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      Evaluation of CloudSat snowfall rate profiles by a comparison with in-situ micro rain radars observations in East Antarctica

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          Abstract

          <p><strong>Abstract.</strong> The Antarctic continent is a vast desert, the coldest and the most unknown area on Earth. It contains the Antarctic ice sheet, the largest continental water reservoir on Earth that could be affected by the current global warming, leading to sea level rise. The only significant supply of ice is through precipitation, which can be observed from the surface and from space. Remote sensing observations of the coastal regions and the inner continent using CloudSat radar give an estimated rate of snowfall but with uncertainties twice as large as each single measured value, whereas climate models give a range from half to twice the time and spatial average observations. The aim of this study is the evaluation of the vertical precipitation rate profiles of CloudSat radar by comparison with two surface-based Micro-Rain Radars (MRR), located at the coastal French Dumont d'Urville station and at the Belgian Princess Elisabeth station, located in the Dronning Maud Land escarpment zone, respectively. This in turn leads to a better understanding and reassessment of CloudSat uncertainties. We compared a total of four precipitation events, two per station, when CloudSat overpassed within 10<span class="thinspace"></span>km of the stations and we compared these two different data sets at each vertical level. The correlation between both datasets is near-perfect, even though climatic and geographic conditions are different for the stations. Using different CloudSat and MRR vertical levels, we obtain 10km-space and seconds-short-time CloudSat uncertainties from &amp;minus;24<span class="thinspace"></span>% up to +21<span class="thinspace"></span>%. This confirms the robustness of the CloudSat retrievals of snowfall over Antarctica above the blind zone and justifies further analyses of this dataset.</p>

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          The Cryosphere Discussions
          The Cryosphere Discuss.
          Copernicus GmbH
          1994-0440
          November 29 2018
          : 1-17
          Article
          10.5194/tc-2018-236
          © 2018
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