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Experiments on the snowfall, temperature, and humidity to the Arctic summer snowstorm using ocean-ice couple model (POP2-CICE5) with JRA55-do and MERRA2 forcing

Citation

Lim, Won-Il; Park, Hyo-Seok; Petty, Alek. A.; Seo, Kyong-Hwan (2022), Experiments on the snowfall, temperature, and humidity to the Arctic summer snowstorm using ocean-ice couple model (POP2-CICE5) with JRA55-do and MERRA2 forcing, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4xgxd25c7

Abstract

In the Arctic, short-lived summer snowstorms can provide snow cover that can increase surface reflectivity and heat capacity. Despite their potential importance, little research has been done to understand the impact of summer snowstorms on basin-scale Arctic sea ice cover. Our observational analysis shows that a summer snowstorm event is accompanied by cyclonic ice drift, increases in surface albedo and surface air cooling that can persist for up to ~2 weeks, dampening sea ice loss. Specifically, multiple snowstorm events in a summer, on average, results in net increase in sea ice extent of ~0.2×106 km2 by early September. Experiments with a sophisticated ice-ocean model framework indicate that the initial expansion of sea ice extent is driven by cyclonic wind-driven ice drifts driving sea ice southwards and increasing albedo around the summer ice edge, however the thermal effects from the associated snowfall and atmospheric conditions result in a stronger overall impact on basin-averaged sea ice extent at seasonal scales.

Additional model experiments were carried out to isolate the physical processes contributing to the thermal response of Arctic sea ice to summer snowstorms. Our results show the impact of surface air cooling on sea ice extent is about 3.5 times larger than the snowfall/albedo response. However, our simulated albedo response is weaker than the observed response, likely due to the negligible difference in surface albedo between old snow and freshly fallen snow – a limiting factor in our analysis and a topic worthy of future focus.

Funding

National Research Foundation of Korea, Award: 2020R1A2C2010025

Korea Meteorological Administration, Award: KMI2020-01114