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Remote Sens. 2014, 6(11), 11283-11314; doi:10.3390/rs61111283

Daily Area of Snow Melt Onset on Arctic Sea Ice from Passive Microwave Satellite Observations 1979–2012

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 214 Bessey Hall Lincoln, NE 68588-0340, USA
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Received: 6 August 2014 / Revised: 6 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 October 2014 / Published: 13 November 2014
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Abstract

Variability in snow melt onset (MO) on Arctic sea ice since 1979 is examined by determining the area of sea ice experiencing the onset of melting during the melt season on a daily basis. The daily MO area of the snow and ice surface is determined from passive microwave satellite-derived MO dates for the Arctic Ocean and sub-regions. Annual accumulations of MO area are determined by summing the time series of daily MO area through the melt season. Daily areas and annual accumulations of MO area highlight inter-annual and regional variability in the timing of MO area, which is sensitive to day-to-day variations in spring weather conditions. Two distinct spatial patterns in MO area accumulations including an intense, fast accumulating melt area pattern and a slow accumulating melt pattern are examined for two melting events in the Kara Sea. In comparing the 34 years of MO dates for the Arctic Ocean and sub-regions, melt accumulations have changed during the period. In the earlier years, 1979–1987, the MO generally was later in the year than the mean, while in more recent years, the MO accumulations have been occurring earlier in the melt season. The sub-regions of the Arctic Ocean also exhibit greater annual variability than the Arctic Ocean. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arctic; sea ice; melt onset; snow melt; passive microwave; remote sensing Arctic; sea ice; melt onset; snow melt; passive microwave; remote sensing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Bliss, A.C.; Anderson, M.R. Daily Area of Snow Melt Onset on Arctic Sea Ice from Passive Microwave Satellite Observations 1979–2012. Remote Sens. 2014, 6, 11283-11314.

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