REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0129.v1
Online: 14 February 2019 (10:12:21 CET)
The lack of a uniform approach in Earth and planetary science is apparent in the current levels of inconsistency found within the research itself, the data analysis and the interpretation of results. Thus, data interpretation differ depending on whether the study refer to Earth conditions or from space. These differences are particularly pronounced for cryosphere studies, where geocentric approaches remain within ice research and its application in analogical studies. Here, the principle of spatial uniformitarianism is presented, to allow for a definitive departure from geocentrism and a proper understanding of the role of ice within both the Earth and celestial bodies. At the practical level, it may affect several geo-scientific disciplines currently inconsistent and bridging the gap among them. This rule is universal and complements the Hutton-Lyell 1795/1830 principle.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0029.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: soil moisture; snow cover; snow depth; seasonal prediction; land–surface feedbacks; cryosphere
Online: 30 June 2017 (12:04:04 CEST)
Subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) weather forecasting has improved in recent years, thanks partly to better representation of physical variables in models. For instance, realistic initializations of snow and soil moisture in models yield enhanced predictability on S2S time scales. Snow depth and soil moisture also mediate month-to-month persistence of near-surface air temperature. Here the role of snow depth as predictor of temperature one month ahead in the Northern Hemisphere is probed via two causal pathways. Through the first pathway, snow depth anomalies in month 1 cause snow depth anomalies in month 2, which then cause temperature anomalies in month 2. This pathway represents the snow–albedo feedback, as well as cooling due to insulation, emissivity and heat loss. It is active from fall to summer, and its effect peaks in March/April in the midlatitudes and in May/June at high latitudes. A complementary second pathway, where snow depth anomalies in month 1 cause soil moisture anomalies in month 2, which then cause temperature anomalies in month 2 through soil moisture–temperature feedbacks, is only active in spring and summer. Its effect peaks later in the warm season than the effect of the first pathway. Geographically, snow depth mediates north of, and soil moisture south of, the areas with the highest temperature predictability from snow depth. These results indicate that the two pathways describe complementary physical mechanisms. The first pathway embodies month-to-month persistence of snow depth, and the second pathway represents melting of snow from one month to the next.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0107.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Other Keywords: climate change; cryosphere; Arctic; permafrost; sea ice; tipping elements; climate impacts; climate policy; Paris agreement
Online: 15 December 2017 (12:51:43 CET)
Arctic feedbacks will accelerate climate change and could jeopardise mitigation efforts. The permafrost carbon feedback releases carbon to the atmosphere from thawing permafrost and the sea ice albedo feedback increases solar absorption in the Arctic Ocean. A constant positive albedo feedback and zero permafrost feedback have been used in nearly all climate policy studies to date, while observations and models show that the permafrost feedback is significant and that both feedbacks are nonlinear. Using novel dynamic emulators in the integrated assessment model PAGE-ICE, we investigate nonlinear interactions of the two feedbacks with the climate and economy under a range of climate scenarios consistent with the Paris Agreement. The permafrost feedback interacts with the land and ocean carbon uptake processes, and the albedo feedback evolves through a sequence of nonlinear transitions associated with the loss of Arctic sea ice in different months of the year. The US’s withdrawal from the current national pledges could increase the total discounted economic impact of the two Arctic feedbacks until 2300 by $25 trillion, reaching nearly $120 trillion, while meeting the 1.5 °C and 2 °C targets will reduce the impact by an order of magnitude.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0337.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geophysics Keywords: essential climate variables (ECV); climate change initiative (CCI); Greenland ice sheet; mass budget; cryosphere; sea level rise
Online: 16 October 2018 (07:53:22 CEST)
The Greenland ice sheet is a major contributor to sea level rise, adding an estimated 0.47 +/− 0.23 mm/yr to global mean sea level between 1991 and 2015 (van den Broeke et al., 2016). Making sea level rise projections for the future and understanding the processes controlling current observed rates of sea level rise are crucially dependent on understanding the present-day state of the ice sheet. Here, we provide an overview of the current state of the mass budget of Greenland based on satellite gravimetry and remote sensing observations of surface elevation change, ice sheet velocity and calving front positions. We also combine these essential climate variables with a regional climate model (RCM) output from an ice sheet model (ISM) to gain insight into poorly understood ice sheet dynamical and surface mass processes. On average from 1992 to 2017 the ice sheet in some locations has lost up −2.65 m/yr in elevation based on ESA Radar altimetry analysis. Calving fronts have retreated all around Greenland since the 1990s and in only two out of 28 study locations have they remained stable. The locations of grounding lines at 5 key glaciers with floating ice tongues have remained stable over the observation period. However a detailed case study at Petermann glacier with an ice fracture model shows the sensitivity of these floating ice shelves to future climate change. GRACE gravimetric mass balance (GMB) data allows us to tie together disparate lines of evidence showing that Greenland has lost about 265 +/− 25 Gt/yr of ice over the period 2002 to 2015. RCM and ISM simulations show that surface mass processes dominate the overall Greenland ice sheet mass budget except for areas of fast ice sheet flow but marked differences between models and between models and observations indicate that not all processes are captured accurately, indicating areas of greater uncertainty and directions of future research for future sea level rise projections.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0004.v2
Subject: Earth Sciences, Oceanography Keywords: sea ice; Cryosphere; Arctic Ocean; Arctic sea ice change; Arctic climate change; remote sensing retrieval; satellite remote sensing; APP; APP-x; trend study
Online: 28 March 2022 (04:13:23 CEST)
Arctic sea ice characteristics have been changing rapidly and significantly in the last few decades. Using a long-term time series of sea ice products from satellite observations - the extended AVHRR Polar Pathfinder (APP-x), trends in sea ice concentration, ice extent, ice thickness, and ice volume in the Arctic from 1982 to 2020 are investigated. Results show that the Arctic has become less ice-covered in all seasons, especially in summer and autumn. Arctic sea ice thickness has been decreasing at the rate of -3.24 cm per year, resulting in about a 52% reduction in thickness from 2.35 m in 1982 to 1.13 m in 2020. Arctic sea ice volume has been decreasing at the rate of -467.7 km3 per year, resulting in about a 63% reduction in volume, from 27590.4 km3 in 1982 to 10305.5 km3 in 2020. These trends are further examined from a new perspective, where the Arctic Ocean is classified into open water, perennial, and seasonal sea ice-covered areas based on the sea ice persistence. The loss of the perennial sea ice-covered area is the major factor in the total sea ice loss in all seasons. If the current rates of sea ice changes in extent, concentration, and thickness continue, the Arctic is expected to have ice-free summer by the early 2060s.