Figure 1: The January 2016 melt event captured by satellite and surface observations.

From: January 2016 extensive summer melt in West Antarctica favoured by strong El Niño

Figure 1

(a) Map of West Antarctica showing the number of melt days in January 2016 estimated from passive microwave satellite observations overlaid on a MODIS mosaic image62. The white crosses denote the locations of the automatic weather stations (AWSs) shown in c. The inset map outlines the boundaries of the background MODIS image (black line) and Ross sector (red line). (b) Time series of December and January melt index (bars) and November–February melt extent (blue crosses) calculated for the Ross Sector (see inset map in a) and estimated from satellite-based daily melt data. The year refers to January (for example, the 1992 melt indices are December 1991 and January 1992). No data are shown for 1988 owing to insufficient observations. (c) Time series of 10-minute near-surface temperatures from six West Antarctic AWSs whose locations are shown in a. AWS name abbreviation and elevation above sea level are given in parentheses. Orange shading highlights temperatures above −2 °C (surface melting can occur despite below-freezing near-surface temperature because of radiative heating).