ESSIC Post-doctoral Associate Thomas Overly is a co-author on a new paper in Geophysical Research Letters titled, “Atmospheric Blocking Drives Recent Albedo Change Across the Western Greenland Ice Sheet Percolation Zone”. Overly is among co-authors from Dartmouth College, Boise State University, Colby College, and University of New Hampshire.
Over recent decades, the albedo of the Greenland Ice Sheet has decreased, causing increased ice melt and sea level rise. It is unknown whether this decrease is from increased light-absorbing impurities (LAIs) in the snow, larger snow grain sizes, or both. In the study, the researchers assess albedo controls in the western GrIS percolation zone using in situ albedo, LAI, and grain size measurements. They found a significant correlation between albedo and snow grain size that indicates larger grain sizes could reduce albedo by at least ∼3%. However, LAI concentrations are too low to significantly reduce albedo.
To access the article, click here: “Atmospheric Blocking Drives Recent Albedo Change Across the Western Greenland Ice Sheet Percolation Zone”.