Strategic Initiative Laboratory Directed Research and Development Project at LLNL under project tracking code 10-SI-013 (UCRL LLNL-ABS-641752).

  1. Distinguishing Ice from Snow for Melt Modeling Using Daily Observations from MODIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    In Earth's mountainous regions, melt from both seasonal snow and glacier ice contributes to streamflow. Few in-situ observations exist that can help distinguish between the two components of melt, particularly across large mountain ranges. In this study, we analyze daily time series of MODIS data products to distinguish ice from snow as the seasonal snowpack recedes revealing firn and glacier ice surfaces. We run a temperature index melt model for the Hunza, a sub-basin of the Upper Indus basin using the MODIS data to discriminate between glacier ice and snow and partition the corresponding streamflow. During the ablation period, this high elevation mid-latitude snowpack receives intense incoming solar radiation resulting in snow grain growth and surface albedo decreases. To explore snow grain growth, we use estimates of grain size from both the MODIS Snow Covered Area and Grain Size Model (MODSCAG) and MODIS Dust Radiative Forcing in Snow (MODDRFS). To explore albedo reduction we use 2 standard albedo products from MODIS, the Terra Daily Snow Cover algorithm (MOD10A1) and Surface Reflectance BRDF/Albedo (MOD43). We use a threshold on the grain size and albedo products to discriminate ice from snow. We test the ability of the 4 MODIS products to discriminate snow from glacier ice using higher resolution data from the Landsat 8 sensor from July 5th and July 21st, 2013 for a subset of the study area in the Karakoram region of the Himalaya that includes the Yazghil and Hopper Glaciers that drain north and northeast in the Shimshall Valley, part of the Hunza River basin. Snow and glacier ice are mapped using band ratio techniques, and are then separated on the basis of broadband albedo values calculated from Landsat bands for comparison with MODIS-derived snow and glacier ice pixels. We run a temperature index melt model that uses gap filled snow covered area from MODSCAG and interpolated station temperature data for the Hunza River basin. The model outputs daily melt

  2. Fram Strait Spring Ice Export and September Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smedsrud, Lars H.; Halvorsen, Mari H.; Stroeve, Julienne; Zhang, Rong; Kloster, Kjell

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic Basin exports between 600 000 - 1 million km² of it's sea ice cover southwards through Fram Strait each year, comparing to about 10% of the ice covered area inside the basin. During winter ice export results in growth of new and relatively thin ice inside the basin, while during summer or spring export contributes directly to open water further north. A new updated time series from 1935 to 2014 of Fram Strait sea ice area export shows that the long-term annual mean export is about 880,000 km², with large annual and decadal variability and no long-term trend over the past 80 years. Nevertheless, the last decade has witnessed increased annual ice export, with several years having annual ice export exceed 1 million km². Evaluating the trend onwards from 1979, when satellite based sea ice coverage became more readily available, reveals an increase in annual export of about +6% per decade. This increase is caused by higher southward ice drift speeds due to stronger southward geostrophic winds, largely explained by increasing surface pressure over Greenland. Spring and summer area export increased more (+11% per decade) than in autumn and winter. Contrary to the last decade the 1950 - 1970 period had low export during spring and summer, and mid-September sea ice extent was consistently higher than both before and after these decades. We thus find that export anomalies during spring have a clear influence on the following September sea ice extent in general, and that for the recent decade the export may be partially responsible for the accelerating decline in Arctic sea ice extent.

  3. Role of sea-ice biota in nutrient and organic material cycles in the northern Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Kuparinen, Jorma; Kuosa, Harri; Andersson, Agneta; Autio, Riitta; Granskog, Mats A; Ikävalko, Johanna; Kaartokallio, Hermanni; Karell, Kimmo; Leskinen, Elina; Piiparinen, Jonna; Rintala, Janne-Markus; Tuomainen, Jaana

    2007-04-01

    This paper compiles biological and chemical sea-ice data from three areas of the Baltic Sea: the Bothnian Bay (Hailuoto, Finland), the Bothnian Sea (Norrby, Sweden), and the Gulf of Finland (Tvärminne, Finland). The data consist mainly of field measurements and experiments conducted during the BIREME project from 2003 to 2006, supplemented with relevant published data. Our main focus was to analyze whether the biological activity in Baltic Sea sea-ice shows clear regional variability. Sea-ice in the Bothnian Bay has low chlorophyll a concentrations, and the bacterial turnover rates are low. However, we have sampled mainly land-fast level first-year sea-ice and apparently missed the most active biological system, which may reside in deformed ice (such as ice ridges). Our limited data set shows high concentrations of algae in keel blocks and keel block interstitial water under the consolidated layer of the pressure ridges in the northernmost part of the Baltic Sea. In land-fast level sea-ice in the Bothnian Sea and the Gulf of Finland, the lowermost layer appears to be the center of biological activity, though elevated biomasses can also be found occasionally in the top and interior parts of the ice. Ice algae are light limited during periods of snow cover, and phosphate is generally the limiting nutrient for ice bottom algae. Bacterial growth is evidently controlled by the production of labile dissolved organic matter by algae because low growth rates were recorded in the Bothnian Bay with high concentrations of allochthonous dissolved organic matter. Bacterial communities in the Bothnian Sea and the Gulf of Finland show high turnover rates, and activities comparable with those of open water communities during plankton blooms, which implies that sea-ice bacterial communities have high capacity to process matter during the winter period.

  4. A Contribution to the Sea-Ice Model Intercomparison Project 2 (SIMIP2) Thermodynamic Sea-Ice Models Assessment : Impact of Vertical Resolution, Vertical Salinity Profile, and Salinity- and Temperature-Dependent Thermal Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fichefet, T.; Vancoppenolle, M.

    2004-12-01

    Results from a sophisticated thermodynamic sea-ice model are presented. The model has the following peculiarities. First, the sea-ice pack is represented by several layers of snow on top of several layers of ice, and different ways of specifying the number and thickness of vertical layers are possible. Second, the heat-diffusion equation and its boundary conditions explicitly take into account the thermal damping effect of the brine pockets trapped into the ice through temperature- and salinity-dependent thermal properties, but density is nevertheless a constant. The main experiment consists in an almost-one-year integration of the model following the SIMIP2 (Sea-Ice Model Intercomparision Project) specifications, i.e., a Lagrangian multiyear undeformed ice floe forced by observed hourly atmospheric and monthly oceanic data fields. Model results are compared to weekly observations of ice and snow thicknesses. Snow precipitations have to be increased by 50% for the snow thickness to be correctly reproduced, supporting gauge problems already reported in the past. Ice thickness shows good overall agreement, especially in winter, and an underestimation of around 10 cm of surface melting in summer. Sensitivity experiments show that the effect of salinity and temperature through thermal properties is significant. The non-linear vertical salinity profile can be replaced by a linear profile with same mean salinity. Finally, the simplest resolution which conserves the main features of the results gathers one layer in the snow and between 5 and 10 layers in the ice.

  5. On the measure of sea ice area from sea ice concentration data sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boccolari, Mauro; Parmiggiani, Flavio

    2015-10-01

    The measure of sea ice surface variability provides a fundamental information on the climatology of the Arctic region. Sea ice extension is conventionally measured by two parameters, i.e. Sea Ice Extent (SIE) and Sea Ice Area (SIA), both parameters being derived from Sea Ice Concentration (SIC) data sets. In this work a new parameter (CSIA) is introduced, which takes into account only the compact sea-ice, which is defined as the sea-ice having concentration at least equal the 70%. Aim of this study is to compare the performances of the two parameters, SIA and CSIA, in analyzing the trends of three monthly time-series of the whole Arctic region. The SIC data set used in this study was produced by the Institute of Environmental Physics of the University of Bremen and covers the period January 2003 - December 2014, i.e. the period in which the data set is built using the new AMSR passive microwave sensor.

  6. ICESat Observations of Seasonal and Interannual Variations of Sea-Ice Freeboard and Estimated Thickness in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica (2003-2009)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yi, Donghui; Robbins, John W.

    2010-01-01

    Sea-ice freeboard heights for 17 ICESat campaign periods from 2003 to 2009 are derived from ICESat data. Freeboard is combined with snow depth from Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) data and nominal densities of snow, water and sea ice, to estimate sea-ice thickness. Sea-ice freeboard and thickness distributions show clear seasonal variations that reflect the yearly cycle of growth and decay of the Weddell Sea (Antarctica) pack ice. During October-November, sea ice grows to its seasonal maximum both in area and thickness; the mean freeboards are 0.33-0.41 m and the mean thicknesses are 2.10-2.59 m. During February-March, thinner sea ice melts away and the sea-ice pack is mainly distributed in the west Weddell Sea; the mean freeboards are 0.35-0.46 m and the mean thicknesses are 1.48-1.94 m. During May-June, the mean freeboards and thicknesses are 0.26-0.29 m and 1.32-1.37 m, respectively. The 6 year trends in sea-ice extent and volume are (0.023+/-0.051) x 10(exp 6)sq km/a (0.45%/a) and (0.007+/-1.0.092) x 10(exp 3)cu km/a (0.08%/a); however, the large standard deviations indicate that these positive trends are not statistically significant.

  7. Uncertainty quantification and global sensitivity analysis of the Los Alamos sea ice model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urrego-Blanco, Jorge R.; Urban, Nathan M.; Hunke, Elizabeth C.; Turner, Adrian K.; Jeffery, Nicole

    2016-04-01

    Changes in the high-latitude climate system have the potential to affect global climate through feedbacks with the atmosphere and connections with midlatitudes. Sea ice and climate models used to understand these changes have uncertainties that need to be characterized and quantified. We present a quantitative way to assess uncertainty in complex computer models, which is a new approach in the analysis of sea ice models. We characterize parametric uncertainty in the Los Alamos sea ice model (CICE) in a standalone configuration and quantify the sensitivity of sea ice area, extent, and volume with respect to uncertainty in 39 individual model parameters. Unlike common sensitivity analyses conducted in previous studies where parameters are varied one at a time, this study uses a global variance-based approach in which Sobol' sequences are used to efficiently sample the full 39-dimensional parameter space. We implement a fast emulator of the sea ice model whose predictions of sea ice extent, area, and volume are used to compute the Sobol' sensitivity indices of the 39 parameters. Main effects and interactions among the most influential parameters are also estimated by a nonparametric regression technique based on generalized additive models. A ranking based on the sensitivity indices indicates that model predictions are most sensitive to snow parameters such as snow conductivity and grain size, and the drainage of melt ponds. It is recommended that research be prioritized toward more accurately determining these most influential parameter values by observational studies or by improving parameterizations in the sea ice model.

  8. A toy model of sea ice growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thorndike, Alan S.

    1992-01-01

    My purpose here is to present a simplified treatment of the growth of sea ice. By ignoring many details, it is possible to obtain several results that help to clarify the ways in which the sea ice cover will respond to climate change. Three models are discussed. The first deals with the growth of sea ice during the cold season. The second describes the cycle of growth and melting for perennial ice. The third model extends the second to account for the possibility that the ice melts away entirely in the summer. In each case, the objective is to understand what physical processes are most important, what ice properties determine the ice behavior, and to which climate variables the system is most sensitive.

  9. Antarctic sea ice thickness affects algae populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Colin

    2013-01-01

    In the waters off Antarctica, algae grow and live in the sea ice that surrounds the southern continent—a floating habitat sure to change as the planet warms. As with most aquatic ecosystems, microscopic algae form the base of the Southern Ocean food web. Distinct algae populations reside in the sea ice surface layers, on the ice's underside, and within the floating ice itself. The algae that reside on the floating ice's underside are particularly important for the region's krill population, while those on the interior or surface layers are less accessible. Understanding how changing sea ice properties will affect the regional biology, then, depends on understanding how algae populations interact with the ice.

  10. The CReSIS Radar Suite for Measurements of the Ice Sheets and Sea Ice during Operation Ice Bridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuschen, C.; Gogineni, P. S.; Allen, C.; Paden, J. D.; Hale, R.; Rodriguez-Morales, F.; Harish, A.; Seguin, S.; Arnold, E.; Blake, W.; Byers, K.; Crowe, R.; Lewis, C.; Panzer, B.; Patel, A.; Shi, L.

    2010-12-01

    The University of Kansas, Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) has developed a suite of radar instrumentation operating at frequencies ranging from 180 MHz to 18 GHz to monitor the major Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets at varying resolution from the surface to the bed as well as the surface topography and snow cover characteristics of sea ice. The radar suite includes a VHF multi-channel coherent radar depth sounder/imager (MCoRDS/I) to measure ice sheet thickness, internal layering, and image ice-bed interface with fine resolution; a UHF accumulation radar to measure shallow (up to 500 m) ice sheet thickness, internal layering, and accumulation rates at decimeter resolutions; an ultra-wideband “snow” radar to measure thickness of snow over sea ice and accumulation rates at centimeter scale resolution; and a wideband Ku-band altimeter to measure surface topography and accumulation layer for comparison with CryoSat-2. To support recent NASA Operation Ice Bridge activities, CReSIS radars were adapted for installation and operation on the NASA DC-8 for deployments primarily to Antarctica for measurements over glacial ice in West Antarctica and sea ice, and on the NASA P-3 for deployments to Greenland and Arctic sea ice. The major integration activities included the development of antenna subsystems specifically tailored for the DC-8 and P-3 aircraft. This included a low-profile radar depth sounder/imager antenna assembly for the DC-8 with a minimal impact on the aircraft range, one of the largest VHF antenna arrays for the P-3, and a set of internal antennas structures and radomes for the P-3 bomb bay. The design and development of the antenna assemblies were focused on meeting a combination of instrument and mission requirements. We will present a description of each radar system including the antenna assemblies, instrument block diagrams, modes of operation, installation specifics for each OIB deployment, example results, and availability of data

  11. Modeling the heating and melting of sea ice through light absorption by microalgae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeebe, Richard E.; Eicken, Hajo; Robinson, Dale H.; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Dieckmann, Gerhard S.

    1996-01-01

    In sea ice of polar regions, high concentrations of microalgae are observed during the spring. Algal standing stocks may attain peak values of over 300 mg chl a m-2 in the congelation ice habitat. As of yet, the effect of additional heating of sea ice through conversion of solar radiation into heat by algae has not been investigated in detail. Local effects, such as a decrease in albedo, increasing melt rates, and a decrease of the physical strength of ice sheets may occur. To investigate the effects of microalgae on the thermal regime of sea ice, a time-dependent, one-dimensional thermodynamic model of sea ice was coupled to a bio-optical model. A spectral one-stream model was employed to determine spectral attenuation by snow, sea ice, and microalgae. Beer's law was assumed to hold for every wavelength. Energy absorption was obtained by calculating the divergence of irradiance in every layer of the model (Δz = 1 cm). Changes in sea ice temperature profiles were calculated by solving the heat conduction equation with a finite difference scheme. Model results indicate that when algal biomass is concentrated at the bottom of congelation ice, melting of ice resulting from the additional conversion of solar radiation into heat may effectively destroy the algal habitat, thereby releasing algal biomass into the water column. An algal layer located in the top of the ice sheet induced a significant increase in sea ice temperature (ΔT > 0.3 K) for snow depths less than 5 cm and algal standing stocks higher than 150 mg chl a m-2. Furthermore, under these conditions, brine volume increased by 21% from 181 to 219 parts per thousand, which decreased the physical strength of the ice.

  12. Comparing Springtime Ice-Algal Chlorophyll a and Physical Properties of Multi-Year and First-Year Sea Ice from the Lincoln Sea

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Benjamin A.; Michel, Christine; Beckers, Justin F.; Casey, J. Alec; Flores, Hauke; Hatam, Ido; Meisterhans, Guillaume; Niemi, Andrea; Haas, Christian

    2015-01-01

    With near-complete replacement of Arctic multi-year ice (MYI) by first-year ice (FYI) predicted to occur within this century, it remains uncertain how the loss of MYI will impact the abundance and distribution of sea ice associated algae. In this study we compare the chlorophyll a (chl a) concentrations and physical properties of MYI and FYI from the Lincoln Sea during 3 spring seasons (2010-2012). Cores were analysed for texture, salinity, and chl a. We identified annual growth layers for 7 of 11 MYI cores and found no significant differences in chl a concentration between the bottom first-year-ice portions of MYI, upper old-ice portions of MYI, and FYI cores. Overall, the maximum chl a concentrations were observed at the bottom of young FYI. However, there were no significant differences in chl a concentrations between MYI and FYI. This suggests little or no change in algal biomass with a shift from MYI to FYI and that the spatial extent and regional variability of refrozen leads and younger FYI will likely be key factors governing future changes in Arctic sea ice algal biomass. Bottom-integrated chl a concentrations showed negative logistic relationships with snow depth and bulk (snow plus ice) integrated extinction coefficients; indicating a strong influence of snow cover in controlling bottom ice algal biomass. The maximum bottom MYI chl a concentration was observed in a hummock, representing the thickest ice with lowest snow depth of this study. Hence, in this and other studies MYI chl a biomass may be under-estimated due to an under-representation of thick MYI (e.g., hummocks), which typically have a relatively thin snowpack allowing for increased light transmission. Therefore, we suggest the on-going loss of MYI in the Arctic Ocean may have a larger impact on ice–associated production than generally assumed. PMID:25901605

  13. What Can Sea Ice Reconstructions Tell Us About Recent Regional Trends in Sea Ice Around Antarctica?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abram, N.; Mulvaney, R.; Murphy, E. J.

    2014-12-01

    Satellite observations of recent sea ice changes around Antarctica reveal regionally heterogeneous trends, but with an overall increasing trend in Antarctic-wide sea ice extent. Proposed mechanisms to account for increasing sea ice extent around Antarctica include freshening of the ocean surface due to melting of land ice and northward wind drift associated with strengthening of the Southern Ocean westerly winds. In this study we use extended, regional reconstructions of Antarctic sea ice changes from ice core chemistry and reanalysis of the South Orkney fast ice series to examine long-term relationships between Antarctic regional sea ice changes and surface winds. The formation and breakout of fast ice at the South Orkney islands (Murphy et al., 2014) indicates that westerly wind strength is an important factor in determining spring sea ice retreat in the Weddell Sea region. In contrast, autumn sea ice formation is more strongly influenced by long-lived ocean temperature anomalies and sea ice migration from the previous year, highlighting the multiple influences that act at different times of the year to determine the overall extent of winter sea ice. To assess the hypothesized role of westerly wind changes in driving opposing patterns of recent sea ice change between the Ross Sea and Bellingshausen Sea, we also present a comparison of ice core MSA evidence for sea ice changes derived from the James Ross Island (Mulvaney et al., 2012) and Erebus Saddle (Rhodes et al., 2012) ice cores, and view this in the context of trends in the Southern Annular Mode (Abram et al., 2014) over the last 200 years. References: Abram et al., 2014. Evolution of the Southern Annular Mode over the past millennium. Nature Climate Change. doi: 10.1038/nclimate2235 Mulvaney et al., 2012. Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene temperature and ice-shelf history. Nature. doi: 10.1038/nature11391 Murphy et al., 2014. Variability of sea ice in the northern Weddell Sea during

  14. On sea level - ice sheet interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gomez, Natalya Alissa

    This thesis focuses on the physics of static sea-level changes following variations in the distribution of grounded ice and the influence of these changes on the stability and dynamics of marine ice sheets. Gravitational, deformational and rotational effects associated with changes in grounded ice mass lead to markedly non-uniform spatial patterns of sea-level change. I outline a revised theory for computing post-glacial sea-level predictions and discuss the dominant physical effects that contribute to the patterns of sea-level change associated with surface loading on different timescales. I show, in particular, that a large sea-level fall (rise) occurs in the vicinity of a retreating (advancing) ice sheet on both short and long timescales. I also present an application of the sea-level theory in which I predict the sea-level changes associated with a new model of North American ice sheet evolution and consider the implications of the results for efforts to establish the sources of Meltwater Pulse 1A. These results demonstrate that viscous deformational effects can influence the amplitude of sea-level changes observed at far-field sea-level sites, even when the time window being considered is relatively short (≤ 500 years). Subsequently, I investigate the feedback of sea-level changes on marine ice-sheet stability and dynamics by coupling a global sea-level model to ice-sheet models of increasing complexity. To begin, I incorporate gravitationally self-consistent sea-level changes into an equilibrium marine ice-sheet stability theory to show that the sea-level changes have a stabilizing influence on ice-sheet retreat. Next, I consider the impact of the stabilizing mechanism on the timescale of ice-sheet retreat using a 1D dynamic coupled ice sheet - sea level model. Simulations with the coupled model, which incorporate viscoelastic deformation of the solid Earth, show that local sea-level changes at the grounding line act to slow, and in some cases, halt

  15. Sea Ice Biogeochemistry: A Guide for Modellers

    PubMed Central

    Tedesco, Letizia; Vichi, Marcello

    2014-01-01

    Sea ice is a fundamental component of the climate system and plays a key role in polar trophic food webs. Nonetheless sea ice biogeochemical dynamics at large temporal and spatial scales are still rarely described. Numerical models may potentially contribute integrating among sparse observations, but available models of sea ice biogeochemistry are still scarce, whether their relevance for properly describing the current and future state of the polar oceans has been recently addressed. A general methodology to develop a sea ice biogeochemical model is presented, deriving it from an existing validated model application by extension of generic pelagic biogeochemistry model parameterizations. The described methodology is flexible and considers different levels of ecosystem complexity and vertical representation, while adopting a strategy of coupling that ensures mass conservation. We show how to apply this methodology step by step by building an intermediate complexity model from a published realistic application and applying it to analyze theoretically a typical season of first-year sea ice in the Arctic, the one currently needing the most urgent understanding. The aim is to (1) introduce sea ice biogeochemistry and address its relevance to ocean modelers of polar regions, supporting them in adding a new sea ice component to their modelling framework for a more adequate representation of the sea ice-covered ocean ecosystem as a whole, and (2) extend our knowledge on the relevant controlling factors of sea ice algal production, showing that beyond the light and nutrient availability, the duration of the sea ice season may play a key-role shaping the algal production during the on going and upcoming projected changes. PMID:24586604

  16. Sea ice biogeochemistry: a guide for modellers.

    PubMed

    Tedesco, Letizia; Vichi, Marcello

    2014-01-01

    Sea ice is a fundamental component of the climate system and plays a key role in polar trophic food webs. Nonetheless sea ice biogeochemical dynamics at large temporal and spatial scales are still rarely described. Numerical models may potentially contribute integrating among sparse observations, but available models of sea ice biogeochemistry are still scarce, whether their relevance for properly describing the current and future state of the polar oceans has been recently addressed. A general methodology to develop a sea ice biogeochemical model is presented, deriving it from an existing validated model application by extension of generic pelagic biogeochemistry model parameterizations. The described methodology is flexible and considers different levels of ecosystem complexity and vertical representation, while adopting a strategy of coupling that ensures mass conservation. We show how to apply this methodology step by step by building an intermediate complexity model from a published realistic application and applying it to analyze theoretically a typical season of first-year sea ice in the Arctic, the one currently needing the most urgent understanding. The aim is to (1) introduce sea ice biogeochemistry and address its relevance to ocean modelers of polar regions, supporting them in adding a new sea ice component to their modelling framework for a more adequate representation of the sea ice-covered ocean ecosystem as a whole, and (2) extend our knowledge on the relevant controlling factors of sea ice algal production, showing that beyond the light and nutrient availability, the duration of the sea ice season may play a key-role shaping the algal production during the on going and upcoming projected changes.

  17. Object-Based Arctic Sea Ice Feature Extraction through High Spatial Resolution Aerial photos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miao, X.; Xie, H.

    2015-12-01

    High resolution aerial photographs used to detect and classify sea ice features can provide accurate physical parameters to refine, validate, and improve climate models. However, manually delineating sea ice features, such as melt ponds, submerged ice, water, ice/snow, and pressure ridges, is time-consuming and labor-intensive. An object-based classification algorithm is developed to automatically extract sea ice features efficiently from aerial photographs taken during the Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition in summer 2010 (CHINARE 2010) in the MIZ near the Alaska coast. The algorithm includes four steps: (1) the image segmentation groups the neighboring pixels into objects based on the similarity of spectral and textural information; (2) the random forest classifier distinguishes four general classes: water, general submerged ice (GSI, including melt ponds and submerged ice), shadow, and ice/snow; (3) the polygon neighbor analysis separates melt ponds and submerged ice based on spatial relationship; and (4) pressure ridge features are extracted from shadow based on local illumination geometry. The producer's accuracy of 90.8% and user's accuracy of 91.8% are achieved for melt pond detection, and shadow shows a user's accuracy of 88.9% and producer's accuracies of 91.4%. Finally, pond density, pond fraction, ice floes, mean ice concentration, average ridge height, ridge profile, and ridge frequency are extracted from batch processing of aerial photos, and their uncertainties are estimated.

  18. Modelling the Isotopic Response to West Antarctic Ice Sheet Collapse and Sea Ice Retreat During the Last Interglacial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holloway, M. D.

    2015-12-01

    Ice sheet changes can exert major control over spatial water isotope variations in Antarctic surface snow. Consequently a significant mass loss or gain of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) would be expected to cause changes in the water isotope record across Antarctic ice core sites. Analysis of sea level indicators for the last interglacial (LIG; 130,000 to 115,000 years ago) suggest a global sea level peak 6 to 9 m higher than present. Recent NEEM Greenland ice core results imply that Greenland likely provided a modest 2m contribution towards this global sea level rise. This implies that a WAIS contribution is necessary to explain the LIG sea level maxima. In addition, Antarctic ice core records suggest that Antarctic air temperatures during the LIG were up to 6 °C warmer than present. Climate models have been unable to recreate such warmth when only orbital and greenhouse gas forcing are considered. Thus changes to the Antarctic ice sheet and ocean circulation may be required to reconcile model simulations with ice core data. Here we model the isotopic response to differing WAIS deglaciation scenarios, freshwater hosing, and sea ice configurations using a fully coupled General Circulation Model (GCM) to help interpret Antarctic ice core records over the LIG.

  19. Development of a Seismic Snow Streamer and Use of Multi- Offset Reflection for Determining Glacier Ice Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velez Gonzalez, Jose A.

    Glaciers and ice sheets are important to climate research due to their role in controlling worldwide weather and temperature patterns as well as their potential impact in sea level rise. Because of this, scientists are attempting to model large ice sheets and important fast flowing glaciers. These models are limited in large part to the lack of data which govern the nonlinear behavior of ice flow. Seismic data acquisition can provide high resolution data which can be used to extract information of variables like bed topography, ice temperature and preferred ice crystal orientation. But seismic data acquisition in polar environments is challenging. This is mainly due to the labor intensive process of manually hand planting geophones. In order to improve the efficiency of active source seismic reflection data acquisition in polar environments, two prototype seismic snow-streamers were constructed for this investigation and optimized for deployment in remote locations. The first snow-streamer (experimental snow-streamer) was field tested in the Jakobshavn Glacier located in central western Greenland. The experimental snow-streamer was equipped with multiple geophone configurations and two plate materials. Twenty-two variable angle records were collected using the stationary snow streamer in the center of the survey. The source consisted of 0.5 kg of explosives buried 10 m below the snow surface at 160 m intervals. The resultant data set consisted of offsets ranging from -1760 to +1600 m and the ice-bed interface as well as two internal ice layers were imaged at approximately 1.85, 1.5 and 1.7 km depth respectively. The snow-streamer data was simultaneously collected with a mirror arrangement of hand planted buried geophones in order to test for the effects of plate weight, wind noise, geophone burial and plate to snow coupling in the seismic signal. The signal analysis and the comparison of streamer vs. buried geophones showed that geophone burial can degrade the

  20. The Snow Must Go On: Ground Ice Encasement, Snow Compaction and Absence of Snow Differently Cause Soil Hypoxia, CO2 Accumulation and Tree Seedling Damage in Boreal Forest.

    PubMed

    Martz, Françoise; Vuosku, Jaana; Ovaskainen, Anu; Stark, Sari; Rautio, Pasi

    2016-01-01

    At high latitudes, the climate has warmed at twice the rate of the global average with most changes observed in autumn, winter and spring. Increasing winter temperatures and wide temperature fluctuations are leading to more frequent rain-on-snow events and freeze-thaw cycles causing snow compaction and formation of ice layers in the snowpack, thus creating ice encasement (IE). By decreasing the snowpack insulation capacity and restricting soil-atmosphere gas exchange, modification of the snow properties may lead to colder soil but also to hypoxia and accumulation of trace gases in the subnivean environment. To test the effects of these overwintering conditions changes on plant winter survival and growth, we established a snow manipulation experiment in a coniferous forest in Northern Finland with Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings. In addition to ambient conditions and prevention of IE, we applied three snow manipulation levels: IE created by artificial rain-on-snow events, snow compaction and complete snow removal. Snow removal led to deeper soil frost during winter, but no clear effect of IE or snow compaction done in early winter was observed on soil temperature. Hypoxia and accumulation of CO2 were highest in the IE plots but, more importantly, the duration of CO2 concentration above 5% was 17 days in IE plots compared to 0 days in ambient plots. IE was the most damaging winter condition for both species, decreasing the proportion of healthy seedlings by 47% for spruce and 76% for pine compared to ambient conditions. Seedlings in all three treatments tended to grow less than seedlings in ambient conditions but only IE had a significant effect on spruce growth. Our results demonstrate a negative impact of winter climate change on boreal forest regeneration and productivity. Changing snow conditions may thus partially mitigate the positive effect of increasing growing season temperatures on boreal forest productivity.

  1. The Snow Must Go On: Ground Ice Encasement, Snow Compaction and Absence of Snow Differently Cause Soil Hypoxia, CO2 Accumulation and Tree Seedling Damage in Boreal Forest.

    PubMed

    Martz, Françoise; Vuosku, Jaana; Ovaskainen, Anu; Stark, Sari; Rautio, Pasi

    2016-01-01

    At high latitudes, the climate has warmed at twice the rate of the global average with most changes observed in autumn, winter and spring. Increasing winter temperatures and wide temperature fluctuations are leading to more frequent rain-on-snow events and freeze-thaw cycles causing snow compaction and formation of ice layers in the snowpack, thus creating ice encasement (IE). By decreasing the snowpack insulation capacity and restricting soil-atmosphere gas exchange, modification of the snow properties may lead to colder soil but also to hypoxia and accumulation of trace gases in the subnivean environment. To test the effects of these overwintering conditions changes on plant winter survival and growth, we established a snow manipulation experiment in a coniferous forest in Northern Finland with Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings. In addition to ambient conditions and prevention of IE, we applied three snow manipulation levels: IE created by artificial rain-on-snow events, snow compaction and complete snow removal. Snow removal led to deeper soil frost during winter, but no clear effect of IE or snow compaction done in early winter was observed on soil temperature. Hypoxia and accumulation of CO2 were highest in the IE plots but, more importantly, the duration of CO2 concentration above 5% was 17 days in IE plots compared to 0 days in ambient plots. IE was the most damaging winter condition for both species, decreasing the proportion of healthy seedlings by 47% for spruce and 76% for pine compared to ambient conditions. Seedlings in all three treatments tended to grow less than seedlings in ambient conditions but only IE had a significant effect on spruce growth. Our results demonstrate a negative impact of winter climate change on boreal forest regeneration and productivity. Changing snow conditions may thus partially mitigate the positive effect of increasing growing season temperatures on boreal forest productivity. PMID:27254100

  2. The Snow Must Go On: Ground Ice Encasement, Snow Compaction and Absence of Snow Differently Cause Soil Hypoxia, CO2 Accumulation and Tree Seedling Damage in Boreal Forest

    PubMed Central

    Vuosku, Jaana; Ovaskainen, Anu; Stark, Sari; Rautio, Pasi

    2016-01-01

    At high latitudes, the climate has warmed at twice the rate of the global average with most changes observed in autumn, winter and spring. Increasing winter temperatures and wide temperature fluctuations are leading to more frequent rain-on-snow events and freeze-thaw cycles causing snow compaction and formation of ice layers in the snowpack, thus creating ice encasement (IE). By decreasing the snowpack insulation capacity and restricting soil-atmosphere gas exchange, modification of the snow properties may lead to colder soil but also to hypoxia and accumulation of trace gases in the subnivean environment. To test the effects of these overwintering conditions changes on plant winter survival and growth, we established a snow manipulation experiment in a coniferous forest in Northern Finland with Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings. In addition to ambient conditions and prevention of IE, we applied three snow manipulation levels: IE created by artificial rain-on-snow events, snow compaction and complete snow removal. Snow removal led to deeper soil frost during winter, but no clear effect of IE or snow compaction done in early winter was observed on soil temperature. Hypoxia and accumulation of CO2 were highest in the IE plots but, more importantly, the duration of CO2 concentration above 5% was 17 days in IE plots compared to 0 days in ambient plots. IE was the most damaging winter condition for both species, decreasing the proportion of healthy seedlings by 47% for spruce and 76% for pine compared to ambient conditions. Seedlings in all three treatments tended to grow less than seedlings in ambient conditions but only IE had a significant effect on spruce growth. Our results demonstrate a negative impact of winter climate change on boreal forest regeneration and productivity. Changing snow conditions may thus partially mitigate the positive effect of increasing growing season temperatures on boreal forest productivity. PMID:27254100

  3. Physical control of chlorophyll a, POC, and TPN distributions in the pack ice of the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrigo, Kevin R.; Robinson, Dale H.; Dunbar, Robert B.; Leventer, Amy R.; Lizotte, Michael P.

    2003-10-01

    The pack ice ecosystem of the Ross Sea was investigated along a 1470-km north-south transect during the spring 1998 oceanographic program Research on Ocean-Atmosphere Variability and Ecosystem Response in the Ross Sea (ROAVERRS). Snow and sea ice thickness along the transect varied latitudinally, with thinner snow and ice at the northern ice edge and thin new ice in the vicinity of the Ross Sea polynya. Relative to springtime observations in other sea ice regions, algal chlorophyll a (Chl a) concentrations were low. In contrast, particulate organic carbon (POC), total particulate nitrogen (TPN), and POC:Chl a were all high, indicating either that the ice contained substantial amounts of detritus or nonphotosynthetic organisms, or that the algae had a high POC:Chl a ratio. The abundance of Chl a, POC, and TPN in the sea ice was related to ice age and thickness, as well as to snow depth: older ice had thinner snow cover and contained higher algal biomass while new ice in the polynya had lower biomass. Older pack ice was dominated by diatoms (particularly Fragilariopsis cylindrus) and had vertical distributions of Chl a, POC, and TPN that were related to salinity, with higher biomass at the ice-water interface. Fluorescence-based measurements of photosynthetic competence (Fv/Fm) were higher at ice-water interfaces, and photosynthesis-irradiance characteristics measured for bottom ice algae were comparable to those measured in pack ice communities of other regions. Nutrient concentrations in extracted sea ice brines showed depletion of silicate and nitrate, depletion or regeneration of phosphate and nitrite, and production of ammonium when normalized to seawater salinity; however, concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen, phosphorous, and silica were typically above levels likely to limit algal growth. In areas where pack ice and snow cover were thickest, light levels could be limiting to algal photosynthesis. Enrichment of δ13C-POC in the sea ice was correlated

  4. Seaonal Sea Ice as a source of organo-halogens during Polar night

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abrahamsson, Katarina; Granfors, Anna; Ahnoff, Martin

    2016-04-01

    The release of bromine from snow and sea ice surfaces has mainly been attributed to the reaction of hypobromous acid with bromide at acidic conditions to form Br2. Little attention has been given to the role of volatile halogenated organic compounds (organo-halogens) in the formation of reactive halogen species in the atmosphere during bromine explosion events. The load of organo-halogens was studied during a winter expedition to the Weddell Sea in June to August 2013. These compounds are emitted from the different compartments of the cryosphere to the atmosphere where they are photolysed to BrO and IO, which are involved in the degradation of ozone. We will present results that show the importance of organo-halogens formed during polar winter. In newly formed ice, in contrast to summer sea ice, the concentration of organo-bromine was found at levels as high as nM. These high concentrations were reflected both in frost flowers and in the sea-snow interface. Moreover, air measurements revealed high loads of organo-bromine over the sea ice. The situation was similar for iodinated compounds. Interestingly, the precursers of IO, mainly diiodomethane, could be measured in sea ice and snow, most probably due to the low light levels.

  5. The role of sea ice in the temperature-precipitation feedback of glacial cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gildor, Hezi; Ashkenazy, Yosef; Tziperman, Eli; Lev, Ilit

    2014-08-01

    The response of the hydrological cycle to climate variability and change is a critical open question, where model reliability is still unsatisfactory, yet upon which past climate history can shed some light. Sea ice is a key player in the climate system and in the hydrological cycle, due to its strong albedo effect and its insulating effect on local evaporation and air-sea heat flux. Using an atmospheric general circulation model with specified sea surface temperature and sea-ice distribution, the role of sea ice in the hydrological cycle is investigated under last glacial maximum (LGM) and present day conditions, and by studying its contribution to the "temperature-precipitation feedback". By conducting a set of sensitivity experiments in which the albedo and thickness of the sea ice are varied, the various effects of sea ice in the hydrological cycle are isolated. It is demonstrated that for a cold LGM like state, a warmer climate (as a result of reduced sea-ice cover) leads to an increase in snow precipitation over the ice sheets. The insulating effect of the sea ice on the hydrological cycle is found to be larger than the albedo effect. These two effects interact in a nonlinear way and their total effect is not equal to summing their separate contribution.

  6. Sea ice in the paleoclimate system: the challenge of reconstructing sea ice from proxies - an introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vernal, Anne; Gersonde, Rainer; Goosse, Hugues; Seidenkrantz, Marit-Solveig; Wolff, Eric W.

    2013-11-01

    Sea ice is an important component of the Earth system with complex dynamics imperfectly documented from direct observations, which are primarily limited to the last 40 years. Whereas large amplitude variations of sea ice have been recorded, especially in the Arctic, with a strikingly fast decrease in recent years partly attributed to the impact of anthropogenic climate changes, little is known about the natural variability of the sea ice cover at multi-decadal to multi-millennial time scales. Hence, there is a need to establish longer sea ice time series to document the full range of sea ice variations under natural forcings. To do this, several approaches based on biogenic or geochemical proxies have been developed from marine, ice core and coastal records. The status of the sea ice proxies has been discussed by the Sea Ice Proxy (SIP) working group endorsed by PAGES during a first workshop held at GEOTOP in Montréal. The present volume contains a set of papers addressing various sea ice proxies and their application to large scale sea ice reconstruction. Here we summarize the contents of the volume, including a table of various proxies available in marine sediments and ice cores, with their possibilities and limitations.

  7. Radar backscattering from snow facies of the Greenland ice sheet: Results from the AIRSAR 1991 campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rignot, Eric; Jezek, K.; Vanzyl, J. J.; Drinkwater, Mark R.; Lou, Y. L.

    1993-01-01

    In June 1991, the NASA/JPL airborne SAR (AIRSAR) acquired C- (lambda = 5.6cm), L- (lambda = 24cm), and P- (lambda = 68m) band polarimetric SAR data over the Greenland ice sheet. These data are processed using version 3.55 of the AIRSAR processor which provides radiometrically and polarimetrically calibrated images. The internal calibration of the AIRSAR data is cross-checked using the radar response from corner reflectors deployed prior to flight in one of the scenes. In addition, a quantitative assessment of the noise power level at various frequencies and polarizations is made in all the scenes. Synoptic SAR data corresponding to a swath width of about 12 by 50 km in length (compared to the standard 12 x 12 km size of high-resolution scenes) are also processed and calibrated to study transitions in radar backscatter as a function of snow facies at selected frequencies and polarizations. The snow facies on the Greenland ice sheet are traditionally categorized based on differences in melting regime during the summer months. The interior of Greenland corresponds to the dry snow zone where terrain elevation is the highest and no snow melt occurs. The lowest elevation boundary of the dry snow zone is known traditionally as the dry snow line. Beneath it is the percolation zone where melting occurs in the summer and water percolates through the snow freezing at depth to form massive ice lenses and ice pipes. At the downslope margin of this zone is the wet snow line. Below it, the wet snow zone corresponds to the lowest elevations where snow remains at the end of the summer. Ablation produces enough meltwater to create areas of snow saturated with water, together with ponds and lakes. The lowest altitude zone of ablation sees enough summer melt to remove all traces of seasonal snow accumulation, such that the surface comprises bare glacier ice.

  8. Investigation of radar discrimination of sea ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parashar, S. K.; Biggs, A. W.; Fung, A. K.; Moore, R. K.

    1974-01-01

    The ability of radar to discriminate sea ice types and their thickness was studied. Radar backscatter measurements at 400 MHz (multi-polarization) and 13.3 GHz (VV polarization) obtained from NASA Earth Resources Aircraft Program Mission 126 were analyzed in detail. The scatterometer data were separated into seven categories of sea ice according to age and thickness as interpreted from stereo aerial photographs. The variations of radar backscatter cross-section with sea ice thickness at various angles are presented at the two frequencies. There is a reversal of angular character of radar return from sea ice less than 18 cm thick at the two frequencies. Multi-year ice (sea ice greater than 180 cm thick) gives strongest return at 13.3 GHz. First-year ice (30 cm to 90 cm thick) gives strongest return at 400 MHz. Open water can be differentiated at both the frequencies. Four-polarization 16.5 GHz radar imagery was also obtained. Open water and three categories of sea ice can be identified on the images. The results of the imagery analysis are consistent with the radar scatterometer results.

  9. Geostatistical Relationships Between Freeboard and Thickness of Antarctic Sea Ice Floes Derived from Terrestrial LiDAR Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, M. J.; Parra, J.; Weissling, B.; Ackley, S. F.; Maksym, T. L.; Wilkinson, J.; Wagner, T.

    2011-12-01

    Sea ice is a critical component of the Earth's climate system and is a highly complex media. The physical characteristics are important in interpretation of remote sensing data. Sea ice characteristics such as snow surface topography, snow depth and ice thickness were derived from in situ measurements obtained during the J.C. Ross (ICEBell) and Oden Southern Ocean (OSO) expeditions during the austral summer of 2010-11. Select areas of sea ice floes in the Bellingshausen, Weddell and Amundsen Seas were measured using terrestrial scanning LiDAR (TSL) and also by conventional gridded and transect surveys. Snow depths were obtained at 2-5 meter sampling intervals and ice thickness was estimated by both electromagnetic induction (EMI) and auger drilling at 2-5 meter intervals. The LiDAR data is gridded to a 10cm rasterized data set. The field data from multiple floes in different regions provide a unique three dimensional perspective of sea ice elevation, snow depth and derived freeboard. These floes are visualized in both space and spectral domains and analyzed using classic statistical and geostatistical methods to assess surface roughness, snow depth, and the effects of differing scales on data resolution. The correlation lengths needed for isostatic equilibrium of freeboard were determined. These relationships are useful in assessing radar and laser altimetry data from airborne and satellite sources.

  10. Arctic sea-ice ridges—Safe heavens for sea-ice fauna during periods of extreme ice melt?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gradinger, Rolf; Bluhm, Bodil; Iken, Katrin

    2010-01-01

    The abundances and distribution of metazoan within-ice meiofauna (13 stations) and under-ice fauna (12 stations) were investigated in level sea ice and sea-ice ridges in the Chukchi/Beaufort Seas and Canada Basin in June/July 2005 using a combination of ice coring and SCUBA diving. Ice meiofauna abundance was estimated based on live counts in the bottom 30 cm of level sea ice based on triplicate ice core sampling at each location, and in individual ice chunks from ridges at four locations. Under-ice amphipods were counted in situ in replicate ( N=24-65 per station) 0.25 m 2 quadrats using SCUBA to a maximum water depth of 12 m. In level sea ice, the most abundant ice meiofauna groups were Turbellaria (46%), Nematoda (35%), and Harpacticoida (19%), with overall low abundances per station that ranged from 0.0 to 10.9 ind l -1 (median 0.8 ind l -1). In level ice, low ice algal pigment concentrations (<0.1-15.8 μg Chl a l -1), low brine salinities (1.8-21.7) and flushing from the melting sea ice likely explain the low ice meiofauna concentrations. Higher abundances of Turbellaria, Nematoda and Harpacticoida also were observed in pressure ridges (0-200 ind l -1, median 40 ind l -1), although values were highly variable and only medians of Turbellaria were significantly higher in ridge ice than in level ice. Median abundances of under-ice amphipods at all ice types (level ice, various ice ridge structures) ranged from 8 to 114 ind m -2 per station and mainly consisted of Apherusa glacialis (87%), Onisimus spp. (7%) and Gammarus wilkitzkii (6%). Highest amphipod abundances were observed in pressure ridges at depths >3 m where abundances were up to 42-fold higher compared with level ice. We propose that the summer ice melt impacted meiofauna and under-ice amphipod abundance and distribution through (a) flushing, and (b) enhanced salinity stress at thinner level sea ice (less than 3 m thickness). We further suggest that pressure ridges, which extend into deeper, high

  11. Evidence for radionuclide transport by sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meese, D.A.; Reimnitz, E.; Tucker, W. B.; Gow, A.J.; Bischof, J.; Darby, D.

    1997-01-01

    Ice and ice-borne sediments were collected across the Arctic Basin during the Arctic Ocean Section, 1994 (AOS-94), a recent US/Canada trans- Arctic expedition. Sediments were analysed for 137Cs, clay mineralogy and carbon. Concentrations of 137Cs ranged from 5 to 73 Bq kg-1 in the ice- borne sediments. Concentrations of ice samples without sediment were all less than 1 Bq m-3. The sediment sample with the highest 137Cs concentration (73 Bq kg-1)was collected in the Beaufort Sea. This concentration was significantly higher than in bottom sediments collected in the same area, indicating an ice transport mechanism from an area with correspondingly higher concentrations. Recent results from the application of ice transport models and sediment analyses indicate that it is very likely that sediments are transported by ice, from the Siberian shelf areas to the Beaufort Sea.

  12. Satellite Remote Sensing: Passive-Microwave Measurements of Sea Ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parkinson, Claire L.; Zukor, Dorothy J. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Satellite passive-microwave measurements of sea ice have provided global or near-global sea ice data for most of the period since the launch of the Nimbus 5 satellite in December 1972, and have done so with horizontal resolutions on the order of 25-50 km and a frequency of every few days. These data have been used to calculate sea ice concentrations (percent areal coverages), sea ice extents, the length of the sea ice season, sea ice temperatures, and sea ice velocities, and to determine the timing of the seasonal onset of melt as well as aspects of the ice-type composition of the sea ice cover. In each case, the calculations are based on the microwave emission characteristics of sea ice and the important contrasts between the microwave emissions of sea ice and those of the surrounding liquid-water medium.

  13. Ice Types in the Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    Determining the amount and type of sea ice in the polar oceans is crucial to improving our knowledge and understanding of polar weather and long term climate fluctuations. These views from two satellite remote sensing instruments; the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) on board the RADARSAT satellite and the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), illustrate different methods that may be used to assess sea ice type. Sea ice in the Beaufort Sea off the north coast of Alaska was classified and mapped in these concurrent images acquired March 19, 2001 and mapped to the same geographic area.

    To identify sea ice types, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Ice Center constructs ice charts using several data sources including RADARSAT SAR images such as the one shown at left. SAR classifies sea ice types primarily by how the surface and subsurface roughness influence radar backscatter. In the SAR image, white lines delineate different sea ice zones as identified by the National Ice Center. Regions of mostly multi-year ice (A) are separated from regions with large amounts of first year and younger ice (B-D), and the dashed white line at bottom marks the coastline. In general, sea ice types that exhibit increased radar backscatter appear bright in SAR and are identified as rougher, older ice types. Younger, smoother ice types appear dark to SAR. Near the top of the SAR image, however, red arrows point to bright areas in which large, crystalline 'frost flowers' have formed on young, thin ice, causing this young ice type to exhibit an increased radar backscatter. Frost flowers are strongly backscattering at radar wavelengths (cm) due to both surface roughness and the high salinity of frost flowers, which causes them to be highly reflective to radar energy.

    Surface roughness is also registered by MISR, although the roughness observed is at a different spatial scale. Older, rougher ice areas are predominantly backward scattering to

  14. Platelet ice distribution in Antarctic sea ice and its implications for ocean - ice shelf interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langhorne, P.; Hughes, K. G.; Gough, A. J.; Smith, I.; Williams, M.; Robinson, N. J.; Stevens, C. L.; Rack, W.; Price, D.; Leonard, G. H.; Mohoney, A. R.; Haas, C.; Haskell, T. G.

    2015-12-01

    Ice shelf basal melting freshens and cools the fluid in the ice shelf-ocean boundary layer, producing Ice Shelf Water (ISW). The potential temperature of ISW is below the surface freezing point. Antarctic sea ice that has been affected by supercooled Ice Shelf Water (ISW) has a unique crystallographic structure and is called platelet ice. We have synthesized platelet ice observations to construct a continent-wide map of the winter presence of ISW at the ocean surface. Where suitable observations exist, oceanic heat fluxes are derived from sub-ice platelet layer measurements and these are shown in the figure. They demonstrate that in some regions of coastal Antarctica, supercooled ISW drives a negative oceanic heat flux of approximately -30 Wm-2 that persists for several months during winter. This heat flux from the sea ice to the ocean significantly increases the sea ice thickness close to an ice shelf. In other regions, particularly where the thinning of ice shelves is believed to be greatest, platelet ice is not observed. The most extensive dataset, which includes our new results, dates back to 1902 and extends north of the combined Ross and McMurdo Ice Shelf front in the southern Ross Sea. Here the surface water is held just below its freezing point as it enters McMurdo Sound from beneath the McMurdo Ice Shelf. Despite a more recent decrease in ocean salinity consistent with observations in the south-western Ross Sea, there has been no detectable change in the volume or temperature of this supercooled ISW under sea ice since the early twentieth century. The inclusion of platelet ice into first year sea ice is an annual process. Hence it will respond immediately to changes in the sub-ice shelf circulation pattern and its export of supercooled water, emphasizing the urgent need for careful, Antarctic-wide monitoring.

  15. Stratospheric Impacts on Arctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichler, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Long-term circulation change in the stratosphere can have substantial effects on the oceans and their circulation. In this study we investigate whether and how sea ice at the ocean surface responds to intraseasonal stratospheric variability. Our main question is whether the surface impact of stratospheric sudden warmings (SSWs) is strong and long enough to affect sea ice. A related question is whether the increased frequency of SSWs during the 2000s contributed to the rapid decrease in Arctic sea ice during this time. To this end we analyze observations of sea ice, NCEP/NCAR reanalysis, and a long control integration with a stratospherically-enhanced version of the GFDL CM2.1 climate model. From both observations and the model we find that stratospheric extreme events have a demonstrable impact on the distribution of Arctic sea ice. The areas most affected are near the edge of the climatological ice line over the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and the Arctic Ocean. The absolute changes in sea ice coverage amount to +/-10 %. Areas and magnitudes of increase and decrease are about the same. It is thus unlikely that the increased SSW frequency during the 2000s contributed to the decline of sea ice during that period. The sea ice changes are consistent with the impacts of a negative NAO at the surface and can be understood in terms of (1) dynamical change due to altered surface wind stress and (2) thermodynamical change due to altered temperature advection. Both dynamical and thermodynamical change positively reinforce each other in producing sea change. A simple advection model is used to demonstrate that most of the sea ice change can be explained from the sea ice drift due to the anomalous surface wind stress. Changes in the production or melt of sea ice by thermodynamical effects are less important. Overall, this study adds to an increasing body of evidence that the stratosphere not only impacts weather and climate of the atmosphere but also the surface and

  16. Sea ice concentration temporal variability over the Weddell Sea and its relationship with tropical sea surface temperature

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barreira, S.; Compagnucci, R.

    2007-01-01

    Principal Components Analysis (PCA) in S-Mode (correlation between temporal series) was performed on sea ice monthly anomalies, in order to investigate which are the main temporal patterns, where are the homogenous areas located and how are they related to the sea surface temperature (SST). This analysis provides 9 patterns (4 in the Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas and 5 in the Weddell Sea) that represent the most important temporal features that dominated sea ice concentration anomalies (SICA) variability in the Weddell, Amundsen and Bellingshausen Seas over the 1979-2000 period. Monthly Polar Gridded Sea Ice Concentrations data set derived from satellite information generated by NASA Team algorithm and acquired from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) were used. Monthly means SST are provided by the National Center for Environmental Prediction reanalysis. The first temporal pattern series obtained by PCA has its homogeneous area located at the external region of the Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas and Drake Passage, mostly north of 60°S. The second region is centered in 30°W and located at the southeast of the Weddell. The third area is localized east of 30°W and north of 60°S. South of the first area, the fourth PC series has its homogenous region, between 30° and 60°W. The last area is centered at 0° W and south of 60°S. Correlation charts between the five Principal Components series and SST were performed. Positive correlations over the Tropical Pacific Ocean were found for the five PCs when SST series preceded SICA PC series. The sign of the correlation could relate the occurrence of an El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) warm (cold) event with posterior positive (negative) anomalies of sea ice concentration over the Weddell Sea.

  17. Extracellular macromolecules in sea-ice: Effects on sea-ice structure and their implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ewert, M.; Bayer-Giraldi, M.

    2012-04-01

    Brine inclusions within sea-ice offer a favorable environment for certain marine microorganisms which live and thrive within the ice. These assemblages are a crucial element in the polar ecosystem. Partly entrained by ice platelets into the ice sheet, microorganisms closely interact with the liquid and solid phases of this porous environment (brine and ice), likely influencing their properties. Extracellular polysaccharide substances (EPS) and antifreeze proteins (AFP) have been identified as major elements with the potential to affect ice structure and processes, due to their capability to interact with ice crystals (selected planes in the case of AFPs) and with water molecules and salt ions present in the brine. EPS present in sea water can be selectively retained in the ice during ice formation, with implications for ice structure. Likewise, EPS and AFP released by sea-ice organisms would have a local effect, altering the microenvironment for the benefit of the organism. Macroscopic and microscopic observations showed effects on ice microstructure and a possible increase in brine fraction within the ice caused by AFPs and EPS, implicating changes in ice porosity and permeability. In the following we describe some of the interactions between sea-ice macromolecules, EPS and AFP, and the sea-ice system. We show their influence in ice structure, and discuss probable implications and consequences for microbial survival, distribution of dissolved material between sea-ice and the water column, and possible effects on the seasonal evolution of the ice. All of these could be relevant to the understanding of biogeochemical processes and the limits of habitability, as well as suggest possible applications of these substances.

  18. L-band radiometry for sea ice applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heygster, G.; Hedricks, S.; Mills, P.; Kaleschke, L.; Stammer, D.; Tonboe, R.

    2009-04-01

    Although sea ice remote sensing has reached the level of operational exploitation with well established retrieval methods, several important tasks are still unsolved. In particular during freezing and melting periods with mixed ice and water surfaces, estimates of ice concentration with passive and active microwave sensors remain challenging. Newly formed thin ice is also hard to distinguish from open water with radiometers for frequencies above 8 GHz. The SMOS configuration (planned launch 2009) with a radiometer at 1.4 GHz is a promising technique to complement observations at higher microwave frequencies. ESA has initiated a project to investigate the possibilities for an additional Level-2 sea ice data product based on SMOS. In detail, the project objectives are (1) to model the L band emission of sea ice, and to assess the potential (2) to retrieve sea ice parameters, especially concentration and thickness, and (3) to use cold water regions for an external calibration of SMOS. Modelling of L band emission: Several models have are investigated. All of them work on the same basic principles and have a vertically-layered, plane-parallel geometry. They are comprised of three basic components: (1) effective permittivities are calculated for each layer based on ice bulk and micro-structural properties; (2) these are integrated across the total depth to derive emitted brightness temperature; (3) scattering terms can also be added because of the granular structure of ice and snow. MEMLS (Microwave Emission Model of Layered Snowpacks (Wiesmann and Matzler 1999)) is one such model that contains all three elements in a single Matlab program. In the absence of knowledge about the internal structure of the sea ice, three-layer (air, ice and water) dielectric slab models which take as input a single effective permittivity for the ice layer are appropriate. By ignoring scattering effects one can derive a simple analytic expression for a dielectric slab as shown by Apinis and

  19. Quantifying Sea Ice Advection Through Key "Gates" in the Arctic Using the Sea Ice Motion and Age Data Products at the University of Colorado, Boulder With Applications to Studying Changes in the Arctic Ice Pack.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tooth, M.; Tschudi, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    The past several decades have seen an alarming decline in sea ice extent, and a trend toward thinner, first-year ice throughout the Arctic. This younger ice has a lower probability of surviving the next melt season, and features different surface properties than multi-year ice floes typically possess. Through the combination of satellite passive microwave observations and buoy data, the motion and age of the ice pack in the Arctic are tracked and analyzed using datasets produced at the University of Colorado, Boulder that are archived at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The ice motion product is produced daily from 1978 to the present, and the weekly age data span from 1985 onward. Using these products, the advection of first-year and multi-year ice is tracked through several key ice "gates" throughout the Arctic on relatively short time scales. Understanding the "sinks" that sea ice travels to and melts in will provide a more complete picture of the underlying causes in the decline in sea ice extent and volume in the Arctic. Through tracking the trajectory and locations of ice parcels in our ice motion product, we can also use other co-located data products to assess the impact of radiative and other climate component forcing on the Arctic ice pack.

  20. Stratospheric Ozone-induced Indirect Radiative Effects on Antarctic Sea Ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Y.; Xia, Y.; LIU, J.; Huang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies demonstrated that the Antarctic Ozone Hole has important influences on Antarctic sea ice. While all these have focused on stratospheric ozone-induced dynamic effects on sea ice, here we show results that ozone-induced indirect radiative effects have important influences on Antarctic sea ice. Our simulations demonstrate that the recovery of the Antarctic Ozone Hole causes equatorward shift of clouds over the Southern Ocean. The cloud-band shift leads to reduction of downward infrared radiation, which causes surface cooling. On the other hand, it also causes increasing solar radiation on the surface. However, the increase in solar radiation is offset by surface reflection due to increasing sea ice. As a result solar radiation absorbed by the surface is reduced, which also causes surface cooling. Therefore, the overall ozone-induced cloud radiative effect is to cool the surface and causes expansion of sea ice around the Antarctic. As shown in previous studies, the cloud-band shift is associated with the equatorward shift of the westerly jet stream around the Antarctic. Our simulations also demonstrate increasing snow rate near the sea ice edge, which also contributes to Antarctic sea-ice expansion. The ozone-induced cloud radiative effect would mitigate Antarctic sea-ice melting due to greenhouse warming in the 21st century.

  1. Spatial Variability of Barrow-Area Shore-Fast Sea Ice and Its Relationships to Passive Microwave Emissivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maslanik, J. A.; Rivas, M. Belmonte; Holmgren, J.; Gasiewski, A. J.; Heinrichs, J. F.; Stroeve, J. C.; Klein, M.; Markus, T.; Perovich, D. K.; Sonntag, J. G.; Tape, K.

    2006-01-01

    Aircraft-acquired passive microwave data, laser radar height observations, RADARSAT synthetic aperture radar imagery, and in situ measurements obtained during the AMSR-Ice03 experiment are used to investigate relationships between microwave emission and ice characteristics over several space scales. The data fusion allows delineation of the shore-fast ice and pack ice in the Barrow area, AK, into several ice classes. Results show good agreement between observed and Polarimetric Scanning Radiometer (PSR)-derived snow depths over relatively smooth ice, with larger differences over ridged and rubbled ice. The PSR results are consistent with the effects on snow depth of the spatial distribution and nature of ice roughness, ridging, and other factors such as ice age. Apparent relationships exist between ice roughness and the degree of depolarization of emission at 10,19, and 37 GHz. This depolarization .would yield overestimates of total ice concentration using polarization-based algorithms, with indications of this seen when the NT-2 algorithm is applied to the PSR data. Other characteristics of the microwave data, such as effects of grounding of sea ice and large contrast between sea ice and adjacent land, are also apparent in the PSR data. Overall, the results further demonstrate the importance of macroscale ice roughness conditions such as ridging and rubbling on snow depth and microwave emissivity.

  2. Strong coupling among Antarctic ice shelves, ocean circulation and sea ice in a global sea-ice - ocean circulation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sergienko, Olga

    2016-04-01

    The thermodynamic effects of Antarctic ice shelf interaction with ocean circulation are investigated using a global, high-resolution, isopycnal ocean-circulation model coupled to a sea-ice model. The model uses NASA MERRA Reanalysis from 1992 to 2011 as atmospheric forcing. The simulated long-period variability of ice-shelf melting/freezing rates differ across geographic locations. The ice shelves in Antarctic Peninsula, Amundsen and Bellingshausen sea embayments and the Amery Ice Shelf experience an increase in melting starting from 2005. This increase in melting is due to an increase in the subsurface (100-500 m) ocean heat content in the embayments of these ice shelves, which is caused by an increase in sea-ice concentration after 2005, and consequent reduction of the heat loss to the atmosphere. Our simulations provide a strong evidence for a coupling between ocean circulation, sea ice and ice shelves.

  3. Object-based Image Classification of Arctic Sea Ice and Melt Ponds through Aerial Photos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miao, X.; Xie, H.; Li, Z.; Lei, R.

    2013-12-01

    The last six years have marked the lowest Arctic summer sea ice extents in the modern era, with a new record summer minimum (3.4 million km2) set on 13 September 2012. It has been predicted that the Arctic could be free of summer ice within the next 25-30. The loss of Arctic summer ice could have serious consequences, such as higher water temperature due to the positive feedback of albedo, more powerful and frequent storms, rising sea levels, diminished habitats for polar animals, and more pollution due to fossil fuel exploitation and/ or increased traffic through the Northwest/ Northeast Passage. In these processes, melt ponds play an important role in Earth's radiation balance since they strongly absorb solar radiation rather than reflecting it as snow and ice do. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the ability of predicting the sea ice/ melt pond extents and space-time evolution, which is pivotal to prepare for the variation and uncertainty of the future environment, political, economic, and military needs. A lot of efforts have been put into Arctic sea ice modeling to simulate sea ice processes. However, these sea ice models were initiated and developed based on limited field surveys, aircraft or satellite image data. Therefore, it is necessary to collect high resolution sea ice aerial photo in a systematic way to tune up, validate, and improve models. Currently there are many sea ice aerial photos available, such as Chinese Arctic Exploration (CHINARE 2008, 2010, 2012), SHEBA 1998 and HOTRAX 2005. However, manually delineating of sea ice and melt pond from these images is time-consuming and labor-intensive. In this study, we use the object-based remote sensing classification scheme to extract sea ice and melt ponds efficiently from 1,727 aerial photos taken during the CHINARE 2010. The algorithm includes three major steps as follows. (1) Image segmentation groups the neighboring pixels into objects according to the similarity of spectral and texture

  4. SIPEX--Exploring the Antarctic Sea Ice Zone

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zicus, Sandra; Dobson, Jane; Worby, Anthony

    2008-01-01

    Sea ice in the polar regions plays a key role in both regulating global climate and maintaining marine ecosystems. The international Sea Ice Physics and Ecosystem eXperiment (SIPEX) explored the sea ice zone around Antarctica in September and October 2007, investigating relationships between the physical sea ice environment and the structure of…

  5. Mirabilite solubility in equilibrium sea ice brines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butler, Benjamin Miles; Papadimitriou, Stathys; Santoro, Anna; Kennedy, Hilary

    2016-06-01

    The sea ice microstructure is permeated by brine channels and pockets that contain concentrated seawater-derived brine. Cooling the sea ice results in further formation of pure ice within these pockets as thermal equilibrium is attained, resulting in a smaller volume of increasingly concentrated residual brine. The coupled changes in temperature and ionic composition result in supersaturation of the brine with respect to mirabilite (Na2SO4·10H2O) at temperatures below -6.38 °C, which consequently precipitates within the sea ice microstructure. Here, mirabilite solubility in natural and synthetic seawater derived brines, representative of sea ice at thermal equilibrium, has been measured in laboratory experiments between 0.2 and -20.6 °C, and hence we present a detailed examination of mirabilite dynamics within the sea ice system. Below -6.38 °C mirabilite displays particularly large changes in solubility as the temperature decreases, and by -20.6 °C its precipitation results in 12.90% and 91.97% reductions in the total dissolved Na+ and SO42- concentrations respectively, compared to that of conservative seawater concentration. Such large non-conservative changes in brine composition could potentially impact upon the measurement of sea ice brine salinity and pH, whilst the altered osmotic conditions may create additional challenges for the sympagic organisms that inhabit the sea ice system. At temperatures above -6.38 °C, mirabilite again displays large changes in solubility that likely aid in impeding its identification in field samples of sea ice. Our solubility measurements display excellent agreement with that of the FREZCHEM model, which was therefore used to supplement our measurements to colder temperatures. Measured and modelled solubility data were incorporated into a 1D model for the growth of first-year Arctic sea ice. Model results ultimately suggest that mirabilite has a near ubiquitous presence in much of the sea ice on Earth, and illustrate the

  6. The role of snow/ice cover in the formation of a local Himalayan circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Shupo; Zhou, Libo; Zou, Han; Zhang, Meigen; Li, Peng

    2013-04-01

    Observations and model simulations were conducted in a typical Himalayan valley to investigate the role of snow/ice cover in the formation of the local diurnal wind. An unusual local circulation was observed in the Himalayas with a strong down-valley flow dominant from noon to midnight, greatly differing from those in other mountainous regions. Two experiments with snow/ice cover included/excluded were performed using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) to reconstruct the Himalayan circulation, and to reveal the role of snow/ice in this circulation. The results show that the wind system in the Himalayas is composed of both glacier winds driven by the snow/ice cover and classical mountain-valley winds. In particular, the glacier winds establish the distinctive feature of the Himalayan local circulation, i.e., the strong down-valley flow in the afternoon.

  7. Influence of sea ice on Arctic precipitation.

    PubMed

    Kopec, Ben G; Feng, Xiahong; Michel, Fred A; Posmentier, Eric S

    2016-01-01

    Global climate is influenced by the Arctic hydrologic cycle, which is, in part, regulated by sea ice through its control on evaporation and precipitation. However, the quantitative link between precipitation and sea ice extent is poorly constrained. Here we present observational evidence for the response of precipitation to sea ice reduction and assess the sensitivity of the response. Changes in the proportion of moisture sourced from the Arctic with sea ice change in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland Sea regions over the past two decades are inferred from annually averaged deuterium excess (d-excess) measurements from six sites. Other influences on the Arctic hydrologic cycle, such as the strength of meridional transport, are assessed using the North Atlantic Oscillation index. We find that the independent, direct effect of sea ice on the increase of the percentage of Arctic sourced moisture (or Arctic moisture proportion, AMP) is 18.2 ± 4.6% and 10.8 ± 3.6%/100,000 km(2) sea ice lost for each region, respectively, corresponding to increases of 10.9 ± 2.8% and 2.7 ± 1.1%/1 °C of warming in the vapor source regions. The moisture source changes likely result in increases of precipitation and changes in energy balance, creating significant uncertainty for climate predictions.

  8. Influence of sea ice on Arctic precipitation

    PubMed Central

    Kopec, Ben G.; Feng, Xiahong; Michel, Fred A.; Posmentier, Eric S.

    2016-01-01

    Global climate is influenced by the Arctic hydrologic cycle, which is, in part, regulated by sea ice through its control on evaporation and precipitation. However, the quantitative link between precipitation and sea ice extent is poorly constrained. Here we present observational evidence for the response of precipitation to sea ice reduction and assess the sensitivity of the response. Changes in the proportion of moisture sourced from the Arctic with sea ice change in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland Sea regions over the past two decades are inferred from annually averaged deuterium excess (d-excess) measurements from six sites. Other influences on the Arctic hydrologic cycle, such as the strength of meridional transport, are assessed using the North Atlantic Oscillation index. We find that the independent, direct effect of sea ice on the increase of the percentage of Arctic sourced moisture (or Arctic moisture proportion, AMP) is 18.2 ± 4.6% and 10.8 ± 3.6%/100,000 km2 sea ice lost for each region, respectively, corresponding to increases of 10.9 ± 2.8% and 2.7 ± 1.1%/1 °C of warming in the vapor source regions. The moisture source changes likely result in increases of precipitation and changes in energy balance, creating significant uncertainty for climate predictions. PMID:26699509

  9. Exploring the utility of quantitative network design in evaluating Arctic sea ice thickness sampling strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaminski, T.; Kauker, F.; Eicken, H.; Karcher, M.

    2015-08-01

    We present a quantitative network design (QND) study of the Arctic sea ice-ocean system using a software tool that can evaluate hypothetical observational networks in a variational data assimilation system. For a demonstration, we evaluate two idealised flight transects derived from NASA's Operation IceBridge airborne ice surveys in terms of their potential to improve 10-day to 5-month sea ice forecasts. As target regions for the forecasts we select the Chukchi Sea, an area particularly relevant for maritime traffic and offshore resource exploration, as well as two areas related to the Barnett ice severity index (BSI), a standard measure of shipping conditions along the Alaskan coast that is routinely issued by ice services. Our analysis quantifies the benefits of sampling upstream of the target area and of reducing the sampling uncertainty. We demonstrate how observations of sea ice and snow thickness can constrain ice and snow variables in a target region and quantify the complementarity of combining two flight transects. We further quantify the benefit of improved atmospheric forecasts and a well-calibrated model.

  10. 76 FR 7238 - Pipeline Safety: Dangers of Abnormal Snow and Ice Build-Up on Gas Distribution Systems

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-09

    ... distribution system facilities appear to have been related to either the stress of snow and ice or the... distribution system facilities that appear to have been related to either the stress of snow and ice or... greatest risk. Damage may result from the stresses imposed by the additional loading of the snow or...

  11. ALBEDO MODELS FOR SNOW AND ICE ON A FRESHWATER LAKE. (R824801)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Snow and ice albedo measurements were taken over a freshwater lake in Minnesota for three months during the winter of 1996¯1997 for use in a winter lake water quality model. The mean albedo of new snow was measured as 0.83±0.028, while the...

  12. Modeling of light absorbing particles in atmosphere, snow and ice in the Arctic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sobhani, N.; Kulkarni, S.; Carmichael, G. R.

    2015-12-01

    Long-range transport of atmospheric particles from mid-latitude sources to the Arctic is the main contributor to the Arctic aerosol loadings and deposition. Black Carbon (BC), Brown Carbon (BrC) and dust are considered of great climatic importance and are the main absorbers of sunlight in the atmosphere. Furthermore, wet and dry deposition of light absorbing particles (LAPs) on snow and ice cause reduction of snow and ice albedo. LAPs have significant radiative forcing and effect on snow albedo. There are high uncertainties in estimating radiative forcing of LAPs. We studied the potential effect of LAPs from different emission source regions and sectors on snow albedo in the Arctic. The transport pathway of LAPs to the Arctic is studies for different high pollution episodes. In this study a modeling framework including Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) and the University of Iowa's Sulfur Transport and dEpostion model(STEM) is used to predict the transport of LAPs from different geographical sources and sectors (i.e. transportation, residential, industry, biomass burning and power) to the Arctic. For assessing the effect of LAP deposition on snow single-layer simulator of the SNow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiation (SNICAR-Online) model was used to derive snow albedo values for snow albedo reduction causes by BC deposition. To evaluate the simulated values we compared the BC concentration in snow with observed values from previous studies including Doherty et al. 2010.

  13. Floating Ice-Algal Aggregates below Melting Arctic Sea Ice

    PubMed Central

    Assmy, Philipp; Ehn, Jens K.; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hop, Haakon; Katlein, Christian; Sundfjord, Arild; Bluhm, Katrin; Daase, Malin; Engel, Anja; Fransson, Agneta; Granskog, Mats A.; Hudson, Stephen R.; Kristiansen, Svein; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Renner, Angelika H. H.; Spreen, Gunnar; Tatarek, Agnieszka; Wiktor, Jozef

    2013-01-01

    During two consecutive cruises to the Eastern Central Arctic in late summer 2012, we observed floating algal aggregates in the melt-water layer below and between melting ice floes of first-year pack ice. The macroscopic (1-15 cm in diameter) aggregates had a mucous consistency and were dominated by typical ice-associated pennate diatoms embedded within the mucous matrix. Aggregates maintained buoyancy and accumulated just above a strong pycnocline that separated meltwater and seawater layers. We were able, for the first time, to obtain quantitative abundance and biomass estimates of these aggregates. Although their biomass and production on a square metre basis was small compared to ice-algal blooms, the floating ice-algal aggregates supported high levels of biological activity on the scale of the individual aggregate. In addition they constituted a food source for the ice-associated fauna as revealed by pigments indicative of zooplankton grazing, high abundance of naked ciliates, and ice amphipods associated with them. During the Arctic melt season, these floating aggregates likely play an important ecological role in an otherwise impoverished near-surface sea ice environment. Our findings provide important observations and measurements of a unique aggregate-based habitat during the 2012 record sea ice minimum year. PMID:24204642

  14. Floating ice-algal aggregates below melting arctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Assmy, Philipp; Ehn, Jens K; Fernández-Méndez, Mar; Hop, Haakon; Katlein, Christian; Sundfjord, Arild; Bluhm, Katrin; Daase, Malin; Engel, Anja; Fransson, Agneta; Granskog, Mats A; Hudson, Stephen R; Kristiansen, Svein; Nicolaus, Marcel; Peeken, Ilka; Renner, Angelika H H; Spreen, Gunnar; Tatarek, Agnieszka; Wiktor, Jozef

    2013-01-01

    During two consecutive cruises to the Eastern Central Arctic in late summer 2012, we observed floating algal aggregates in the melt-water layer below and between melting ice floes of first-year pack ice. The macroscopic (1-15 cm in diameter) aggregates had a mucous consistency and were dominated by typical ice-associated pennate diatoms embedded within the mucous matrix. Aggregates maintained buoyancy and accumulated just above a strong pycnocline that separated meltwater and seawater layers. We were able, for the first time, to obtain quantitative abundance and biomass estimates of these aggregates. Although their biomass and production on a square metre basis was small compared to ice-algal blooms, the floating ice-algal aggregates supported high levels of biological activity on the scale of the individual aggregate. In addition they constituted a food source for the ice-associated fauna as revealed by pigments indicative of zooplankton grazing, high abundance of naked ciliates, and ice amphipods associated with them. During the Arctic melt season, these floating aggregates likely play an important ecological role in an otherwise impoverished near-surface sea ice environment. Our findings provide important observations and measurements of a unique aggregate-based habitat during the 2012 record sea ice minimum year.

  15. Sea Ice Thickness Comparison: 1979 vs 2013

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animation compares the difference in the area, volume and depth of the average September Arctic sea ice between 1979, shown in blue, and 2013, shown in orange. The data from these two years ha...

  16. Approaching the 2015 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum

    NASA Video Gallery

    As the sun sets over the Arctic, the end of this year’s melt season is quickly approaching and the sea ice cover has already shrunk to the fourth lowest in the satellite record. With possibly some ...

  17. Comparison Graph of Sea Ice Minimum - 2010

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animated graph tracks the retreat of sea ice, measured in millions of square kilometers, averaged from the start of the satellite record in 1979 through 2000 (white). Next, the graph follows t...

  18. Observations and modelling of fast ice growth in the Tiksi Bay, Laptev Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bogorodsky, Petr; Makshtas, Aleksandr; Grubiy, Andrey; Kustov, Vasiliy

    2016-04-01

    Fast ice is one of the main features of sea ice cover in the Laptev Sea. The formation of this immobile ice which occupies up to 30% of the sea area and significantly affects the intensity of air-sea energy exchange in the coastal zones had been investigated during winter 2014-2015 in the Tiksi Bay (Buor-Khaya Gulf). The temperature measurements within sea ice thickness and under-ice sea layer using GeoPrecision thermistor string of 10 sensors together with measurements of snow and ice thicknesses were carried out at the distance of 0.5 km from the shore at the 3.5 m water depth. According to measurements temperature variations qualitatively repeat air temperature variations and, damping with depth, approach to sea water freezing temperature. Vertical temperature distributions allow to recognize snow, ice and water layers by profile inclination in each layer. The temperature profiles within growing ice were quasi-linear, indicating permanence of heat flux inside ice. The linearity of temperature profiles increased during ice growth. For calculations of fast ice evolution one-dimensional thermodynamic model was used. Besides the empirical formulae, based on frost degree-days, developed in 1930th for the Tiksi Bay was applied. Numerical experiments were carried out with constant values of thermal properties of all media and 10 ppt water salinity, as initial condition. The daily average data from Hydrometeorological Observatory Tiksi, located approximately 1 km from the site of ice observations, were used as atmospheric forcing. For the examined area evolutions of ice cover thickness estimated from direct measurements, the thermodynamic model and the empirical formulae were almost identical. The result indicates stability of hydrological and meteorological conditions, determining fast ice growth in the Tiksi Bay during last 75 years. Model simulations showed that in shallow waters the growth of ice thickness is stabilized due to increase of sub-ice water layer

  19. Dynamics of Arctic sea ice discussed at workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overland, James; Ukita, Jinro

    Sea ice is an interesting geophysical material: it behaves as a large-scale hardening plastic. Consider the impact of the sea-ice covers mechanical behavior on the energy and momentum exchange within the complex atmosphere-ice-ocean system. Sea ice acts as an insulator between the relatively warm ocean water and the cold polar atmosphere. Sea ice cover interacts with the atmosphere by regulating air-sea fluxes, changing surface albedo, and influencing the long-wave radiative balance.

  20. Mercury distribution and transport across the ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere interface in the Arctic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Chaulk, Amanda; Stern, Gary A; Armstrong, Debbie; Barber, David G; Wang, Feiyue

    2011-03-01

    The Arctic sea-ice environment has been undergoing dramatic changes in the past decades; to which extent this will affect the deposition, fate, and effects of chemical contaminants remains virtually unknown. Here, we report the first study on the distribution and transport of mercury (Hg) across the ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere interface in the Southern Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean. Despite being sampled at different sites under various atmospheric and snow cover conditions, Hg concentrations in first-year ice cores were generally low and varied within a remarkably narrow range (0.5-4 ng L(-1)), with the highest concentration always in the surface granular ice layer which is characterized by enriched particle and brine pocket concentration. Atmospheric Hg depletion events appeared not to be an important factor in determining Hg concentrations in sea ice except for frost flowers and in the melt season when snowpack Hg leaches into the sea ice. The multiyear ice core showed a unique cyclic feature in the Hg profile with multiple peaks potentially corresponding to each ice growing/melting season. The highest Hg concentrations (up to 70 ng L(-1)) were found in sea-ice brine and decrease as the melt season progresses. As brine is the primary habitat for microbial communities responsible for sustaining the food web in the Arctic Ocean, the high and seasonally changing Hg concentrations in brine and its potential transformation may have a major impact on Hg uptake in Arctic marine ecosystems under a changing climate.

  1. Seasonal sea ice predictions for the Arctic based on assimilation of remotely sensed observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kauker, F.; Kaminski, T.; Ricker, R.; Toudal-Pedersen, L.; Dybkjaer, G.; Melsheimer, C.; Eastwood, S.; Sumata, H.; Karcher, M.; Gerdes, R.

    2015-10-01

    The recent thinning and shrinking of the Arctic sea ice cover has increased the interest in seasonal sea ice forecasts. Typical tools for such forecasts are numerical models of the coupled ocean sea ice system such as the North Atlantic/Arctic Ocean Sea Ice Model (NAOSIM). The model uses as input the initial state of the system and the atmospheric boundary condition over the forecasting period. This study investigates the potential of remotely sensed ice thickness observations in constraining the initial model state. For this purpose it employs a variational assimilation system around NAOSIM and the Alfred Wegener Institute's CryoSat-2 ice thickness product in conjunction with the University of Bremen's snow depth product and the OSI SAF ice concentration and sea surface temperature products. We investigate the skill of predictions of the summer ice conditions starting in March for three different years. Straightforward assimilation of the above combination of data streams results in slight improvements over some regions (especially in the Beaufort Sea) but degrades the over-all fit to independent observations. A considerable enhancement of forecast skill is demonstrated for a bias correction scheme for the CryoSat-2 ice thickness product that uses a spatially varying scaling factor.

  2. Snow precipitation at four ice core sites in East Antarctica: provenance, seasonality and blocking factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarchilli, Claudio; Frezzotti, Massimo; Ruti, Paolo Michele

    2011-11-01

    Snow precipitation is the primary mass input to the Antarctic ice sheet and is one of the most direct climatic indicators, with important implications for paleoclimatic reconstruction from ice cores. Provenance of precipitation and the dynamic conditions that force these precipitation events at four deep ice core sites (Dome C, Law Dome, Talos Dome, and Taylor Dome) in East Antarctica were analysed with air mass back trajectories calculated using the Lagrangian model and the mean composite data for precipitation, geopotential height and wind speed field data from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast from 1980 to 2001. On an annual basis, back trajectories showed that the Atlantic-Indian and Ross-Pacific Oceans were the main provenances of precipitation in Wilkes Land (80%) and Victoria Land (40%), respectively, whereas the greatest influence of the ice sheet was on the interior near the Vostok site (80%) and in the Southwest Ross Sea (50%), an effect that decreased towards the coast and along the Antarctic slope. Victoria Land received snowfall atypically with respect to other Antarctica areas in terms of pathway (eastern instead of western), seasonality (summer instead of winter) and velocity (old air age). Geopotential height patterns at 500 hPa at low (>10 days) and high (2-6 days) frequencies during snowfall cycles at two core sites showed large positive anomalies at low frequencies developing in the Tasman Sea-Eastern Indian Ocean at higher latitudes (60-70°S) than normal. This could be considered part of an atmospheric blocking event, with transient eddies acting to decelerate westerlies in a split region area and accelerate the flow on the flanks of the low-frequency positive anomalies.

  3. Assimilating SMOS sea ice thickness into a coupled ice-ocean model using a local SEIK filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Qinghua; Losa, Svetlana N.; Losch, Martin; Tian-Kunze, Xiangshan; Nerger, Lars; Liu, Jiping; Kaleschke, Lars; Zhang, Zhanhai

    2014-10-01

    The impact of assimilating sea ice thickness data derived from ESA's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite together with Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) sea ice concentration data of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in a coupled sea ice-ocean model is examined. A period of 3 months from 1 November 2011 to 31 January 2012 is selected to assess the forecast skill of the assimilation system. The 24 h forecasts and longer forecasts are based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model (MITgcm), and the assimilation is performed by a localized Singular Evolutive Interpolated Kalman (LSEIK) filter. For comparison, the assimilation is repeated only with the SSMIS sea ice concentrations. By running two different assimilation experiments, and comparing with the unassimilated model, independent satellite-derived data, and in situ observation, it is shown that the SMOS ice thickness assimilation leads to improved thickness forecasts. With SMOS thickness data, the sea ice concentration forecasts also agree better with observations, although this improvement is smaller.

  4. Modelling ice conditions in the easternmost Gulf of Finland in the Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryabchenko, Vladimir; Dvornikov, Anton; Haapala, Jari; Myrberg, Kai

    2010-07-01

    To model ice conditions in the eastern Gulf of Finland, a high-resolution three-dimensional hydrodynamic model is coupled with the advanced sea-ice model HELMI ( Haapala et al., 2005). To test the model in extreme situations, the ice pattern in the eastern Gulf of Finland was simulated for a mild ice winter (2007-2008) and for a moderate one (2003-2004). The reference runs were performed on the assumption that the ice in the model domain is fast ice if the sea depth is less than 10 m. Using this assumption, the ice thickness averaged over the Neva Bay (the easternmost part of the Gulf of Finland) is overestimated by the model for almost the entire wintertime in the mild winter and during the ice formation and melting periods in the moderate winter, as compared with the thickness reported in ice charts. For both winters, the model solution without the assumption of a fast ice region is in better agreement with averaged ice thicknesses from ice charts during the ice formation and ice melting periods. The addition of snow on the ice surface in the model without a fast ice region led to a significant decrease of ice thickness during the entire wintertime period for the moderate winter, so that the model agrees well with the ice thickness estimated from observations. At the same time, the decrease of ice thickness in the mild winter was not strong enough, and the model overestimated the observed ice thickness in the Neva Bay in January-March by about 10 cm. We will show that possible reasons for this are heat sources (warm wastewater) within the Neva Bay and uncertainties in the assumed river temperature. In the case of no fast ice region and snow on ice, the model correctly simulates the spatial distribution of ice thickness seen on ice charts for the mild winter. Despite the absence of irregularities in wind forcing - which was assumed to be homogeneous over the model domain - the modelled ice thickness distributions included meso-scale features such as the ridged and

  5. The contribution of mycosporine-like amino acids, chromophoric dissolved organic matter and particles to the UV protection of sea-ice organisms in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Piiparinen, Jonna; Enberg, Sara; Rintala, Janne-Markus; Sommaruga, Ruben; Majaneva, Markus; Autio, Riitta; Vähätalo, Anssi V

    2015-05-01

    The effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on the synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) in sea-ice communities and on the other UV-absorption properties of sea ice were studied in a three-week long in situ experiment in the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea in March 2011. The untreated snow-covered ice and two snow-free ice treatments, one exposed to wavelengths > 400 nm (PAR) and the other to full solar spectrum (PAR + UVR), were analysed for MAAs and absorption coefficients of dissolved (aCDOM) and particulate (ap) fractions, the latter being further divided into non-algal (anap) and algal (aph) components. Our results showed that the diatom and dinoflagellate dominated sea-ice algal community responded to UVR down to 25-30 cm depth by increasing their MAA : chlorophyll-a ratio and by extending the composition of MAA pool from shinorine and palythine to porphyra-334 and an unknown compound with absorption peaks at ca. 335 and 360 nm. MAAs were the dominant absorbing components in algae in the top 10 cm of ice, and their contribution to total absorption became even more pronounced under UVR exposure. In addition to MAAs, the high absorption by chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and by deposited atmospheric particles provided UV-protection for sea-ice organisms in the exposed ice. Efficient UV-protection will especially be of importance under the predicted future climate conditions with more frequent snow-free conditions.

  6. The contribution of mycosporine-like amino acids, chromophoric dissolved organic matter and particles to the UV protection of sea-ice organisms in the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Piiparinen, Jonna; Enberg, Sara; Rintala, Janne-Markus; Sommaruga, Ruben; Majaneva, Markus; Autio, Riitta; Vähätalo, Anssi V

    2015-05-01

    The effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on the synthesis of mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) in sea-ice communities and on the other UV-absorption properties of sea ice were studied in a three-week long in situ experiment in the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea in March 2011. The untreated snow-covered ice and two snow-free ice treatments, one exposed to wavelengths > 400 nm (PAR) and the other to full solar spectrum (PAR + UVR), were analysed for MAAs and absorption coefficients of dissolved (aCDOM) and particulate (ap) fractions, the latter being further divided into non-algal (anap) and algal (aph) components. Our results showed that the diatom and dinoflagellate dominated sea-ice algal community responded to UVR down to 25-30 cm depth by increasing their MAA : chlorophyll-a ratio and by extending the composition of MAA pool from shinorine and palythine to porphyra-334 and an unknown compound with absorption peaks at ca. 335 and 360 nm. MAAs were the dominant absorbing components in algae in the top 10 cm of ice, and their contribution to total absorption became even more pronounced under UVR exposure. In addition to MAAs, the high absorption by chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) and by deposited atmospheric particles provided UV-protection for sea-ice organisms in the exposed ice. Efficient UV-protection will especially be of importance under the predicted future climate conditions with more frequent snow-free conditions. PMID:25837523

  7. Effects of Arctic Sea Ice Decline on Weather and Climate: A Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vihma, Timo

    2014-09-01

    The areal extent, concentration and thickness of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and adjacent seas have strongly decreased during the recent decades, but cold, snow-rich winters have been common over mid-latitude land areas since 2005. A review is presented on studies addressing the local and remote effects of the sea ice decline on weather and climate. It is evident that the reduction in sea ice cover has increased the heat flux from the ocean to atmosphere in autumn and early winter. This has locally increased air temperature, moisture, and cloud cover and reduced the static stability in the lower troposphere. Several studies based on observations, atmospheric reanalyses, and model experiments suggest that the sea ice decline, together with increased snow cover in Eurasia, favours circulation patterns resembling the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation. The suggested large-scale pressure patterns include a high over Eurasia, which favours cold winters in Europe and northeastern Eurasia. A high over the western and a low over the eastern North America have also been suggested, favouring advection of Arctic air masses to North America. Mid-latitude winter weather is, however, affected by several other factors, which generate a large inter-annual variability and often mask the effects of sea ice decline. In addition, the small sample of years with a large sea ice loss makes it difficult to distinguish the effects directly attributable to sea ice conditions. Several studies suggest that, with advancing global warming, cold winters in mid-latitude continents will no longer be common during the second half of the twenty-first century. Recent studies have also suggested causal links between the sea ice decline and summer precipitation in Europe, the Mediterranean, and East Asia.

  8. Distinguishing snow and ice melt contributions using daily MODIS and a temperature index melt model in the Hunza River basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rittger, Karl; Brodzik, Mary J.; Racoviteanu, Adina; Barrett, Andrew; Jodha Kalsa, Siri; Armstrong, Richard

    2015-04-01

    In mountainous regions of High Asia, snow and ice both contribute to streamflow, but few in-situ observations exist that can help distinguish between the two components of melt. Our goal is to develop a melt model that can distinguish between seasonal snow and glacier ice melt at a continental scale. We use a combination of MODIS-derived data sets to distinguish three surface types at daily resolution: 1) exposed glacier ice, 2) snow over ice and 3) snow over land. We use MODICE to map glacier area and then distinguish areas of exposed ice from snow over ice using thresholds on MODIS-derived albedo or grain size products. We map snow over land using the daily MODSCAG fractional snow cover product, and use the time series of three surface types as input to a temperature index melt model. The model outputs melt volumes from exposed glacier ice, snow over ice and snow over land, respectively. To partition the glacier surface into exposed glacier ice versus snow over ice, we threshold MODIS albedo or grain size based on higher-resolution Landsat 8 imagery. During the ablation period, the high elevation mid-latitude snowpack receives intense incoming solar radiation resulting in surface albedo decreases and snow grain growth. We compare differences in modeled melt using two albedo products (Terra Daily Snow Cover algorithm (MOD10A1) and Surface Reflectance BRDF/Albedo (MCD43)) and two grain size products (MODIS Snow Covered Area and Grain Size Model (MODSCAG) and MODIS Dust Radiative Forcing in Snow (MODDRFS)). For the Hunza basin, a sub-basin of the Upper Indus basin, for the years 2001-2004, the modeled melt from exposed glacier ice accounts for: 26-44% (MOD10A1 albedo), 24-32% (MCD43 albedo), 17-28% (MODSCAG grain size) or 23-26% (MODDRFS grain size) of the combined melt from all three surface areas.

  9. Using Sea Ice Age as a Proxy for Sea Ice Thickness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stroeve, J. C.; Tschudi, M. A.; Maslanik, J. A.

    2014-12-01

    Since the beginning of the modern satellite record starting in October 1978, the Arctic sea ice cover has been shrinking, with the largest changes observed at the end of the melt season in September. Through 2013, the September ice extent has declined at a rate of -14.0% dec-1, or -895,300 km2 dec-1. The seven lowest September extents in the satellite record have all occurred in the past seven years. This reduction in ice extent is accompanied by large reductions in winter ice thicknesses that are primarily explained by changes in the ocean's coverage of multiyear ice (MYI). Using the University of Colorado ice age product developed by J. Maslanik and C. Fowler, and currently produced by M. Tschudi we present recent changes in the distribution of ice age from the mid 1980s to present. The CU ice age product is based on (1) the use of ice motion to track areas of sea ice and thus estimate how long the ice survives within the Arctic, and (2) satellite imagery of sea ice concentration to determine when the ice disappears. Age is assigned on a yearly basis, with the age incremented by one year if the ice survives summer melt and stays within the Arctic domain. Age is counted from 1 to 10 years, with all ice older than 10 years assigned to the "10+" age category. The position of the ice is calculated on weekly time steps on NSIDC's 12.5-km EASE-grid. In the mid-1980s, MYI accounted for 70% of total winter ice extent, whereas by the end of 2012 it had dropped to less than 20%. This reflects not only a change in ice type, but also a general thinning of the ice pack, as older ice tends to be thicker ice. Thus, with older ice being replaced by thinner first-year ice, the ice pack is more susceptible to melting out than it was in 1980's. It has been suggested that ice age may be a useful proxy for long-term changes in ice thickness. To assess the relationship between ice age and thickness, and how this may be changing over time, we compare the ice age fields to several

  10. Variations in brightness temperature over cold first-year sea ice near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lohanick, A. W.; Grenfell, T. C.

    1986-01-01

    Microwave radiometric temperature T(B) profiles of first-year sea ice were obtained along 70- to 100-m traverses, with sled-mounted radiometers at 10, 18.7, 33.6, and 37 GHz and an effective spot size of 30 cm. Measurements of T(B) as a function of nadir angle were obtained at selected sites along the traverses. Snow and ice properties were recorded and correlated with the T(B) measurements to infer the effect of snow cover and ice conditions on the radiometric temperature. T(B) correlated positively with the brine volume profile in the ice at several sites, suggesting that brine volume has a strong effect on T(B) under these conditions. An overall statistical comparison of snow thickness with T(B), when compared with previously published models, suggests that the effect of snow cover on the microwave transmission coefficient of the snow/ice interface may be an important contribution to the radiometric temperature at these frequencies. A model is proposed to explain the data.

  11. EOS Aqua AMSR-E Arctic Sea-Ice Validation Program: Arctic2006 Aircraft Campaign Flight Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cavalieri, D. J.; Markus, T.

    2006-01-01

    In March 2006, a coordinated Arctic sea-ice validation field campaign using the NASA Wallops P-3B aircraft was successfully completed. This campaign was the second Alaskan Arctic field campaign for validating the Earth Observing System (EOS) Aqua Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) sea-ice products. The first campaign was completed in March 2003. The AMSR-E, designed and built by the Japanese Space Agency for NASA, was launched May 4, 2002 on the EOS Aqua spacecraft. The AMSR-E sea-ice products to be validated include sea-ice concentration, sea-ice temperature, and snow depth on sea ice. The focus of this campaign was on the validation of snow depth on sea ice and sea-ice temperature. This flight report describes the suite of instruments flown on the P-3, the objectives of each of the six flights, the Arctic regions overflown, and the coordination among satellite, aircraft, and surface-based measurements.

  12. NASA Team 2 Sea Ice Concentration Algorithm Retrieval Uncertainty

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brucker, Ludovic; Cavalieri, Donald J.; Markus, Thorsten; Ivanoff, Alvaro

    2014-01-01

    Satellite microwave radiometers are widely used to estimate sea ice cover properties (concentration, extent, and area) through the use of sea ice concentration (IC) algorithms. Rare are the algorithms providing associated IC uncertainty estimates. Algorithm uncertainty estimates are needed to assess accurately global and regional trends in IC (and thus extent and area), and to improve sea ice predictions on seasonal to interannual timescales using data assimilation approaches. This paper presents a method to provide relative IC uncertainty estimates using the enhanced NASA Team (NT2) IC algorithm. The proposed approach takes advantage of the NT2 calculations and solely relies on the brightness temperatures (TBs) used as input. NT2 IC and its associated relative uncertainty are obtained for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres using the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E) TB. NT2 IC relative uncertainties estimated on a footprint-by-footprint swath-by-swath basis were averaged daily over each 12.5-km grid cell of the polar stereographic grid. For both hemispheres and throughout the year, the NT2 relative uncertainty is less than 5%. In the Southern Hemisphere, it is low in the interior ice pack, and it increases in the marginal ice zone up to 5%. In the Northern Hemisphere, areas with high uncertainties are also found in the high IC area of the Central Arctic. Retrieval uncertainties are greater in areas corresponding to NT2 ice types associated with deep snow and new ice. Seasonal variations in uncertainty show larger values in summer as a result of melt conditions and greater atmospheric contributions. Our analysis also includes an evaluation of the NT2 algorithm sensitivity to AMSR-E sensor noise. There is a 60% probability that the IC does not change (to within the computed retrieval precision of 1%) due to sensor noise, and the cumulated probability shows that there is a 90% chance that the IC varies by less than

  13. The central role of diminishing sea ice in recent Arctic temperature amplification.

    PubMed

    Screen, James A; Simmonds, Ian

    2010-04-29

    The rise in Arctic near-surface air temperatures has been almost twice as large as the global average in recent decades-a feature known as 'Arctic amplification'. Increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases have driven Arctic and global average warming; however, the underlying causes of Arctic amplification remain uncertain. The roles of reductions in snow and sea ice cover and changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation, cloud cover and water vapour are still matters of debate. A better understanding of the processes responsible for the recent amplified warming is essential for assessing the likelihood, and impacts, of future rapid Arctic warming and sea ice loss. Here we show that the Arctic warming is strongest at the surface during most of the year and is primarily consistent with reductions in sea ice cover. Changes in cloud cover, in contrast, have not contributed strongly to recent warming. Increases in atmospheric water vapour content, partly in response to reduced sea ice cover, may have enhanced warming in the lower part of the atmosphere during summer and early autumn. We conclude that diminishing sea ice has had a leading role in recent Arctic temperature amplification. The findings reinforce suggestions that strong positive ice-temperature feedbacks have emerged in the Arctic, increasing the chances of further rapid warming and sea ice loss, and will probably affect polar ecosystems, ice-sheet mass balance and human activities in the Arctic.

  14. Real-Time Observations of Optical Properties of Arctic Sea Ice with an Autonomous System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, C.; Gerland, S.; Nicolaus, M.; Granskog, M. A.; Hudson, S. R.; Perovich, D. K.; Karlsen, T. I.; Fossan, K.

    2012-12-01

    The recent drastic changes in the Arctic sea ice cover have altered the interaction of solar radiation and sea ice. To improve our understanding of this interaction, a Spectral Radiation Buoy (SRB) for measuring sea ice optical properties was developed, based on a system used during the last International Polar Year at the drift of "Tara" across the Arctic Ocean. A first version of the SRB was deployed on drifting ice in the high Arctic in April 2012. It includes three Satlantic spectral radiometers (two in air, one under ice), covering the wavelength range from 347 nm to 804 nm with 3.3 nm spectral resolution, a bio-shutter to protect the under-ice radiometer, a data logger to handle and store collected data, and an Iridium satellite modem to transfer data in real-time. The under-ice radiometer is mounted on an adjustable under-ice arm, and the other instruments are mounted on a triangular frame frozen into the ice. The SRB measures simultaneously, autonomously and continuously the spectral fluxes of incident and reflected solar radiation, as well as under-ice irradiance, water temperature and water pressure every hour. So far, between mid April and early August 2012, the system has drifted about 600 km, from the starting position near the North Pole towards the Fram Strait. The data collected during this deployment, so far, already demonstrate that this system is suitable for autonomous and long-term observations over and under sea ice in harsh conditions. Along with the SRB, commercially available Ice Mass Balance buoys (IMB) were deployed on the same ice floe. In the vicinity of the site, manned baseline measurements of snow and sea ice physical properties have been carried out during the SRB deployment. The combined datasets allow description of the evolution of the ice floe during seasonal melt. With snow melt, the spectral surface albedo decreased and the transmittance through the snow and ice increased after mid-April, especially when melt ponds started to

  15. N-ICE2015: Multi-disciplinary study of the young sea ice system north of Svalbard from winter to summer.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steen, Harald; Granskog, Mats; Assmy, Philipp; Duarte, Pedro; Hudson, Stephen; Gerland, Sebastian; Spreen, Gunnar; Smedsrud, Lars H.

    2016-04-01

    The Arctic Ocean is shifting to a new regime with a thinner and smaller sea-ice area cover. Until now, winter sea ice extent has changed less than during summer, as the heat loss to the atmosphere during autumn and winter is large enough form an ice cover in most regions. The insulating snow cover also heavily influences the winter ice growth. Consequently, the older, thicker multi-year sea ice has been replace by a younger and thinner sea. These large changes in the sea ice cover may have dramatic consequences for ecosystems, energy fluxes and ultimately atmospheric circulation and the Northern Hemisphere climate. To study the effects of the changing Arctic the Norwegian Polar Institute, together with national and international partners, launched from January 11 to June 24, 2015 the Norwegian Young Sea ICE cruise 2015 (N-ICE2015). N-ICE2015 was a multi-disciplinary cruise aimed at simultaneously studying the effect of the Arctic Ocean changes in the sea ice, the atmosphere, in radiation, in ecosystems. as well as water chemistry. R/V Lance was frozen into the drift ice north of Svalbard at about N83 E25 and drifted passively southwards with the ice until she was broken loose. When she was loose, R/V Lance was brought back north to a similar starting position. While fast in the ice, she served as a living and working platform for 100 scientist and engineers from 11 countries. One aim of N-ICE2015 is to present a comprehensive data-set on the first year ice dominated system available for the scientific community describing the state and changes of the Arctic sea ice system from freezing to melt. Analyzing the data is progressing and some first results will be presented.