Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1393
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-1393
17 Jun 2024
 | 17 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Impact of Arctic Amplification variability on the chemical composition of the snowpack in Svalbard

Azzurra Spagnesi, Elena Barbaro, Matteo Feltracco, Federico Scoto, Marco Vecchiato, Massimiliano Vardè, Mauro Mazzola, François Yves Burgay, Federica Bruschi, Clara Jule Marie Hoppe, Allison Bailey, Andrea Gambaro, Carlo Barbante, and Andrea Spolaor

Abstract. Arctic Amplification (AA) is leading to significant glacier ice melting, rapid sea ice decline, and alterations in atmospheric and geochemical processes in the Arctic regions, with consequences on the formation, transport, and chemical composition of aerosols and seasonal snowpack. Svalbard is particularly exposed to the AA, thus represents a relevant site in the Arctic to evaluate changes in local environmental processes contributing to the seasonal snow chemical composition. Sampling campaigns were conducted from 2018 to 2021 at the Gruvebadet Snow Research Site in Ny-Ålesund, in the North-West of the Svalbard Archipelago. During the investigated years, interannual variability of ionic and elemental impurities in surface snowpack has been associated to an alternation between relative warm years (2018–19, 2020–21), typical of the Arctic Amplification (AA) period, and relatively cold years (2019–20), more similar to the pre-AA conditions. Our results indicate that the concentration of impurities during the colder sampling season is strongly dependent on the production of sea spray related aerosol, likely deriving by a larger extension of sea ice, and drier, windy conditions. Our findings were therefore linked to the presence of sea ice in the Kongsfjorden in March 2020, and more generally around Spitsbergen, resulting from the exceptional occurrence of a strong and cold wintry stratospheric polar vortex and unusual AO index positive phase. By comparing the snow chemical composition of the 2019–20 season with 2018–19 and 2020–21, we present an overview of the possible impact of AA on the Svalbard snowpack, and the related change in the aerosol production process.

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Azzurra Spagnesi, Elena Barbaro, Matteo Feltracco, Federico Scoto, Marco Vecchiato, Massimiliano Vardè, Mauro Mazzola, François Yves Burgay, Federica Bruschi, Clara Jule Marie Hoppe, Allison Bailey, Andrea Gambaro, Carlo Barbante, and Andrea Spolaor

Status: open (until 23 Aug 2024)

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Azzurra Spagnesi, Elena Barbaro, Matteo Feltracco, Federico Scoto, Marco Vecchiato, Massimiliano Vardè, Mauro Mazzola, François Yves Burgay, Federica Bruschi, Clara Jule Marie Hoppe, Allison Bailey, Andrea Gambaro, Carlo Barbante, and Andrea Spolaor
Azzurra Spagnesi, Elena Barbaro, Matteo Feltracco, Federico Scoto, Marco Vecchiato, Massimiliano Vardè, Mauro Mazzola, François Yves Burgay, Federica Bruschi, Clara Jule Marie Hoppe, Allison Bailey, Andrea Gambaro, Carlo Barbante, and Andrea Spolaor

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Short summary
Svalbard is a relevant area to evaluate changes in local environmental processes induced by Arctic Amplification (AA). By comparing the snow chemical composition of the 2019–20 season with 2018–19 and 2020–21, we provide an overview of the potential impacts of AA on the Svalbard snowpack, and associated changes in aerosol production process, influenced by a complex interplay between atmospheric patterns, local and oceanic conditions that jointly drive snowpack impurity amounts and composition.