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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 17 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Spatiotemporal variability of shortwave radiation introduced by clouds over the Arctic sea ice

Carola Barrientos Velasco, Hartwig Deneke, Hannes Griesche, Patric Seifert, Ronny Engelmann, and Andreas Macke Carola Barrientos Velasco et al.
  • Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany

Abstract. The role of clouds in recent Arctic warming is not fully understood, including their effects on the shortwave radiation and the surface energy budget. To investigate relevant small-scale processes in detail, an intensive field campaign was conducted during early summer in the central Arctic during the Physical feedbacks of Arctic planetary boundary layer, Sea ice, Cloud and AerosoL (PASCAL) drifting ice floe station. During this campaign, the small-scale spatiotemporal variability of global irradiance was observed for the first time on an ice floe with a dense network of autonomous pyranometers. 15 stations were deployed covering an area of 0.83 km × 1.3 km from June 4–16, 2017. This unique, open-access dataset is described here, and an analysis of the spatiotemporal variability deduced from this dataset is presented for different synoptic conditions. Based on additional observations, 5 typical sky conditions were identified and used to determine the values of the mean and variance of atmospheric global transmittance for these conditions. Overcast conditions were observed 39.6 % of the time predominantly during the first week, with an overall mean transmittance of 0.47. The second-most frequent conditions corresponded to multi-layer clouds (32.4 %) which prevailed in particular during the second week, with a mean transmittance of 0.43. Broken clouds had a mean transmittance of 0.61 and a frequency of occurrence of 22.1 %. Finally, the least frequent sky conditions were thin clouds and cloudless conditions, which both had a mean transmittance of 0.76, and occurrence frequencies of 3.5 % and 2.4 %, respectively. For overcast conditions, lower global irradiance was observed for stations closer to the ice edge, likely attributable to the low surface albedo of dark open water, and a resulting reduction of multiple reflections between the surface and cloud base. Using a wavelet-based multi-resolution analysis, power spectra of the time-series of atmospheric transmittance were compared for single-station and spatially averaged observations, and for different sky conditions. It is shown that both the absolute magnitude and the scale-dependence of variability contains characteristic features for the different sky conditions.

Carola Barrientos Velasco et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 21 Nov 2019)
Status: open (until 21 Nov 2019)
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Carola Barrientos Velasco et al.
Data sets

Spatial and temporal variability of broadband solar irradiance during POLARSTERN cruise PS106.1 Ice Floe Camp C. Barrientos Velasco, H. Deneke, and A. Macke

Carola Barrientos Velasco et al.
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