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Title: Retrievals of Arctic Sea-Ice Volume and Its Trend Significantly Affected by Interannual Snow Variability

Abstract

We estimate the uncertainty of satellite-retrieved Arctic sea-ice thickness, sea-ice volume, and their trends stemming from the lack of reliable snow-thickness observations. To illustrate, we simulate a Cryosat2-type ice-thickness retrieval in an ocean-model simulation forced by atmospheric reanalysis, pretending that only freeboard is known as model output. We then convert freeboard to sea-ice thickness using different snow climatologies and compare the resulting sea-ice thickness retrievals to each other and to the real sea-ice thickness of the reanalysis-forced simulation. We postulate that different snow climatologies cause significant differences in the obtained ice thickness and ice volume. Moreover, we show that Arctic ice-volume trends derived from ice-thickness retrievals using any snow-depth climatology are highly unreliable because the estimated trend in ice volume can strongly be influenced by the neglected interannual variability in snow volume.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Max Planck Inst. for Meteorology, Hamburg (Germany)
  2. Technical Univ. of Denmark, Lyngby (Denmark)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1544162
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 45; Journal Issue: 21; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ice thickness; snow depth; ice volume; uncertainty; retrieval algorithm; estimation bias

Citation Formats

Bunzel, Felix, Notz, Dirk, and Pedersen, Leif Toudal. Retrievals of Arctic Sea-Ice Volume and Its Trend Significantly Affected by Interannual Snow Variability. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018GL078867.
Bunzel, Felix, Notz, Dirk, & Pedersen, Leif Toudal. Retrievals of Arctic Sea-Ice Volume and Its Trend Significantly Affected by Interannual Snow Variability. United States. doi:10.1029/2018GL078867.
Bunzel, Felix, Notz, Dirk, and Pedersen, Leif Toudal. Mon . "Retrievals of Arctic Sea-Ice Volume and Its Trend Significantly Affected by Interannual Snow Variability". United States. doi:10.1029/2018GL078867. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1544162.
@article{osti_1544162,
title = {Retrievals of Arctic Sea-Ice Volume and Its Trend Significantly Affected by Interannual Snow Variability},
author = {Bunzel, Felix and Notz, Dirk and Pedersen, Leif Toudal},
abstractNote = {We estimate the uncertainty of satellite-retrieved Arctic sea-ice thickness, sea-ice volume, and their trends stemming from the lack of reliable snow-thickness observations. To illustrate, we simulate a Cryosat2-type ice-thickness retrieval in an ocean-model simulation forced by atmospheric reanalysis, pretending that only freeboard is known as model output. We then convert freeboard to sea-ice thickness using different snow climatologies and compare the resulting sea-ice thickness retrievals to each other and to the real sea-ice thickness of the reanalysis-forced simulation. We postulate that different snow climatologies cause significant differences in the obtained ice thickness and ice volume. Moreover, we show that Arctic ice-volume trends derived from ice-thickness retrievals using any snow-depth climatology are highly unreliable because the estimated trend in ice volume can strongly be influenced by the neglected interannual variability in snow volume.},
doi = {10.1029/2018GL078867},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 21,
volume = 45,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:
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