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

Felix Bunzel*, Dirk Notz, Leif Toudal Pedersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

77 Downloads (Pure)

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 do so, 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 find that different snow climatologies cause significant differences in the obtained ice thickness and ice volume. In addition, 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume45
Issue number21
Pages (from-to)11,751-11,759
ISSN0094-8276
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this

@article{c63633343d944409a6f2e62f8e2a3304,
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 do so, 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 find that different snow climatologies cause significant differences in the obtained ice thickness and ice volume. In addition, 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.",
author = "Felix Bunzel and Dirk Notz and Pedersen, {Leif Toudal}",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1029/2018GL078867",
language = "English",
volume = "45",
pages = "11,751--11,759",
journal = "Geophysical Research Letters",
issn = "0094-8276",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "21",

}

Retrievals of Arctic Sea-Ice Volume and Its Trend Significantly Affected by Interannual Snow Variability. / Bunzel, Felix; Notz, Dirk; Pedersen, Leif Toudal.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 45, No. 21, 2018, p. 11,751-11,759.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Retrievals of Arctic Sea-Ice Volume and Its Trend Significantly Affected by Interannual Snow Variability

AU - Bunzel, Felix

AU - Notz, Dirk

AU - Pedersen, Leif Toudal

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - 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 do so, 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 find that different snow climatologies cause significant differences in the obtained ice thickness and ice volume. In addition, 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.

AB - 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 do so, 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 find that different snow climatologies cause significant differences in the obtained ice thickness and ice volume. In addition, 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.

U2 - 10.1029/2018GL078867

DO - 10.1029/2018GL078867

M3 - Journal article

VL - 45

SP - 11,751-11,759

JO - Geophysical Research Letters

JF - Geophysical Research Letters

SN - 0094-8276

IS - 21

ER -