The impact of clouds on Greenland's surface melt is difficult to quantify due to the limited amount of in situ observations. To better quantify cloud radiative effects (CRE), we utilize 29 automatic weather stations and provide the first analysis on seasonal and hourly timescales in both accumulation and ablation zones. Seasonal CRE shows opposing cycles across geographical regions. CRE generally increases during melt season in the north of Greenland, mainly due to longwave CRE enhancement by cloud fraction and liquid water. CRE decreases from May to July and increases afterwards in the middle and south of Greenland, mainly due to strengthened shortwave CRE caused by surface albedo reduction. This finding resolves the contrasting seasonal distributions in previous studies at different Arctic locations. Longwave seasonal cycle also shifts from increasing in the north to decreasing in the south, implying spatial variations in cloud and atmospheric conditions. On hourly timescales, longwave downwelling radiation exhibits a bimodal distribution peaking at ∼−70 W/m 2 (i.e., clear state) and ∼0 W/m 2 (i.e., cloudy state), suggesting that Greenland alternates between fairly clear and overcast. In the cloudy state, CRE strongly correlates with the combined influence of solar zenith angle and albedo (r = 0.85, p < 0.01) probably because clouds are thick enough for CRE to become saturated. The close relationship between CRE and albedo over dark surfaces suggests a stabilizing feedback: Net CRE is negative at low albedo caused by snow melt and snow metamorphism and thus tends to increase albedo and decelerate surface melt.
- Programområde 5: Natur og klima