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Do climate models underestimate snow accumulation on the Antarctic plateau? A re-evaluation of/from in situ observations in East Wilkes and Victoria Lands

Abstract : It has been suggested that meteorological and climate models underestimate snow accumulation on the Antarctic plateau, because accumulation (or surface mass balance (SMB)) is dominated by clear-sky precipitation while this process is not properly taken into account in the models. Here, we show that differences between model and field SMB data are much reduced when the in situ SMB reports used to evaluate the models are filtered through quality-control criteria and less reliable reports are subsequently left out. We thus argue that, although not necessarily unsupported, model biases and their interpretations in terms of clear-sky vs synoptic precipitation on the Antarctic plateau may have been overstated in the past. To avoid such misleading issues, it is important that in situ SMB reports of insufficient or unassessed reliability are discarded, even at the cost of a strong reduction in spatial sampling and coverage.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00420638
Contributor : Aurore Gayraud <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 3:08:21 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:07:46 AM

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Christophe Genthon, Olivier Magand, Gerhard Krinner, Michel Fily. Do climate models underestimate snow accumulation on the Antarctic plateau? A re-evaluation of/from in situ observations in East Wilkes and Victoria Lands. Annals of Glaciology, International Glaciological Society, 2009, 50 (50), pp.61-65. ⟨10.3189/172756409787769735⟩. ⟨insu-00420638⟩

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