Atmospheric net transport of water vapor and latent heat across 70°S


  • M. B. Giovinetto,

  • D. H. Bromwich,

  • G. Wendler


The annual net atmospheric transports of water vapor and latent heat poleward across 70°S are estimated using the latest compilation of surface mass balance for the Antarctic ice sheet and new estimates of precipitation and evaporation in sectors of the southern oceans and of seaward drifting snow transport in particular sectors of the ice sheet. The mass and energy exchange rates at the ice sheet-atmosphere and ocean-atmosphere interfaces are integrated strictly for areas within that latitude. The estimates of net southward water vapor transport (6.6 ± 1.3 kg m−1 s−1) and latent heat transport (18.9 ± 3.6 MJ m−1 s−1) are larger than reported in all preceding studies, based on atmospheric advection and moisture data collected at stations located between 66°S and 80°S, and are generally in agreement with those based on surface mass balance data and seaward drifting snow transport across the ice terminus which extends between 65°S and 79°S.