23 Mar 2023
 | 23 Mar 2023

Brief communication: Surface energy balance differences over Greenland between ERA5 and ERA-Interim

Uta Krebs-Kanzow, Christian B. Rodehacke, and Gerrit Lohmann

Abstract. We compare the main atmospheric drivers of the melt season over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in ERA5 and ERA-Interim (ERAI) in their overlapping period 1979–2018. In summer, ERA5 differs significantly from ERAI, especially in the melt regions: averaged over the lower parts of the GrIS, mean near-surface temperature is 1 K lower, while the mean downward shortwave radiation at the surface is on average 15 Wm−2 higher than in ERAI. Comparison with observational weather station data shows a significant warm bias in ERAI and for ERA5 a significant positive bias in downward shortwave radiation. Consequently, methods that previously estimated the GrIS surface mass balance from the ERAI surface energy balance need to be carefully recalibrated before converting to ERA5 forcing.

Uta Krebs-Kanzow et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-525', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Apr 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-525', Anonymous Referee #2, 09 May 2023

Uta Krebs-Kanzow et al.

Uta Krebs-Kanzow et al.


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Short summary
We compare components of the surface energy balance from two data sets, ERA5 and ERA-Interim, which can be used to estimate surface mass balance (SMB) on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). ERA5 differs significantly from ERA-Interim, especially in the melt regions with lower temperatures and stronger shortwave radiation. Consequently, methods that previously estimated the GrIS SMB from the ERA-Interim need to be carefully re-calibrated before converting to ERA5 forcing.