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Circumpolar melt season trends

PI: David E. Atkinson
Institution: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Abstract:
This proposal in general concerns melt-season length over the circumpolar Arctic and Antarctic regions. Specifically, it is proposed to use daily 2m temperature data from CMIP model runs and determine for both circumpolar regions:
* Annual melt season start and end dates and melt season length,
* melting degree day totals by year, and
* trends and inter-annual variability in all three parameters.

Melt season length is an important environmental forcing factor for the terrestrial environment, including ecological, glaciological, and ground ice components, and for the marine environment, where it affects the sea-ice regime. The melting degree-day metric is a recognized indicator of seasonal energy that has seen widespread use. Circum-polar gridded datasets lend an important perspective and can identify regional variations in hemispheric trends, which can aid studies of atmospheric dynamics.

The objective of this work is to use the parameters listed in a), b) and c) above to determine linear and spatial trends in melting degree-days and melt season timings and lengths. Results from this work will support broader atmospheric dynamical investigations, help provide insight into model discrepancies, and would provide an important component of research in other disciplines mentioned above. Code to extract and process the data has been written for work with reanalysis data sets.

This work will require the following data fields:

Daily-mean 2-d atmosphere data:
air_temperature (tas)
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