Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences

First Advisor

Ola P G Persson

Second Advisor

John J Cassano

Third Advisor

O. Brian Toon


Earth's climate has been changing rapidly, particularly in the Arctic; however, the Arctic is poorly understood due to spatially and temporally sparse observations. Arctic conditions prove difficult to obtain good quality, long-duration field measurements. Current studies utilize model-observation hybrid datasets (i.e., reanalyses); hence, the accuracy of processes represented in these datasets is important. In this study, meteorological parameters, turbulent fluxes, cloud properties, radiative fluxes, and the surface energy budget from ERA-40, ERA-Interim, NCEP/DOE, and JRA-25 reanalyses are compared to SHEBA observations. Six-hourly reanalyses data were interpolated to the location of the multiyear ice floe and combined, along with observations, into seven-day running means. These were used to understand observation-reanalysis comparisons of energy flux relationships between clouds and sea-ice. All reanalyses demonstrate compensating errors in turbulent and radiative fluxes, yielding negative mean biases for the surface energy balance. These underestimations (surface energy under-absorption) represent too much sea-ice growth compared to reality.