SPATIOTEMPORAL ANALYSIS OF SNOW DEPTH ON FIRST-YEAR ICE BASED ON FY3B/MWRI IN THE ARCTIC
As an important factor in the stability of the climate system in the northern hemisphere, the Arctic has recently attracted considerable attention. In the Arctic, most sea ice is covered by snow year-round, except in the snow-melting season. Given its high albedo and low thermal conductivity, snow cover on sea ice is considered a key component of amplified warming in the Arctic. However, in Arctic regions, the only products available are for snow depths on first-year ice. Therefore, this paper studies the temporal and spatial changes of snow depth on first-year ice in the Arctic using the snow depth on sea ice product determined from the Microwave Radiation Imager onboard the Feng Yun-3B satellite. We averaged the daily snow depth on first-year ice data to give monthly and annual values over the period 2011–2018, using flags for multiyear ice and melting points. Taking the 2012 data as an example, the analysis results show that the spatial distribution of snow depth in the monthly and annual data is similar over the whole first-year ice area. The snow depth basically decreases with latitude, and the distribution features exhibit little variation by month and year. The weekly mean snow depth on first-year ice begins to increase from October/November due to snowfall, and reaches a maximum value in late April/early May of the next year. There is no obvious law governing the inter-annual variation of snow depth in the Arctic from 2011–2018.