Contributions to the Surface Downwelling Longwave Irradiance during Arctic Winter at Utqia-gvik (Barrow), Alaska

G. Alexander Sokolowsky, G. Alexander Sokolowsky, Eugene E. Clothiaux, Cory F. Baggett, Cory F. Baggett, Cory F. Baggett, Sukyoung Lee, Steven B. Feldstein, Edwin W. Eloranta, Maria P. Cadeddu, Nitin Bharadwaj, Karen L. Johnson

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5 Scopus citations


Intrusions of warm, moist air into the Arctic during winter have emerged as important contributors to Arctic surface warming. Previous studies indicate that temperature, moisture, and hydrometeor enhancements during intrusions allmake contributions to surface warming via emission of radiation down to the surface. Here, datasets from instrumentation at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement User Facility in Utqia_gvik (formerly Barrow) for the six months from November through April for the six winter seasons of 2013/14-2018/19 were used to quantify the atmospheric state. These datasets subsequently served as inputs to compute surface downwelling longwave irradiances via radiative transfer computations at 1-min intervals with different combinations of constituents over the six winter seasons. The computed six winter average irradiance with all constituents included was 205.0Wm22, close to the average measured irradiance of 206.7Wm22, a difference of 20.8%. During this period, water vapor was the most important contributor to the irradiance. The computed average irradiance with dry gas was 71.9Wm22. Separately adding water vapor, liquid, or ice to the dry atmosphere led to average increases of 2.4, 1.8, and 1.6 times the dry atmosphere irradiance, respectively. During the analysis period, 15 episodes of warm, moist air intrusions were identified. During the intrusions, individual contributions from elevated temperature, water vapor, liquid water, and ice water were found to be comparable to each other. These findings indicate that all properties of the atmospheric state must be known in order to quantify the radiation coming down to the Arctic surface during winter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4555-4577
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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