Atmospheric total water vapour and mass accumulation in Antarctica: Regional climate model simulations versus satellite obser vations


Professor Dr. Klaus Dethloff 
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung 
Forschungsstelle Potsdam

Professor Dr.-Ing. Reinhard Dietrich 
Technische Universität Dresden 
Institut für Planetare Geodäsie 
Professur für Geodätische Erdsystemforschung

project description

The aim of this project is an improved information on the mean surface accumulation respectively net mass balance, its variability and its importance for the main drainage basins in Antarctica. For this aim, simulations of the water vapour distribution with a reliable simulation of synoptic-scale cyclones will be done by applying the regional climate model HIRHAM with 50 km horizontal resolution and 25 vertical levels. It was shown recently that the HIRHAM model represents the atmospheric circulation and surface processes of Antarctica with sufficient accuracy if driven by the European Reanalyses data. Since the quality of the ECMWF operational data, driving HIRHAM has been improved from 1996 by assimilation of High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) data the project focuses on developing data sets for the period from 1996 until 2008. The simulation results will be compared to satellite geodetic observations: namely water vapour time series from GPS and mass variations observed by the GRACE gravity field satellite mission. This comparison of independent estimates on accumulation and mass changes will significantly improve our knowledge on climatology and present-day changes in Antarctica. Both the simulations based on the regional climate model HIRHAM and satellite geodetic observations based on GPS and the GRACE mission will be extended until 2008 covering the time of the International Polar Year.


DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

Beteiligte Person: Dr. Annette Rinke

term from 2008 to 2011