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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Marco Tedesco et al., Environ Res Lett, 6 (January-March 2011), The role of albedo and accumulation in the 2010 melting record in Greenland

Environ. Res. Lett. 6 (January-March 2011) 014005

The role of albedo and accumulation in the 2010 melting record in Greenland
M Tedesco1, X Fettweis2,3, M R van den Broeke3, R S W van de Wal3, C J P P Smeets3, W J van de Berg3, M C Serreze4 and J E Box5,6

1 The City College of New York, CUNY, New York, NY, USA
2 University of Liège, Liège, Belgium
3 Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU), Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
4 National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, CO, USA
5 Department of Geography, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
6 Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Received 1 December 2010
Accepted 7 January 2011
Published 21 January 2011
Abstract. Analyses of remote sensing data, surface observations and output from a regional atmosphere model point to new records in 2010 for surface melt and albedo, runoff, the number of days when bare ice is exposed and surface mass balance of the Greenland ice sheet, especially over its west and southwest regions. Early melt onset in spring, triggered by above-normal near-surface air temperatures, contributed to accelerated snowpack metamorphism and premature bare ice exposure, rapidly reducing the surface albedo. Warm conditions persisted through summer, with the positive albedo feedback mechanism being a major contributor to large negative surface mass balance anomalies. Summer snowfall was below average. This helped to maintain low albedo through the 2010 melting season, which also lasted longer than usual.
Keywords:  Greenland, melting, surface mass balance, albedo, accumulation

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