Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

The Timing of Initial Spring Melt in the Arctic from Nimbus-7 SMMR Data (Abstract)

  • Mark R. Anderson (a1)

Abstract

The ablation of sea ice is an important feature in the global climate system. During the melt season in the Arctic, rapid changes occur in sea-ice surface conditions and areal extent of ice. These changes alter the albedo and vary the energy budgets. Understanding the spatial and temporal variations of melt is critical in the polar regions. This study investigates the spring onset of melt in the seasonal sea-ice zone of the Arctic Basin through the use of a melt signature derived by Anderson and others from the Nimbus-7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) data. The signature is recognized in the “gradient ratio” of the 18 and 37 GHz vertical brightness temperatures used to distinguish multi-year ice. A spuriously high fraction of multi-year ice appears rapidly during the initial melt of sea ice, when the snow-pack on the ice surface has started to melt. The brightness-temperature changes are a result of either enlarged snow crystals or incipient puddles forming at the snow/ice interface.

The timing of these melt events varies geographically and with time. Within the Arctic Basin, the melt signatures are observed first in the Chukchi and Kara/Barents Seas. As the melt progresses, the location of the melt signature moves westward from the Chukchi Sea and eastward from the Kara/Barents Seas to the Laptev Sea region. The timing of the melt signal also varies with year. For example, the melt signature occurred first in the Chukchi Sea in 1979, while in 1980 the signature was first observed in the Kara Sea.

There are also differences in the timing of melt for specific geographic locations between years. The melt signature varied almost 25 days in the Chukchi Sea region between 1979 and 1980. The other areas had changes in the 7–10 day range.

The occurrence of these melt signatures can be used as an indicator of climate variability in the seasonal sea-ice zones of the Arctic. The timing of the microwave melt signature has also been examined in relation to melt observed on short-wave imagery. The melt events derived from the SMMR data are also related to the large-scale climate conditions.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The Timing of Initial Spring Melt in the Arctic from Nimbus-7 SMMR Data (Abstract)
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The Timing of Initial Spring Melt in the Arctic from Nimbus-7 SMMR Data (Abstract)
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The Timing of Initial Spring Melt in the Arctic from Nimbus-7 SMMR Data (Abstract)
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

The Timing of Initial Spring Melt in the Arctic from Nimbus-7 SMMR Data (Abstract)

  • Mark R. Anderson (a1)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed