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AOSC Seminar
February 7, 2019

Title: Estimating evaporation in the 'New Arctic' and Antarctic/Southern Ocean using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)

Linette Boisvert
NASA-GSFC, Cryospheric Sciences Lab

The process of evaporation provides water vapor from the surface to the atmosphere, where it becomes the most radiatively important and abundant greenhouse gas altering the Earth's energy balance and water cycle. However, it is often poorly captured because surface in-situ measurements of evaporation are scarce, especially over the Polar Regions.
The sea ice at both poles acts as a barrier between the ocean and atmosphere inhibiting the exchange of heat, momentum, and moisture. However, variations in the sea ice cover could lead to changes in the amount of heat and moisture supplied to the atmosphere. Since the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice have been behaving very differently over the satellite record, it is crucial to study these changes on the moisture fluxes. These variations could affect surface energy budgets, larger occurrences of low-level clouds, and higher near-surface humidity and temperatures. Little research has been done looking at the moisture and sensible heat flux from the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice pack. This work will use data from NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and the scheme from Boisvert et al., 2013, which utilizes the Monin-Obukhov Similarity Theory. Changes have been made to the boundary layer parameterizations specifically for sea ice in order to produce a 2003-2017 moisture flux product. Regional and seasonal differences will be addressed along with any trends and interannual variability.