Snow on Antarctic sea ice

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Massom, R. A. , Eicken, H. , Haas, C. , Jeffries, M. O. , Drinkwater, M. R. , Sturm, M. , Worby, A. P. , Wu, X. , Lytle, V. I. , Ushio, S. , Morris, K. , Reid, P. A. , Warren, S. and Allison, I. (2001): Snow on Antarctic sea ice , Reviews of Geophysics, 39 (3), pp. 413-445 .
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Snow on Antarctic sea ice plays a complex and highly variable role in air-sea-ice interaction processes and the global climate system. This paper presents snow data collected during the past ten years, and reviews major findings. These include: differences in regional and seasonal snow properties and thicknesses; the unique consequences of snow on Antarctic pack ice relative to the Arctic (e.g. the importance of flooding and snow-ice formation); the potential impact if global change increases snowfall; lower observed values of snow thermal conductivity than those used in models; periodic large-scale melt in winter; and the contrast in summer melt in the Antarctic and Arctic. The new findings have significant implications for modelling and remote-sensing studies. Different snow properties from Arctic conditions are recommended for use in Antarctic models; similar differences could affect the interpretation of remote-sensing data over sea ice.

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