SOME ASPECTS OF THE THERMAL ENERGY EXCHANGE ON THE SOUTH POLAR SNOW FIELD AND ARCTIC ICE PACK

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  • 1 Polar Meteorology Research Project, U.S. Weather Bureau, Washington, D.C.
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Abstract

Solar and terrestrial radiation measurements that were obtained at Amundsen-Scott (South Pole) Station and on Ice Island (Bravo) T–3 are presented for representative summer and winter months. Of the South Polar net radiation loss during April 1958, approximately 20 percent of the energy came from the snow and 80 percent from the air. The actual atmospheric cooling rate during that period was only about 1/6 of the suggested radiative cooling rate. The annual net radiation at various places in Antarctica is presented. During 1958, the South Polar atmosphere transmitted about 73 percent of the annual extraterrestrial radiation, while at T–3 the Arctic atmosphere transmitted about 56 percent. The albedo of melting sea ice is discussed. Measurements on T–3 during July 1958 indicate that the net radiation is positive on both clear and overcast days but greatest on overcast days. Refreezing of the surface with clear skies, as observed by Untersteiner and Badgley, is discussed.

Abstract

Solar and terrestrial radiation measurements that were obtained at Amundsen-Scott (South Pole) Station and on Ice Island (Bravo) T–3 are presented for representative summer and winter months. Of the South Polar net radiation loss during April 1958, approximately 20 percent of the energy came from the snow and 80 percent from the air. The actual atmospheric cooling rate during that period was only about 1/6 of the suggested radiative cooling rate. The annual net radiation at various places in Antarctica is presented. During 1958, the South Polar atmosphere transmitted about 73 percent of the annual extraterrestrial radiation, while at T–3 the Arctic atmosphere transmitted about 56 percent. The albedo of melting sea ice is discussed. Measurements on T–3 during July 1958 indicate that the net radiation is positive on both clear and overcast days but greatest on overcast days. Refreezing of the surface with clear skies, as observed by Untersteiner and Badgley, is discussed.

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