CPEP Seminar – Clouds and Blocking: Snowfall Processes over the Greenland Ice Sheet
Speaker: Claire Pettersen, Assistant Professor, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Michigan
Hosted by the Climate, People and the Environment Program (CPEP).
The Greenland Ice Sheet gains mass primarily through snowfall processes. However, the large-scale dynamics leading to snowfall atop the high plateau of central Greenland are not well understood. In recent work, Pettersen has examined the spatial and seasonal patterns of snowfall over Greenland as well as the characteristics of the associated clouds. She and fellow colleagues found that blocking of the mean atmospheric flow by persistent and stationary anticyclones in the Euro-Atlantic region is key in the steering and advection of warm, moist air masses towards central Greenland, leading to enhanced snowfall events.