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<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Pan-Arctic sea ice thickness has been monitored over recent decades by satellite radar altimeters such as CryoSat-2, which emit Ku-band radar waves that are conventionally assumed to penetrate overlying snow and scatter from the ice-snow interface. Here we examine two expressions for the time delay caused by slower radar wave propagation through the snow layer and related assumptions concerning the time-evolution of overlying snow density. Two conventionaldoi:10.5194/tc-2019-198 fatcat:7dqyshngvne3xnxuervxsk7mmq