Blog Archive

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Albedo evolution of seasonal Arctic sea ice," by Donald K. Perovich & Christopher Polashenski, GRL 39 (2012); doi:10.1029/2012GL051432

Geophysical Research Letters, 39 (2012) L08501; doi:10.1029/2012GL051432

Albedo evolution of seasonal Arctic sea ice

Donald K. Perovich (CRREL, ERDC,and the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, U.S.A.) and Christopher Polashenski (CRREL, ERDC, Hanover, NH, U.S.A.)


There is an ongoing shift in the Arctic sea ice cover from multiyear ice to seasonal ice. Here we examine the impact of this shift on sea ice albedo. Our analysis of observations from four years of field experiments indicates that seasonal ice undergoes an albedo evolution with seven phases; cold snow, melting snow, pond formation, pond drainage, pond evolution, open water, and freezeup. Once surface ice melt begins, seasonal ice albedos are consistently less than albedos for multiyear ice resulting in more solar heat absorbed in the ice and transmitted to the ocean. The shift from a multiyear to seasonal ice cover has significant implications for the heat and mass budget of the ice and for primary productivity in the upper ocean. There will be enhanced melting of the ice cover and an increase in the amount of sunlight available in the upper ocean.

Received 19 February 2012; revised 17 March 2012; accepted 23 March 2012; published 20 April 2012.


jyyh said...

There has been articles on this wrt the Baltic Sea, but the salinity in the Baltic is lower than in the large oceans. I do not know if there has been a summary article of this kind before. Thanks for the note.

Tenney Naumer said...

If you would like to post a link to any Baltic Sea studies, please do!

jyyh said...

Sorry, I do not have full articles handy:
review on Baltic ice: ,

on differences between Arctic and Baltic ice and ecology near ice: ,

likely the person to talk to about albedo measurements:

jyyh said...

A more technical paper:,templateId=raw,property=publicationFile.pdf/SAL_Cheng_VS_final_report_2007.pdf