Albedo of the ice covered Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas
This study investigates the surface albedo of
the sea ice areas adjacent to the Antarctic Peninsula during
the austral summer. Aircraft measurements of the surface
albedo, which were conducted in the sea ice areas of
the Weddell and Bellingshausen Seas show significant differences between these two regions. The averaged surface
albedo varied between 0.13 and 0.81. The ice cover
of the Bellingshausen Sea consisted mainly of first year
ice and the sea surface showed an averaged sea ice albedo
of i = 0.64±0.2 (±standard deviation). The mean sea ice
albedo of the pack ice area in the western Weddell Sea
was i = 0.75±0.05. In the southern Weddell Sea, where
new, young sea ice prevailed, a mean albedo value of
i = 0.38±0.08 was observed. Relatively warm open water
and thin, newly formed ice had the lowest albedo values,
whereas relatively cold and snow covered pack ice had the
highest albedo values. All sea ice areas consisted of a mixture of a large range of different sea ice types. An investigation of commonly used parameterizations of albedo as a function of surface temperature in the Weddell and Bellingshausen Sea ice areas showed that the albedo parameterizations do not work well for areas with new, young ice.
Authors: Weiss, Alexandra, King, John, Lachlan-Cope, Thomas ORCID record for Thomas Lachlan-Cope, Ladkin, Russell
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