Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2379
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-2379
27 Oct 2023
 | 27 Oct 2023

Brief communication: Influence of snow cover on albedo reduction by snow algae

Pablo Almela, James J. Elser, J. Joseph Giersch, Scott Hotaling, and Trinity L. Hamilton

Abstract. Snow algae contribute to snowmelt by darkening the surface, reducing its albedo. However, the potential consequences of algae under the surface (such as after a fresh snowfall) on albedo reduction is not known. In this study, we examined the impact of sub-surface snow algae on surface energy absorption. The results indicate energy absorption across all analysed wavelength ranges when snow algae are snow-covered, an effect that was correlated with both cell densities and chlorophyll-a concentrations. These findings suggest that snow algae lower albedo and thus increase snow melt even when snow-covered.

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Pablo Almela, James J. Elser, J. Joseph Giersch, Scott Hotaling, and Trinity L. Hamilton

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2379', Andrew Gray, 30 Nov 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Pablo Almela, 21 Dec 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1 (UPDATED VERSION)', Pablo Almela, 20 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2379', Alexander Thomson, 02 Jan 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Pablo Almela, 20 Jan 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2379', S. McKenzie Skiles, 09 Jan 2024
    • AC4: 'Reply on RC3', Pablo Almela, 20 Jan 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2379', Andrew Gray, 30 Nov 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Pablo Almela, 21 Dec 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1 (UPDATED VERSION)', Pablo Almela, 20 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2379', Alexander Thomson, 02 Jan 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Pablo Almela, 20 Jan 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2379', S. McKenzie Skiles, 09 Jan 2024
    • AC4: 'Reply on RC3', Pablo Almela, 20 Jan 2024
Pablo Almela, James J. Elser, J. Joseph Giersch, Scott Hotaling, and Trinity L. Hamilton
Pablo Almela, James J. Elser, J. Joseph Giersch, Scott Hotaling, and Trinity L. Hamilton

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Short summary
In the summer, snow algae blooms are common in alpine and polar regions, visible as colorful spots on the snow. These algae reduce the snow's reflectivity and accelerate the melting process. Previous research mainly focused on visible surface algae. Our study delves into the effects of sub-surface snow algae on albedo reduction. We found that these hidden algae still absorb sunlight across different wavelengths, potentially influencing snow melt rates.