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Journal Articles Climate Dynamics Year : 2005

Evaluation of a high-resolution regional climate simulation over Greenland


A simulation of the 1991 summer has been performed over south Greenland with a coupled atmosphere-snow regional climate model (RCM) forced by the ECMWF re-analysis. The simulation is evaluated with in-situ coastal and ice-sheet atmospheric and glaciological observations. Modelled air temperature, specific humidity, wind speed and radiative fluxes are in good agreement with the available observations, although uncertainties in the radiative transfer scheme need further investigation to improve the model's performance. In the sub-surface snow-ice model, surface albedo is calculated from the simulated snow grain shape and size, snow depth, meltwater accumulation, cloudiness and ice albedo. The use of snow metamorphism processes allows a realistic modelling of the temporal variations in the surface albedo during both melting periods and accumulation events. Concerning the surface albedo, the main finding is that an accurate albedo simulation during the melting season strongly depends on a proper initialization of the surface conditions which mainly result from winter accumulation processes. Furthermore, in a sensitivity experiment with a constant 0.8 albedo over the whole ice sheet, the average amount of melt decreased by more than 60%, which highlights the importance of a correctly simulated surface albedo. The use of this coupled atmosphere-snow RCM offers new perspectives in the study of the Greenland surface mass balance due to the represented feedback between the surface climate and the surface albedo, which is the most sensitive parameter in energy-balance-based ablation calculations.



Dates and versions

insu-00374621 , version 1 (09-04-2009)



Filip Lefebre, Xavier Fettweis, Hubert Gallée, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Philippe Marbaix, et al.. Evaluation of a high-resolution regional climate simulation over Greenland. Climate Dynamics, 2005, 25 (1), pp.99 à 116. ⟨10.1007/s00382-005-0005-8⟩. ⟨insu-00374621⟩
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