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Title: A 10 Year Climatology of Arctic Cloud Fraction and Radiative Forcing at Barrow, Alaska

Abstract

A 10-yr record of Arctic cloud fraction and surface radiation budget has been generated using data collected from June 1998 to May 2008 at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) North Slope of Alaska (NSA) site and the nearby NOAA Barrow Observatory (BRW). The record includes the seasonal variations of cloud fraction (CF), cloud liquid water path (LWP), precipitable water vapor (PWV), surface albedo, shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) fluxes and cloud radative forcings (CRFs), as well as their decadal variations. Values of CF derived from different instruments and methods agree well, having an annual average of ~0.74. Cloudiness increases from March to May, remains high (~0.8-0.9) from May to October, and then decreases over winter. More clouds and higher LWP and PWV occurred during the warm season (May-October) than the cold season (November-April). These results are strongly associated with southerly flow which transports warm, moist air masses to Barrow from the North Pacific and over area of Alaska already free of snow during the warm season and with a dipole pattern of pressure in which a high is centered over the Beaufort Sea and low over the Aleutians during the cold season. The monthly means of estimated clear-sky and measuredmore » allsky SW-down and LW-down fluxes at the two facilities are almost identical with the annual mean differences less than 1.6 W m-2. The downwelling and upwelling LW fluxes remain almost constant from January to March, then increase from March and peak during July-August. SW-down fluxes are primarily determined by seasonal changes in the intensity and duration of insolation over Northern Alaska, and are also strongly dependent on cloud fraction and optical depth, and surface albedo. The monthly variations of NET CRF generally follow the cycle of SW CRF, modulated by LW effects. On annual average, the negative SW CRF and positive LW CRF tend to cancel, resulting in annual average NET CRF of 2-4.5 Wm-2. Arctic clouds have a 3 net warming effect on the surface throughout the year, with exception of the snow-free period from middle June to middle September when there tends to be a cooling effect. The daily average surface albedos agree well at the two sites remaining high (>0.8) until late May, dropping below 0.2 after the snow melts around June and increasing during autumn once snow begins to accumulate. On the basis of long-term regression analyses CF has decreased by about 0.048 while temperature has risen by ≈1.1 K over the 10-yr period, which can be characterized by tendencies of warming mainly during December and April. With regard to the 2007 record minimum Arctic ice extent, this study provides additional empirical evidence that decreased cloud cover and increased SW-down flux during summer contributed to anomalous ice melt in the region north of Barrow. At Barrow, average June-August CF decreased by 0.062 in 2007 from the 10-yr mean, while SW-down and NET fluxes increased by 28.4 Wm-2 and 11.3 Wm-2, respectively. The increase in the NET radiative flux during summer 2007 most likely contributed to an increase in surface air temperature of 1.6 K.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
990524
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-64271
TRN: US201020%%385
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 115:Article No. D17212
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 115
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AIR; ALASKA; ALBEDO; ARCTIC REGIONS; BEAUFORT SEA; CLIMATES; CLOUD COVER; CLOUDS; DIPOLES; DOWNWELLING; INSOLATION; LONG WAVE RADIATION; MONTHLY VARIATIONS; RADIATION FLUX; REMOTE SENSING; SEASONAL VARIATIONS; SEASONS; SHORT WAVE RADIATION; SNOW; SURFACE AIR; UPWELLING; WATER; WATER VAPOR

Citation Formats

Dong, Xiquan, Xi, Baike, Crosby, Kathryn, Long, Charles N, Stone, R S, and Shupe, Matthew D. A 10 Year Climatology of Arctic Cloud Fraction and Radiative Forcing at Barrow, Alaska. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1029/2009JD013489.
Dong, Xiquan, Xi, Baike, Crosby, Kathryn, Long, Charles N, Stone, R S, & Shupe, Matthew D. A 10 Year Climatology of Arctic Cloud Fraction and Radiative Forcing at Barrow, Alaska. United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2009JD013489
Dong, Xiquan, Xi, Baike, Crosby, Kathryn, Long, Charles N, Stone, R S, and Shupe, Matthew D. 2010. "A 10 Year Climatology of Arctic Cloud Fraction and Radiative Forcing at Barrow, Alaska". United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2009JD013489.
@article{osti_990524,
title = {A 10 Year Climatology of Arctic Cloud Fraction and Radiative Forcing at Barrow, Alaska},
author = {Dong, Xiquan and Xi, Baike and Crosby, Kathryn and Long, Charles N and Stone, R S and Shupe, Matthew D},
abstractNote = {A 10-yr record of Arctic cloud fraction and surface radiation budget has been generated using data collected from June 1998 to May 2008 at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) North Slope of Alaska (NSA) site and the nearby NOAA Barrow Observatory (BRW). The record includes the seasonal variations of cloud fraction (CF), cloud liquid water path (LWP), precipitable water vapor (PWV), surface albedo, shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) fluxes and cloud radative forcings (CRFs), as well as their decadal variations. Values of CF derived from different instruments and methods agree well, having an annual average of ~0.74. Cloudiness increases from March to May, remains high (~0.8-0.9) from May to October, and then decreases over winter. More clouds and higher LWP and PWV occurred during the warm season (May-October) than the cold season (November-April). These results are strongly associated with southerly flow which transports warm, moist air masses to Barrow from the North Pacific and over area of Alaska already free of snow during the warm season and with a dipole pattern of pressure in which a high is centered over the Beaufort Sea and low over the Aleutians during the cold season. The monthly means of estimated clear-sky and measured allsky SW-down and LW-down fluxes at the two facilities are almost identical with the annual mean differences less than 1.6 W m-2. The downwelling and upwelling LW fluxes remain almost constant from January to March, then increase from March and peak during July-August. SW-down fluxes are primarily determined by seasonal changes in the intensity and duration of insolation over Northern Alaska, and are also strongly dependent on cloud fraction and optical depth, and surface albedo. The monthly variations of NET CRF generally follow the cycle of SW CRF, modulated by LW effects. On annual average, the negative SW CRF and positive LW CRF tend to cancel, resulting in annual average NET CRF of 2-4.5 Wm-2. Arctic clouds have a 3 net warming effect on the surface throughout the year, with exception of the snow-free period from middle June to middle September when there tends to be a cooling effect. The daily average surface albedos agree well at the two sites remaining high (>0.8) until late May, dropping below 0.2 after the snow melts around June and increasing during autumn once snow begins to accumulate. On the basis of long-term regression analyses CF has decreased by about 0.048 while temperature has risen by ≈1.1 K over the 10-yr period, which can be characterized by tendencies of warming mainly during December and April. With regard to the 2007 record minimum Arctic ice extent, this study provides additional empirical evidence that decreased cloud cover and increased SW-down flux during summer contributed to anomalous ice melt in the region north of Barrow. At Barrow, average June-August CF decreased by 0.062 in 2007 from the 10-yr mean, while SW-down and NET fluxes increased by 28.4 Wm-2 and 11.3 Wm-2, respectively. The increase in the NET radiative flux during summer 2007 most likely contributed to an increase in surface air temperature of 1.6 K.},
doi = {10.1029/2009JD013489},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/990524}, journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 115:Article No. D17212},
number = ,
volume = 115,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {9}
}