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Spectral transmission and implications for the partitioning of shortwave radiation in arctic sea ice

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We present a new set of values for the spectral extinction coefficients, K, for the interior of first-year (FY) and multi-year (MY) Arctic sea ice during the summer melt season measured during SHEBA (Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean program) and at Barrow, Alaska, USA. Results for FY ice are consistent with previously reported values, and differences can be understood in terms of variations in the concentration of biological and suspended particulate material. The values for the interior of MY ice are lower than previously reported for both bare and ponded ice. For bare MY ice the new K values predict a substantial increase in the solar radiation transmitted through the ice into the upper mixed layer. Ponded MY ice is only slightly more transparent than previously reported, and FY ice values are generally consistent with previously reported values. Assuming an asymmetry parameter of 0.94, the extinction coefficients are consistent with a volume-scattering coefficient of 77 m−1 that is constant from 400 to at least 720 nm.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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