Collaborative Research: Longwave Radiation Processes and Surface Energy Budget on the Antarctic Plateau
This work will continue the analyses of several aspects of snow spectral emissivity and cloud processes, and will be extended to analyze the complete surface energy budget and to make comparisons with an antarctic mesoscale atmospheric model. The work is based on a year-long field experiment, the South Pole Atmospheric Radiation and Cloud Lidar Experiment (SPARCLE), carried out during 2001 at South Pole Station. The two primary efforts will be 1) determining monthly values of shortwave and longwave radiation fluxes, sensible heat, latent heat, and subsurface heat flux, in order to quantify uncertainties and defining the accuracy to which the energy budget can be closed, and 2) comparing predictions of the Polar Mesoscale Model (PMM5) to the observed surface energy budget components and clouds, and diagnosing causes of any discrepancies.
The atmosphere over the Antarctic Plateau plays a unique role in the global climate system. It is the coldest and driest atmosphere on earth, with radiation processes dominating both the surface and the top-of-atmosphere energy budgets. When spectrally resolved, longwave radiation is extremely useful for remote sensing of atmospheric and surface properties, particularly in the polar winter.
The analysis products are expected to stimulate and support research in other areas, including remote sensing, climate modeling, and weather forecasting in Antarctica for potential year-round logistical operations. The data analysis projects proposed here will also provide data from the Antarctic Plateau useful in constraining and testing general circulation models.