Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-102
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
23 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).
Countervailing regional snowfall patterns dampen Antarctic surface mass variability
Jeremy Fyke1, Jan Lenaerts2,3, and Hailong Wang4 1Los Alamos National Laboratory
2Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
4Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, USA
Abstract. Snowfall over Antarctica, the dominant term of the Antarctic surface mass balance, displays large regional heterogeneity in temporal variability patterns. This heterogeneity has the potential to dampen variability in integrated Antarctic surface mass trends by counteracting increases in snowfall in one location with decreases in another (and vice versa). To examine the presence of countervailing regional snowfall patterns, here we present an analysis of spatial patterns of regional Antarctic snowfall variability, their broader climate drivers and their impact on integrated Antarctic snowfall variability simulated as part of a preindustrial 1800 year equilibrated Earth System Model simulation. Correlation and composite analyses based on this output allow for a statistically robust exploration of Antarctic snowfall variability. We uncover statistically significant countervailing snowfall patterns across Antarctica that are corraborated by regional modelling and ice core records. These countervailing patterns are driven by variability in large-scale atmospheric moisture transport and cause large spatial heterogeneity in temporal variability, with a dampening effect on overall Antarctic snowfall variability magnitude. This dampening has implications for regulation of Antarctic-sourced sea level variability, detection of an emergent anthropogenic signal in Antarctic mass trends and identification of AIS mass loss accelerations.

Citation: Fyke, J., Lenaerts, J., and Wang, H.: Countervailing regional snowfall patterns dampen Antarctic surface mass variability, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-102, in review, 2017.
Jeremy Fyke et al.
Jeremy Fyke et al.
Jeremy Fyke et al.

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Short summary
In this CESM modeling study, we uncover significant countervailing snowfall patterns across Antarctica that are corroborated by regional modelling and ice core records. These countervailing patterns are driven by variability in large-scale atmospheric moisture transport and dampen overall Antarctic snowfall variability. This finding has implications for Antarctic-sourced sea level variability and detection of an emergent anthropogenic signal in Antarctic mass trends.
In this CESM modeling study, we uncover significant countervailing snowfall patterns across...
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