28 Jun 2021

28 Jun 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Ten years of temperature and wind observation on a 45-m tower at Dome C, East Antarctic plateau

Christophe Genthon1, Dana E. Veron2, Etienne Vignon1, Delphine Six3, Jean-Louis Dufresne1, Jean-Baptiste Madeleine1, Emmanuelle Sultan4, and François Forget1 Christophe Genthon et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique, Paris, France
  • 2School of Marine Science and Policy, Newark, USA
  • 3Institut des Géosciences de l’Environnement, Grenoble, France
  • 4Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France

Abstract. Long-term, continuous in situ observations of the near-surface atmospheric boundary layer are critical for many weather and climate applications. Although there is a proliferation of surface stations globally, especially in and around populous areas, there are notably fewer tall meteorological towers with multiple instrumented levels. This is particularly true in remote and extreme environments such as the Eastern Antarctic plateau. In the article, we present and analyze 10 years of data from 6 levels of meteorological instrumentation mounted on a 42-m tower located at Dome C, East Antarctica near the Concordia research station, producing a unique climatology of the near-surface atmospheric environment (Genthon et al., 2021,a,b). Monthly temperature and wind data demonstrate the large seasonal differences in the near-surface boundary layer dynamics, depending on the presence or absence of solar surface forcing. Strong vertical temperature gradients (inversions) frequently develop in calm, winter conditions, while vertical convective mixing occurs in the summer leading to near-uniform temperatures along the tower. Seasonal variation in wind speed is much less notable at this location than the temperature variation as the winds are less influenced by the solar cycle; there are no katabatic winds as Dome C is quite flat. Harmonic analysis confirms that most of the energy in the power spectrum is at diurnal, annual and semi-annual time scales. Analysis of observational uncertainty and comparison to reanalysis data from ERA-5 indicate that wind speed is particularly difficult to measure at this location. Data are distributed on PANGAEA data repository, see data availability section.

Christophe Genthon et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2021-204', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Jul 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Christophe Genthon, 10 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on essd-2021-204', Anonymous Referee #2, 25 Aug 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Christophe Genthon, 10 Sep 2021

Christophe Genthon et al.

Data sets

Ten years of wind speed observation on a 45-m tower at Dome C, East Antarctic plateau Genthon, C., Veron, D., Vignon, E., Six, D., Dufresnes; J.-L., Sultan, E., Forget, F.

Ten years of shielded ventilated atmospheric temperature observation on a 45-m tower at Dome C, East Antarctic plateau Genthon, C., Veron, D., Vignon, E., Six, D., Dufresnes; J.-L., Sultan, E., Forget, F.

Christophe Genthon et al.


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Short summary
A 10-year dataset of observation in the atmospheric boundary layer at Dome C on the high antarctic plateau is presented. This is obtained with sensors at 6 levels along a tower higher than 40 m. the temperature inversion can reach more than 25 °C along the tower in winter while full mixing by convection can occur in summer. Different amplitudes of variability for wind and temperature and at the different levels reflects different signatures of solar vs synoptic forcing of the boundary layer.