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Near-surface climate and surface energy budget of Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula

Kuipers Munneke, P.; van den Broeke, M.R.; King, J.C.; Gray, T.; Reijmer, C.H.. 2012 Near-surface climate and surface energy budget of Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctic Peninsula. The Cryosphere, 6 (2). 353-363. https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-6-353-2012

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Abstract/Summary

Data collected by two automatic weather stations (AWS) on the Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctica, between 22 January 2009 and 1 February 2011 are analyzed and used as input for a model that computes the surface energy budget (SEB), which includes melt energy. The two AWSs are separated by about 70 km in the north–south direction, and both the near-surface meteorology and the SEB show similarities, although small differences in all components (most notably the melt flux) can be seen. The impact of subsurface absorption of shortwave radiation on melt and snow temperature is significant, and discussed. In winter, longwave cooling of the surface is entirely compensated by a downward turbulent transport of sensible heat. In summer, the positive net radiative flux is compensated by melt, and quite frequently by upward turbulent diffusion of heat and moisture, leading to sublimation and weak convection over the ice shelf. The month of November 2010 is highlighted, when strong westerly flow over the Antarctic Peninsula led to a dry and warm f¨ohn wind over the ice shelf, resulting in warm and sunny conditions. Under these conditions the increase in shortwave and sensible heat fluxes is larger than the decrease of net longwave and latent heat fluxes, providing energy for significant melt.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-6-353-2012
Programmes: BAS Programmes > EU:Ice2Sea
BAS Programmes > Polar Science for Planet Earth (2009 - ) > Climate
ISSN: 1994-0424
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open access journal
Date made live: 19 Dec 2012 15:41 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/20862

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