EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Atmospheric Dynamics Footprint on the January 2016 Ice Sheet Melting in West Antarctica

Xiaoming Hu1, Sergio Sejas2, Ming Cai3, Zhenning Li1, and Song Yang1
Xiaoming Hu et al.
  • 1Sun Yat-sen Universtiy, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, China (
  • 2NASA Langley Research Center, Climate Science Branch, Hampton, Virginia 03842, USA
  • 3Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA

In January of 2016, the Ross Sea sector of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet experienced a three-week long melting episode. Here we quantify the association of the large-extent and long-lasting melting event with the enhancement of the downward longwave (LW) radiative fluxes at the surface due to water vapor, cloud, and atmospheric dynamic feedbacks using the ERA-Interim dataset. The abnormally long-lasting temporal surges of atmospheric moisture, warm air, and low clouds increase the downward LW radiative energy flux at the surface during the massive ice-melting period. The concurrent timing and spatial overlap between poleward wind anomalies and positive downward LW radiative surface energy flux anomalies due to warmer air temperature provides direct evidence that warm air advection from lower latitudes to West Antarctica causes the rapid long-lasting warming and vast ice mass loss in January of 2016.

How to cite: Hu, X., Sejas, S., Cai, M., Li, Z., and Yang, S.: Atmospheric Dynamics Footprint on the January 2016 Ice Sheet Melting in West Antarctica, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12285,, 2020

Display materials

Display file

Comments on the display material

AC: Author Comment | CC: Community Comment | Report abuse

Display material version 1 – uploaded on 01 May 2020, no comments