Modeling present and future ice covers in two Antarctic lakes

TitleModeling present and future ice covers in two Antarctic lakes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsEcheverría, S, Hausner, MB, Bambach, N, Vicuña, S, Suárez, F
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Date Published02/2020
Keywordsclimate change, energy balance, ice and climate, ice-sheet modeling, lake ice

Antarctic lakes with perennial ice covers provide the opportunity to investigate in-lake processes without direct atmospheric interaction, and to study their ice-cover sensitivity to climate condi- tions. In this study, a numerical model – driven by radiative, atmospheric and turbulent heat fluxes from the water body beneath the ice cover – was implemented to investigate the impact of climate change on the ice covers from two Antarctic lakes: west lobe of Lake Bonney (WLB) and Crooked Lake. Model results agreed well with measured ice thicknesses of both lakes (WLB – RMSE= 0.11 m over 16 years of data; Crooked Lake – RMSE= 0.07 m over 1 year of data), and had acceptable results with measured ablation data at WLB (RMSE= 0.28 m over 6 years). The differences between measured and modeled ablation occurred because the model does not consider interannual variability of the ice optical properties and seasonal changes of the lake’s thermal structure. Results indicate that projected summer air temperatures will increase the ice-cover annual melting in WLB by 2050, but that the ice cover will remain peren- nial through the end of this century. Contrarily, at Crooked Lake the ice cover becomes ephem- eral most likely due to the increase in air temperatures.