Peter Kuipers Munneke
Polar scientist

NEW PAPER! Estimating Larsen C SMB

Using a lot of field data from several measurement campaigns between 2008 and 2015, we reconstruct spatial patterns of surface mass balance over the Larsen C ice shelf. We assimilate RACMO2 SMB to the available observations to show that SMB is highly variable: from 200 mm w.e. per year in the northeast to over 700 mm w.e. in the southwestern inlets.

Updated Greenland mass loss

Using the mass budget method, our new study in The Cryosphere shows that mass loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has been 12 ± 6 mm since 1991, making it a major contributor to global mean sea level rise.

About me

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the field of glaciology and polar meteorology at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU), part of Utrecht University, The Netherlands.


In June and July 2007, we carried out an experiment about radiation and snow cover at Summit Camp, a research station on the Greenland ice sheet. The experiment goes by the name of SURE 07, which stands for Summit Radiation Experiment 2007.

Field report

The SURE 07 field report is now available.

acrobat logoSURE 07 Field report (3.2 Mb)

Introduction and aim

The aim of the experiment is to measure simultaneously all essential elements in the interaction between radiation on one hand, and snow and the atmosphere on the other. SURE 07 is expected to contribute to our understanding of the radiation and energy balance of a summer ice sheet surface, and what atmospheric and snow-related processes govern these balances.

Snow crystals and radiation

A novel technique developed by Margret Matzl and Martin Schneebeli from the SLF in Davos, Switzerland, enables us to make a detailed study of the optically equivalent snow grain size using infrared photography. Snow samples were taken and shipped to Switzerland for post-analysis of grain size. In this way, the snow pack is optically quantified with a high resolution. This provides a connection to the DAK radiative transfer model for the snow-atmosphere system.

Broadband and spectral radiation

The radiation field close to the surface was measured using a variety of instruments. For longwave broadband radiation, the Kipp&Zonen CG4 was used, as well as an Eppley PIR and the Kipp&Zonen CNR1. For shortwave broadband radiation, the CM21 and the CNR1 (Kipp&Zonen) were used. The diffuse component was measured with a CM21 equipped with a shadowband.

Furthermore, we measured shortwave radiation in 9 satellite bands (AVHRR 1 and 2, MODIS 2, 5 and 6, MISR 2 and 3, and TM 2 and 4), both global and reflected. This gives the opportunity for remote sensing applications. A FieldSpec Pro radiospectrometer was employed to measure entire spectra (300-2,500 nm) of the solar radiation.


The atmospheric state was measured using an automatic weather station (AWS) equipped with a sonic anemometer (Campbell CSAT3), a wind monitor (Young), a Vaisala HMP45 for humidity and temperature, a barometer, and snow temperature (10 levels + 5 very near-surface levels using small thermocouples).

We did a daily balloon launch at 1200AM using a Vaisala DigiCora ballooning system. Additional balloons were released when the atmospheric state was "interesting".

Information, contact, downloads

More information can be obtained from me by sending an email. See the Contact section. If you wish to make use of data, please do not hesitate to inquire.

During the experiment, we wrote down our adventures in a weblog supported by the Dutch TV channel VPRO (in Dutch).

A poster about this project can be downloaded:

acrobat logo SURE 07 poster (1.3 Mb)