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Lemonnier, Florentin; Madeleine, Jean-Baptiste; Claud, Chantal; Palerme, Cyril; Genthon, Christophe; L'Ecuyer, Tristan; Wood, Norman B (2019): CloudSat-inferred vertical structure of precipitation over the Antarctic continent. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Lemonnier, F et al. (2020): CloudSat‐Inferred Vertical Structure of Snowfall Over the Antarctic Continent. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 125(2), e2019JD031399,

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Current global warming is causing significant changes in snowfall in polar regions, directly impacting the mass balance of the ice caps. The only water supply in Antarctica, precipitation, is poorly estimated from surface measurements. The onboard cloud-profiling radar of the CloudSat satellite provided the first real opportunity to estimate precipitation at continental scale. Based on CloudSat observations, we propose to explore the vertical structure of precipitation in Antarctica over the 2007-2010 period. A first division of this dataset following a topographical approach (continent versus peripheral regions, with a 2250m topographical criterion) shows a high precipitation rate (275mm/yr at 1200meters above ground level) with low relative seasonal variation (+/-11%) over the peripheral areas. Over the plateau, the precipitation rate is low (34mm/yr at 1200m.a.g.l.) with a much larger relative seasonal variation (+/-143%). A second study that follows a geographical division highlights the average vertical structure of precipitation and temperature depending on the regions and their interactions with topography. In particular, over ice-shelves, we see a strong dependence of the distribution of precipitation on the sea-ice coverage. Finally, the relationship between precipitation and temperature is analyzed and compared with a simple analytical relationship. This study highlights that precipitation is largely dependent on the advection of air masses along the topographic slopes with an average vertical wind of 0.02m/s. This provides new diagnostics to evaluate climate models with a three-dimensional approach of the atmospheric structure of precipitation.
Antarctica; climatology; CloudSat cloud-profiling radar; precipitation; Vertical structure
Median Latitude: -71.000000 * Median Longitude: 180.000000 * South-bound Latitude: -82.000000 * West-bound Longitude: 180.000000 * North-bound Latitude: -60.000000 * East-bound Longitude: 180.000000
Antarctica_3Dclim * Latitude Start: -82.000000 * Longitude Start: -180.000000 * Latitude End: -60.000000 * Longitude End: 180.000000 * Location: Antarctica
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