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Nicolas, JP, Vogelmann AM, Scott RC, Wilson AB, Cadeddu MP, Bromwich DH, Verlinde J, Lubin D, Russell LM, Jenkinson C, Powers HH, Ryczek M, Stone G, Wille JD.  2017.  January 2016 extensive summer melt in West Antarctica favoured by strong El Niño. 8:15799.   10.1038/ncomms15799   Abstract

Over the past two decades the primary driver of mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) has been warm ocean water underneath coastal ice shelves, not a warmer atmosphere. Yet, surface melt occurs sporadically over low-lying areas of the WAIS and is not fully understood. Here we report on an episode of extensive and prolonged surface melting observed in the Ross Sea sector of the WAIS in January 2016. A comprehensive cloud and radiation experiment at the WAIS ice divide, downwind of the melt region, provided detailed insight into the physical processes at play during the event. The unusual extent and duration of the melting are linked to strong and sustained advection of warm marine air toward the area, likely favoured by the concurrent strong El Niño event. The increase in the number of extreme El Niño events projected for the twenty-first century could expose the WAIS to more frequent major melt events.

Markus, T, Neumann T, Martino A, Abdalati W, Brunt K, Csatho B, Farrell S, Fricker H, Gardner A, Harding D, Jasinski M, Kwok R, Magruder L, Lubin D, Luthcke S, Morison J, Nelson R, Neuenschwander A, Palm S, Popescu S, Shum CK, Schutz BE, Smith B, Yang YK, Zwally J.  2017.  The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2): Science requirements, concept, and implementation. Remote Sensing of Environment. 190:260-273.   10.1016/j.rse.2016.12.029   AbstractWebsite

The Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission used laser altimetry measurements to determine changes in elevations of glaciers and ice sheets, as well as sea ice thickness distribution. These measurements have provided important information on the response of the cryopshere (Earth's frozen surfaces) to changes in atmosphere and ocean condition. ICESat operated from 2003 to 2009 and provided repeat altimetry measurements not only to the cryosphere scientific community but also to the ocean, terrestrial and atmospheric scientific communities. The conclusive assessment of significant ongoing rapid changes in the Earth's ice cover, in part supported by ICESat observations, has strengthened the need for sustained, high accuracy, repeat observations similar to what was provided by the ICESat mission. Following recommendations from the National Research Council for an ICESat follow-on mission, the ICESat-2 mission is now under development for planned launch in 2018. The primary scientific aims of the ICESat-2 mission are to continue measurements of sea ice freeboard and ice sheet elevation to determine their changes at scales from outlet glaciers to the entire ice sheet, and from 105 of meters to the entire polar oceans for sea ice freeboard. ICESat carried a single beam profiling laser altimeter that produced similar to 70 m diameter footprints on the surface of the Earth at similar to 150 m along-track intervals. In contrast, ICESat-2 will operate with three pairs of beams, each pair separated by about 3 km cross-track with a pair spacing of 90 m. Each of the beams will have a nominal 17 m diameter footprint with an along -track sampling interval of 0.7 m. The differences in the ICESat-2 measurement concept are a result of overcoming some limitations associated with the approach used in the ICESat mission. The beam pair configuration of ICESat-2 allows for the determination of local cross -track slope, a significant factor in measuring elevation change for the outlet glaciers surrounding the Greenland and Antarctica coasts. The multiple beam pairs also provide improved spatial coverage. The dense spatial sampling eliminates along -track measurement gaps, and the small footprint diameter is especially useful for sea surface height measurements in the often narrow leads needed for sea ice freeboard and ice thickness retrievals. The ICESat-2 instrumentation concept uses a low energy 532 nm (green) laser in conjunction with single-photon sensitive detectors to measure range. Combining ICESat-2 data with altimetry data collected since the start of the ICESat mission in 2003, such as Operation IceBridge and ESA's CryoSat-2, will yield a 15+ year record of changes in ice sheet elevation and sea ice thickness. ICESat-2 will also provide information of mountain glacier and ice cap elevations changes, land and vegetation heights, inland water elevations, sea surface heights, and cloud layering and optical thickness. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license

Kirkman, D, Tytler D, Suzuki N, Melis C, Hollywood S, James K, So G, Lubin D, Jena T, Norman ML, Paschos P.  2005.  The HI opacity of the intergalactic medium at redshifts 1.6 < z < 3.2. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 360:1373-1380.   10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09126.x   AbstractWebsite

We use high-quality echelle spectra of 24 quasi-stellar objects to provide a calibrated measurement of the total amount of Ly alpha forest absorption (DA) over the redshift range 2.2 < z < 3.2. Our measurement of DA excludes absorption from metal lines or the Ly alpha lines of Lyman-limit systems and damped Ly alpha systems. We use artificial spectra with realistic flux calibration errors to show that we are able to place continuum levels that are accurate to better than 1 per cent. When we combine our results with our previous results between 1.6 < z < 2.2, we find that the redshift evolution of DA is well described over f1.6 < z < 3.2 as A (1 +z)(gamma), where A = 0.0062 and gamma = 2.75. We detect no significant deviations from a smooth power-law evolution over the redshift range studied. We find less H i absorption than expected at z = 3, implying that the ultraviolet background is similar to 40 per cent higher than expected. Our data appears to be consistent with an H i ionization rate of Gamma similar to 1.4 x 10(-12) s(-1).

Ramanathan, V, Crutzen PJ, Lelieveld J, Mitra AP, Althausen D, Anderson J, Andreae MO, Cantrell W, Cass GR, Chung CE, Clarke AD, Coakley JA, Collins WD, Conant WC, Dulac F, Heintzenberg J, Heymsfield AJ, Holben B, Howell S, Hudson J, Jayaraman A, Kiehl JT, Krishnamurti TN, Lubin D, McFarquhar G, Novakov T, Ogren JA, Podgorny IA, Prather K, Priestley K, Prospero JM, Quinn PK, Rajeev K, Rasch P, Rupert S, Sadourny R, Satheesh SK, Shaw GE, Sheridan P, Valero FPJ.  2001.  Indian Ocean Experiment: An integrated analysis of the climate forcing and effects of the great Indo-Asian haze. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 106:28371-28398.   10.1029/2001jd900133   AbstractWebsite

Every year, from December to April, anthropogenic haze spreads over most of the North Indian Ocean, and South and Southeast Asia. The Indian Ocean Experiment (INDOEX) documented this Indo-Asian haze at scales ranging from individual particles to its contribution to the regional climate forcing. This study integrates the multiplatform. observations (satellites, aircraft, ships, surface stations, and balloons) with one- and four-dimensional models to derive the regional aerosol forcing resulting from the direct, the semidirect and the two indirect effects. The haze particles consisted of several inorganic and carbonaceous species, including absorbing black carbon clusters, fly ash, and mineral dust. The most striking result was the large loading of aerosols over most of the South Asian region and the North Indian Ocean. The January to March 1999 visible optical depths were about 0.5 over most of the continent and reached values as large as 0.2 over the equatorial Indian ocean due to long-range transport. The aerosol layer extended as high as 3 km. Black carbon contributed about 14% to the fine particle mass and 11% to the visible optical depth. The single-scattering albedo estimated by several independent methods was consistently around 0.9 both inland and over the open ocean. Anthropogenic sources contributed as much as 80% (+/- 10%) to the aerosol loading and the optical depth. The in situ data, which clearly support the existence of the first indirect effect (increased aerosol concentration producing more cloud drops with smaller effective radii), are used to develop a composite indirect effect scheme. The Indo-Asian aerosols impact the radiative forcing through a complex set of heating (positive forcing) and cooling (negative forcing) processes. Clouds and black carbon emerge as the ma or players. The dominant factor, however, is the large negative forcing (-20 +/- 4 W m(-2)) at the surface and the comparably large atmospheric heating. Regionally, the absorbing haze decreased the surface solar radiation by an amount comparable to 50% of the total ocean heat flux and nearly doubled the lower tropospheric solar heating. We demonstrate with a general circulation model how this additional heating significantly perturbs the tropical rainfall patterns and the hydrological cycle with implications to global climate.

Lubin, D, Jensen EH, Gies HP.  1998.  Global surface ultraviolet radiation climatology from TOMS and ERBE data. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 103:26061-26091.   10.1029/98jd02308   AbstractWebsite

A global climatology of biologically active solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) at the Earth's surface is derived using NASA total ozone mapping spectrometer (TOMS) measurements of column ozone abundance and NASA Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) measurements of solar reflectance from the Earth-atmosphere system. These two sources of satellite data are used as input to a delta-Eddington radiative transfer model to estimate climatological cloud opacity and thereby demonstrate how surface UVR varies with geography and season. The surface UVR fluxes are spectrally resolved to enable weighted integration with any biological action spectrum. Solar elevation is shown to be more important than total column ozone abundance in governing the variability of surface UVR over large geographic areas, although some regions with pronounced local minima in ozone (30 Dobson units or more) will cause noticeable enhancements of integrated UV-B (280-315 nm) flux relative to UV-A (315-400 nm). The greatest variability in surface UVR within a given climate zone is induced by cloud cover. During summer, regions that show lower surface UVR fluxes relative to their surrounding regions include the eastern United States (versus the western United States), India, China (in the vicinity of the Yangtze River), and Japan (relative to the surrounding oceans). Cloud cover over tropical rainforest areas reduces the surface UVR flux relative to ocean areas at the same latitudes. The UVR cloud transmission derived from the TOMS and ERBE data correlates with an independent climatology of global cloud coverage. The UVR mapping method, based on the TOMS and ERBE data, allows a direct investigation of diurnal variability and a rigorous calculation of the biologically relevant integrated daily dose of UVR. However, it is shown that a UVR mapping method based on TOMS data alone, which is limited to only local noon satellite measurements, can make defensible estimates of the integrated daily UVR dose and the instantaneous local noon UVR surface flux.

Jayaraman, A, Lubin D, Ramachandran S, Ramanathan V, Woodbridge E, Collins WD, Zalpuri KS.  1998.  Direct observations of aerosol radiative forcing over the tropical Indian Ocean during the January-February 1996 pre-INDOEX cruise. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 103:13827-13836.   10.1029/98jd00559   AbstractWebsite

Simultaneous measurements of aerosol optical depth, size distribution, and incoming solar radiation flux were conducted with spectral and broadband radiometers over the coastal Indian region, Arabian Sea, and Indian Ocean in January-February 1996. Columnar aerosol optical depth, delta a, at visible wavelengths was found to be 0.2-0.5 over the Arabian Sea and <0.1 over the equatorial Indian Ocean. Aerosol mass concentration decreased from about 80 mu g/m(3) near the coast to just a few mu g/m(3) over the interior ocean. The sub-micron-size particles showed more than an order of magnitude increase in number concentration near the coast versus the interior ocean. This large gradient in particle concentration was consistent with a corresponding large increase in the Sun-photometer-derived Angstrom exponent, which increased from 0.2 over the Indian Ocean to about 1.4 near the coast. The change in surface-reaching solar flux with delta a was obtained for both the direct and the global solar flux in the visible spectral region. The solar-zenith-angle-normalized global and diffuse fluxes vary almost linearly with normalized delta a. The direct visible (<780 nm) solar flux decreases by about 42 +/- 4 Wm(-2) and the diffuse sky radiation increases by about 30 +/- 3 Wm(-2) with every 0.1 increase in delta a, for solar zenith angles smaller than 60 degrees. For the same extinction optical depth the radiative forcing of the coastal aerosols is larger than the open ocean aerosol forcing by a factor of 2 or larger.

Lubin, D, Jensen EH.  1997.  Satellite mapping of solar ultraviolet radiation at the earth's surface. Solar ultraviolet radiation : modelling, measurements, and effects. ( Zerefos CS, Bais AF, Eds.)., Berlin; New York: Springer Abstract
Aagaard, K, Barrie L, Carmack E, Garrity C, Jones EP, Lubin D, Macdonald RW, Swift JH, Tucker W, Wheeler PA, Whritner R.  1996.  U.S., Canadian researchers explore Arctic Ocean. EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union. 77:209,213.   10.1029/96EO00141   Abstract

During July–September 1994, two Canadian and U.S. ice breakers crossed the Arctic Ocean (Figure 1) to investigate the biological, chemical, and physical systems that define the role of the Arctic in global change. The results are changing our perceptions of the Arctic Ocean as a static environment with low biological productivity to a dynamic and productive system. The experiment was called the Arctic Ocean Section (AOS) and the ships were the Canadian Coast Guard ship Louis S. St.-Laurent and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Polar Sea.

Lubin, D, Jensen EH.  1995.  Effects of Clouds and Stratospheric Ozone Depletion on Ultraviolet-Radiation Trends. Nature. 377:710-713.   10.1038/377710a0   AbstractWebsite

ANTHROPOGENIC depletion of ozone in the lower stratosphere has been of global environmental concern for two decades, but the environmentally relevant quantity-the flux of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) reading the Earth's surface-remains poorly quantified on a global basis. The three most important parameters governing surface UVR fluxes and trends are solar elevation, total vertically integrated ozone abundance and cloud opacity. Here we use global satellite measurements of total ozone abundance and cloud reflectance to examine how the trends in UVR resulting from established trends in total ozone abundance(1,2) compare with the potentially large natural variability in UVR that results from variations in cloud opacity. We find that throughout many temperate regions-including large parts of continental Europe, North and South America, New Zealand, Australia and southern Africa-interannual variability in cloud opacity is sufficiently small that by the end of this century, trends in summer average local-noon UVR dose rates relevant to mammalian skin cancer or plant damage should be significant with respect to cloud variability.