GABLS4 intercomparison of snow models at Dome C in Antarctica

Le Moigne, Patrick ; Bazile, Eric ; Cheng, Anning ; Dutra, Emanuel ; Edwards, John M. ; Maurel, William ; Sandu, Irina ; Traullé, Olivier ; Vignon, Etienne ; Zadra, Ayrton ; Zheng, Weizhong

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<p align=justify>The Antarctic plateau, characterized by cold and dry weather conditions with very little precipitation, is mostly covered by snow at the surface. This paper describes an intercomparison of snow models, of varying complexity, used for numerical weather prediction or academic research. The results of offline numerical simulations, carried out during 15 d in 2009, on a single site on the Antarctic plateau, show that the simplest models are able to reproduce the surface temperature as well as the most complex models provided that their surface parameters are well chosen. Furthermore, it is shown that the diversity of the surface parameters of the models strongly impacts the numerical simulations, in particular the temporal variability of the surface temperature and the components of the surface energy balance. The models tend to overestimate the surface temperature by 2-5 K at night and underestimate it by 2 K during the day. The observed and simulated turbulent latent heat fluxes are small, of the order of a few W m−2, with a tendency to underestimate, while the sensible heat fluxes are in general too intense at night as well as during the day. The surface temperature errors are consistent with too large a magnitude of sensible heat fluxes during the day and night. Finally, it is shown that the most complex multilayer models are able to reproduce well the propagation of the daily diurnal wave, and that the snow temperature profiles in the snowpack are very close to the measurements carried out on site.</p>
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