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Sunlight, Sea Ice, and the Ice Albedo Feedback in a Changing Artic Sea Ice Cover

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Technical Report,01 Dec 2012,30 Nov 2015

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ERDC - CRREL Hanover

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The overarching goal of this work is to develop a quantitative understanding of the partitioning of solar radiation bythe Arctic sea ice cover and its impact on the heat and mass balance of the ice and upper ocean. We have synthesized remote sensing observations, reanalysis products, field observations, autonomous in situ observations, and process models. Our study area is the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas, with particular emphasis on the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. We have completed the assembly of a dataset to examine solar partitioning from the local scale to the basin scale. This dataset includes information on incident solar radiation, ice concentration, ice type, and melt and freeze up onset dates on a 25 x 25 km equal area scalable grid from 1980 to 2014. We have added sea ice thickness information from the PIOMAS model, melt pond coverage from MODIS, and ice-age estimates to this dataset. We have used this extented dataset to build a climatology of the partitioning of solar heat between reflection to the atmosphere, absorption in the snow and sea ice, and transmission to the ocean.

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