Effects of variable ice–ocean surface properties and air mass transformation on the Arctic radiative energy budget

christof.luepkes [ at ] awi.de


Low-level airborne observations of the Arctic surface radiative energy budget are discussed. We fo- cus on the terrestrial part of the budget, quantified by the thermal-infrared net irradiance (TNI). The data were collected in cloudy and cloud-free conditions over and in the vicinity of the marginal sea ice zone (MIZ) close to Svalbard during two aircraft campaigns conducted in the spring of 2019 and in the early summer of 2017. The measurements, complemented by ground-based observations available from the literature and radiative transfer simulations, are used to evaluate the influence of surface type (sea ice, open ocean, MIZ), seasonal characteris- tics, and synoptically driven meridional air mass transports into and out of the Arctic on the near-surface TNI. The analysis reveals a typical four-mode structure of the frequency distribution of the TNI as a function of sur- face albedo, the sea ice fraction, and surface brightness temperature. Two modes prevail over sea ice and another two over open ocean, each representing cloud-free and cloudy radiative states. Characteristic shifts and modifi- cations of the TNI modes during the transition from winter to spring and early summer conditions are discussed. Furthermore, the influence of warm air intrusions (WAIs) and marine cold-air outbreaks (MCAOs) on the near- surface downward thermal-infrared irradiances and the TNI is highlighted for several case studies. It is concluded that during WAIs the surface warming depends on cloud properties and evolution. Lifted clouds embedded in warmer air masses over a colder sea ice surface, decoupled from the ground by a surface-based temperature inversion, have the potential to warm the surface more strongly than near-surface fog or thin low-level boundary layer clouds because of a higher cloud base temperature. For MCAOs it is found that the thermodynamic profile of the southward-moving air mass adapts only slowly to the warmer ocean surface.

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DOI 10.5194/acp-23-9647-2023

Cite as
Wendisch, M. , Stapf, J. , Becker, S. , Ehrlich, A. , Jäkel, E. , Klingebiel, M. , Lüpkes, C. , Schäfer, M. and Shupe, M. D. (2023): Effects of variable ice–ocean surface properties and air mass transformation on the Arctic radiative energy budget , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 23 (17), pp. 9647-9667 . doi: 10.5194/acp-23-9647-2023

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Research Platforms

POLAR 5 > P5_216_AFLUX_2019
POLAR 6 > P6_206_ACLOUD_2017
POLAR 5 > P5_206_ACLOUD_2017

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