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      Retrieval of Snow Depth on Sea Ice in the Arctic Using the FengYun-3B Microwave Radiation Imager

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          Snow on sea ice is a sensitive indicator of climate change because it plays an important role regulating surface and near surface air temperatures. Given its high albedo and low thermal conductivity, snow cover is considered a key reason for amplified warming in polar regions. This study focuses on retrieving snow depth on sea ice from brightness temperatures recorded by the Microwave Radiation Imager (MWRI) on board the FengYun (FY)-3B satellite. After cross calibration with the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMSR-E) Level 2A data from January 1 to May 31, 2011, MWRI brightness temperatures were used to calculate sea ice concentrations based on the Arctic Radiation and Turbulence Interaction Study Sea Ice (ASI) algorithm. Snow depths were derived according to the proportional relationship between snow depth and surface scattering at 18.7 and 36.5 GHz. To eliminate the influence of uncertainties in snow grain sizes and sporadic weather effects, seven-day averaged snow depths were calculated. These results were compared with snow depths from two external data sets, the IceBridge ICDIS4 and AMSR-E Level 3 Sea Ice products. The bias and standard deviation of the differences between the MWRI snow depth and IceBridge data were respectively 1.6 and 3.2 cm for a total of 52 comparisons. Differences between MWRI snow depths and AMSR-E Level 3 products showed biases ranging between 1.01 and 0.58 cm, standard deviations from 3.63 to 4.23 cm, and correlation coefficients from 0.61 to 0.79 for the different months.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          14 May 2019
          01 June 2019
          : 18
          : 3
          : 580-588
          1 College of Information Science and Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: GUAN Lei
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2019.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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