Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Snow in the Changing Sea-Ice Systems

TitleSnow in the Changing Sea-Ice Systems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWebster, Melinda, Gerland Sebastian, Holland Marika, Hunke Elizabeth, Kwok Ron, Lecomte Olivier, Massom Robert, Perovich Don, and Sturm Matthew
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume8
Pages946-953
Abstract / Summary

Snow is the most reflective, and also the most insulative, natural material on Earth. Consequently, it is an integral part of the sea-ice and climate systems. However, the spatial and temporal heterogeneities of snow pose challenges for observing, understanding and modeling those systems under anthropogenic warming. Here, we survey the snow–ice system, then provide recommendations for overcoming present challenges. These include: collecting process-oriented observations for model diagnostics and understanding snow–ice feedbacks, and improving our remote sensing capabilities of snow for monitoring large-scale changes in snow on sea ice. These efforts could be achieved through stronger coordination between the observational, remote sensing and modeling communities, and would pay dividends through distinct improvements in predictions of polar environments.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0286-7
DOI10.1038/s41558-018-0286-7
Journal: Nature Climate Change
Year of Publication: 2018
Volume: 8
Pages: 946-953
Publication Date: 10/2018

Snow is the most reflective, and also the most insulative, natural material on Earth. Consequently, it is an integral part of the sea-ice and climate systems. However, the spatial and temporal heterogeneities of snow pose challenges for observing, understanding and modeling those systems under anthropogenic warming. Here, we survey the snow–ice system, then provide recommendations for overcoming present challenges. These include: collecting process-oriented observations for model diagnostics and understanding snow–ice feedbacks, and improving our remote sensing capabilities of snow for monitoring large-scale changes in snow on sea ice. These efforts could be achieved through stronger coordination between the observational, remote sensing and modeling communities, and would pay dividends through distinct improvements in predictions of polar environments.

DOI: 10.1038/s41558-018-0286-7
Citation:
Webster, M, S Gerland, M Holland, E Hunke, R Kwok, O Lecomte, R Massom, D Perovich, and M Sturm.  2018.  "Snow in the Changing Sea-Ice Systems."  Nature Climate Change 8: 946-953.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0286-7.