Scott Williamson


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Vegetation type is an important predictor of the arctic summer land surface energy budget
Jacqueline Oehri, Gabriela Schaepman‐Strub, Jin‐Soo Kim, Raleigh Grysko, Heather Kropp, Inge Grünberg, Vitalii Zemlianskii, Oliver Sonnentag, Eugénie Euskirchen, Merin Reji Chacko, Giovanni Muscari, Peter D. Blanken, Joshua Dean, Alcide di Sarra, R. J. Harding, Ireneusz Sobota, Lars Kutzbach, Elena Plekhanova, Aku Riihelä, Julia Boike, Nathaniel B. Miller, Jason Beringer, Efrèn López‐Blanco, Paul C. Stoy, Ryan C. Sullivan, Marek Kejna, Frans‐Jan W. Parmentier, John A. Gamon, Mikhail Mastepanov, Christian Wille, Marcin Jackowicz-Korczyński, Dirk Nikolaus Karger, William L. Quinton, Jaakko Putkonen, Dirk van As, Torben R. Christensen, Maria Z. Hakuba, Robert S. Stone, Stefan Metzger, Baptiste Vandecrux, G. V. Frost, Martin Wild, Birger Ulf Hansen, Daniela Meloni, Florent Dominé, Mariska te Beest, Torsten Sachs, Aram Kalhori, A. V. Rocha, Scott Williamson, Sara Morris, A. L. Atchley, Richard Essery, Benjamin R. K. Runkle, David Holl, Laura Riihimaki, Hiroyasu Iwata, Edward A. G. Schuur, Christopher Cox, Andrey A. Grachev, J. P. McFadden, Robert S. Fausto, Mathias Goeckede, Masahito Ueyama, Norbert Pirk, Gijs de Boer, M. Syndonia Bret‐Harte, Matti Leppäranta, Konrad Steffen, Thomas Friborg, Atsumu Ohmura, C. Edgar, Johan Olofsson, Scott D. Chambers
Nature Communications, Volume 13, Issue 1

Abstract Despite the importance of high-latitude surface energy budgets (SEBs) for land-climate interactions in the rapidly changing Arctic, uncertainties in their prediction persist. Here, we harmonize SEB observations across a network of vegetated and glaciated sites at circumpolar scale (1994–2021). Our variance-partitioning analysis identifies vegetation type as an important predictor for SEB-components during Arctic summer (June-August), compared to other SEB-drivers including climate, latitude and permafrost characteristics. Differences among vegetation types can be of similar magnitude as between vegetation and glacier surfaces and are especially high for summer sensible and latent heat fluxes. The timing of SEB-flux summer-regimes (when daily mean values exceed 0 Wm −2 ) relative to snow-free and -onset dates varies substantially depending on vegetation type, implying vegetation controls on snow-cover and SEB-flux seasonality. Our results indicate complex shifts in surface energy fluxes with land-cover transitions and a lengthening summer season, and highlight the potential for improving future Earth system models via a refined representation of Arctic vegetation types.


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The influence of forest fire aerosol and air temperature on glacier albedo, western North America
Scott Williamson, Brian Menounos
Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 267

Over the past decade, western North America glaciers experienced strong mass loss. Regional mass loss during the ablation season is influenced by air temperature, but the importance of other factors such as changes in surface albedo remains uncertain. We examine changes in surface albedo for 17 glaciated regions of western North America as documented in a 20-year record (2000 to 2019) of MODIS daily snow albedo (MOD10A1). Trend analysis reveals that albedo declined for 4% to 81% of the albedo grid cells, and the largest negative trends were situated south of 60°N and in the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Sen's slope estimates indicate that 15 of 17 regions showed a decline of which the majority of the largest declines occurred within 100 m of glacier median elevation, suggesting that these declines are driven by a rise of the transient snowline. For most regions, albedo correlates strongly to temperature, and albedo trend in the Chugach region of Alaska, the South Coast, Southern Interior and Central and Southern Rockies of Canada show a significant relationship to aerosols optical depth. Temperature is approximately 2–6 times more predictive of the variation in albedo than AOD for the majority of regions, except the Southern Interior and Southern Rockies where albedo shows a greater dependence on AOD. Investigation of broadband albedo (MCD43A3) for snow grid cells above glacier median elevation in the Central and Southern Rockies shows that declines in the visible and near infrared portions of the spectrum are linked to the presence of forest fire generated aerosols. The results of this study indicate that glacier surface mass balance experiences a regional dependence on forest fire generated light absorbing particles. • End of melt season glacier albedo is declining across in western North America. • Albedo decline is largest at glacier median elevation. • Albedo decline strongly correlates to temperature increase. • Albedo decline is correlated with forest fire generated aerosols regionally.