Arctic Ocean Sea Ice Snow Depth Evaluation and Bias Sensitivity in CCSM

TitleArctic Ocean Sea Ice Snow Depth Evaluation and Bias Sensitivity in CCSM
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
JournalThe Cryosphere
Pages1887-1900
Date Published12/2013
Abstract / Summary

Sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is a continued focus of attention. This study investigates the impact of the snow overlying the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. The impact of snow depth biases in the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) is shown to impact not only the sea ice, but also the overall Arctic climate. Following the identification of seasonal biases produced in CCSM simulations, the thermodynamic transfer through the snow–ice column is perturbed to determine model sensitivity to these biases. This study concludes that perturbations on the order of the observed biases result in modification of the annual mean conductive flux through the snow–ice column of 0.5 W m2 relative to an unmodified simulation. The results suggest that the ice has a complex response to snow characteristics, with ice of different thicknesses producing distinct reactions. Our results indicate the importance of an accurate simulation of snow on the Arctic sea ice. Consequently, future work investigating the impact of current precipitation biases and missing snow processes, such as blowing snow, densification, and seasonal changes, is warranted.

URLhttp://www.the-cryosphere.net/7/1887/2013/tc-7-1887-2013.html
DOI10.5194/tc-7-1887-2013
Journal: The Cryosphere
Year of Publication: 2013
Pages: 1887-1900
Date Published: 12/2013

Sea ice cover in the Arctic Ocean is a continued focus of attention. This study investigates the impact of the snow overlying the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. The impact of snow depth biases in the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) is shown to impact not only the sea ice, but also the overall Arctic climate. Following the identification of seasonal biases produced in CCSM simulations, the thermodynamic transfer through the snow–ice column is perturbed to determine model sensitivity to these biases. This study concludes that perturbations on the order of the observed biases result in modification of the annual mean conductive flux through the snow–ice column of 0.5 W m2 relative to an unmodified simulation. The results suggest that the ice has a complex response to snow characteristics, with ice of different thicknesses producing distinct reactions. Our results indicate the importance of an accurate simulation of snow on the Arctic sea ice. Consequently, future work investigating the impact of current precipitation biases and missing snow processes, such as blowing snow, densification, and seasonal changes, is warranted.

DOI: 10.5194/tc-7-1887-2013
Citation:
Blazey, BA, MM Holland, and EC Hunke.  2013.  "Arctic Ocean Sea Ice Snow Depth Evaluation and Bias Sensitivity in CCSM."  The Cryosphere 1887-1900.  https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-7-1887-2013.