Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-634
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-634
11 Apr 2023
 | 11 Apr 2023

On the importance to consider the cloud dependence in parameterizing the albedo of snow on sea ice

Lara Foth, Wolfgang Dorn, Annette Rinke, Evelyn Jäkel, and Hannah Niehaus

Abstract. The impact of a revised snow surface albedo parameterization, which explicitly considers the cloud dependence of the snow albedo, is evaluated in simulations of a coupled regional climate model of the Arctic. The revised snow surface albedo parameterization leads to a more realistic simulation of the variability of the surface albedo during the snow melt period in late May and June. In particular, the reproduction of lower albedo values under cloud-free/broken-cloud conditions during the snow melt period represents a major improvement and results in an earlier disappearance of the snow cover and an earlier onset of sea-ice melt. In this way, the consideration of the cloud dependence of the snow albedo results in an amplification of the two-stage snow-albedo/ice-albedo feedback in the model. This finds expression in additional loss of sea-ice volume of more than 1000 km3 and additional reduction of summer sea-ice extent of around 250,000 km2 during one melting period, with accumulating magnitude of the overall changes in subsequent years.

Lara Foth, Wolfgang Dorn, Annette Rinke, Evelyn Jäkel, and Hannah Niehaus

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-2023-634', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 May 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Wolfgang Dorn, 24 Nov 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-634', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Oct 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Wolfgang Dorn, 24 Nov 2023
Lara Foth, Wolfgang Dorn, Annette Rinke, Evelyn Jäkel, and Hannah Niehaus
Lara Foth, Wolfgang Dorn, Annette Rinke, Evelyn Jäkel, and Hannah Niehaus

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Short summary
It is demonstrated that the explicit consideration of the cloud dependence of the snow surface albedo in a climate model results in a more realistic simulation of the surface albedo during the snow melt period in late May and June. Although this improvement appears to be relatively insubstantial, it has significant impact on the simulated sea-ice volume and extent in the model due to an amplification of the snow/sea-ice albedo feedback, one of the main contributors to Arctic amplification.