Earth  ID: 4307

Impact of Snow Darkening on Boreal Spring Climate

A recent study by Yasunari et al. (2015) discussed the impact of the light-absorbing aerosol (LAA) depositions on snowpack such as dust, black carbon, and organic carbon on boreal spring climate. They used the 10-year period of 2002-2011 and 10-ensemble NASA GEOS-5 global simulations implemented with the GOddard SnoW Impurity Module (GOSWIM) in order to evaluate the LAA impacts on seasonal snowpack over land in spring.* The LAA impacts on snow is known as the "snow darkening effect" (SDE).

Yasunari et al. computed the differences in the 100-year-data mean, called the ensemble mean climatology, with and without SDE cases to determine the impact of SDE on boreal spring climate. Figure 1b shows the SDE impact on snow water equivalent (i.e. snow amount converted to water amount) changes in spring. They also pointed out that the existence of SDE can induce the land surface heating over 15 W m-2 near the snowline by the mean increases of the net shortwave flux (Figure 1c). The heated areas can increase the surface skin temperature by about 3-6 K (see Figure 1d in the original paper).

* March-May


Visualization Credits

Teppei J. Yasunari (USRA): Lead Scientist
William K. Lau (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Kyu-Myong Kim (Morgan State University): Scientist
Randal D. Koster (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Cindy Starr (GST): Visualizer
Kayvon Sharghi (USRA): Producer
Joy Ng (USRA): Producer
Laurence Schuler (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Ian Jones (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Kyu-Myong Kim (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
William K. Lau (Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland): Scientist
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Data Used:
GEOS-5 Atmospheric Model 2002-2011
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

GCMD >> Earth Science >> Climate Indicators
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Radiation >> Shortwave Radiation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Precipitation >> Snow
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Snow/Ice >> Snow Water Equivalent
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Hydrosphere >> Snow/Ice >> Snow Water Equivalent
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version