Regional and interannual variations of freezing and melting at GRENE Arctic observation sites derived by satellite microwave data

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Nuerasimuguli Alimasi1,2, Hiroyuki Enomoto1,3 and Takao Kameda2, (1)NIPR National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo, Japan, (2)Kitami Institute of Technology, Kitami, Japan, (3)SOKENDAI Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Kanagawa, Japan

Japanese GRENE Arctic Climate Change Research Project “Rapid Change of the Arctic Climate System and its Global Influences” expanded observation sites in the Arctic regions. Snow and ice research group in GRENE Arctic project monitored snow conditions stationery at many super sites and also at mobile observation sites. 

This study overviews snow and related ground conditions at all major observation sites of GRENE Arctic project by using the satellite microwave data. Satellite microwave data of SSM/I, AMSR-E and AMSR2 are available for observing snow cover, melting, and ground freezing. This study extracted daily microwave data for satellite observation periods and analyzed snow conditions. The main target areas are, North America, Siberia, Scandinavia and Greenland. Snow cover and melting periods are indicated, and regional and interannual changes are summarized. Melting area and tendencies are investigated in Greenland Ice Sheet with the possible interaction with coastal freezing conditions.

As the project aims to improve ice-albedo feedback, spring snow cover conditions and snow conditions changes related to melting are important issues to be confirmed. This study summarized the extent and movement of snow cover, melting zones.  

The project aims also work interdisciplinary, so the snow/snow free conditions are important information to the terrestrial ecosystem after snow season. This study discusses inter-seasonal connections of cryosphere and forest/tundra areas conditions.