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The Microwave Emissivity Variability of Snow Covered First-year Sea Ice from Late Winter to Early Summer: a Model Study : Volume 7, Issue 6 (03/12/2013)

By Willmes, S.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004022950
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 24
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: The Microwave Emissivity Variability of Snow Covered First-year Sea Ice from Late Winter to Early Summer: a Model Study : Volume 7, Issue 6 (03/12/2013)  
Author: Willmes, S.
Volume: Vol. 7, Issue 6
Language: English
Subject: Science, Cryosphere, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Nicolaus, M., Haas, C., & Willmes, S. (2013). The Microwave Emissivity Variability of Snow Covered First-year Sea Ice from Late Winter to Early Summer: a Model Study : Volume 7, Issue 6 (03/12/2013). Retrieved from

Description: University of Trier, Environmental Meteorology, 54286 Trier, Germany. Satellite observations of microwave brightness temperatures between 19 GHz and 85 GHz are the main data source for operational sea-ice monitoring. However, the sea ice microwave emissivity is subject to pronounced seasonal variations and shows significant hemispheric contrasts that mainly arise from differences in the rate and strength of snow metamorphism and melt. We use the thermodynamic snow model SNTHERM and the microwave emission model MEMLS to identify the contribution of regional patterns in atmospheric energy fluxes to surface emissivity variations on Arctic and Antarctic sea ice between 2000 and 2009. The obtained emissivity data reveal a pronounced seasonal cycle with a large regional variability. The emissivity variability increases from winter to early summer and is more pronounced in the Antarctic. In the pre-melt period (January–May, July–November) the variations in surface microwave emissivity due to diurnal, regional and inter-annual variability of atmospheric forcing reach up to 3.4%, 4.3%, and 9.7% for 19 GHz, 37 GHz and 85 GHz channels, respectively. Small but significant emissivity trends can be observed in the Weddell Sea during November and December as well as in Fram Strait during February. The obtained emissivity data lend themselves for an assessment of sea-ice concentration and snow-depth algorithm accuracies.

The microwave emissivity variability of snow covered first-year sea ice from late winter to early summer: a model study

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