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Present and Future of Rainfall in Antarctica

Abstract : While most precipitation in Antarctica falls as snow, little is known about liquid precipitation, although it can have ecological and climatic impacts. This study combines meteorological reports at 10 stations with the ERA5 reanalysis to provide a climatological characterization of rainfall occurrence over Antarctica. Along the East Antarctic coast, liquid precipitation occurs 22 days per year at most and coincides with maritime intrusions and blocking anticyclones. Over the north western Antarctic Peninsula, rainfall occurs more than 50 days per year on average and the recent summer cooling was accompanied by a decrease of −35 annual rainy days per decade between 1998 and 2015 at Faraday Vernadsky. Projections from seven latest generation climate models reveal that Antarctic coasts will experience a warming and more frequent and intense rainfall by the end of the century. Rainfall is expected to impact new regions of the continent, increasing their vulnerability to melting by the preconditioning of surface snow.
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Geophysical Research Letters -...
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É. Vignon, M. -L. Roussel, I. V. Gorodetskaya, C. Genthon, A. Berne. Present and Future of Rainfall in Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 2021, 48, ⟨10.1029/2020GL092281⟩. ⟨insu-03726951⟩



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