Insignificant change in Antarctic snowmelt volume since 1979
Surface snowmelt is widespread in coastal Antarctica.
Satellite-based microwave sensors have been observing melt
area and duration for over three decades. However, these
observations do not reveal the total volume of meltwater
produced on the ice sheet. Here we present an Antarctic melt
volume climatology for the period 1979–2010, obtained
using a regional climate model equipped with realistic
snow physics. We find that mean continent-wide meltwater
volume (1979–2010) amounts to 89 Gt y�1 with large
interannual variability (s = 41 Gt y�1). Of this amount,
57 Gt y�1 (64%) is produced on the floating ice shelves
extending from the grounded ice sheet, and 71 Gt y�1 in
West-Antarctica, including the Antarctic Peninsula. We
find no statistically significant trend in either continentwide or regional meltwater volume for the 31-year period 1979–2010. Citation: Kuipers Munneke, P., G. Picard, M. R. van den Broeke, J. T. M. Lenaerts, and E. van Meijgaard (2012), Insignificant change in Antarctic snowmelt volume since 1979,
Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L01501, doi:10.1029/2011GL050207.
Authors: Kuipers Munneke, P., Picard, G., van den Broeke, M.R., Lenaerts, J.T.M., van Meijgaard, E.