Atmospheric impact of Arctic Sea ice loss in a coupled ocean–atmosphere simulation

Article English OPEN
Petrie, Ruth E. ; Shaffrey, Len C. ; Sutton, Rowan T. (2015)

The atmospheric response to an idealized decline in Arctic sea ice is investigated in a novel fully coupled climate model experiment. In this experiment two ensembles of single-year model integrations are performed starting on 1 April, the approximate start of the ice melt season. By perturbing the initial conditions of sea ice thickness (SIT), declines in both sea ice concentration and SIT, which result in sea ice distributions that are similar to the recent sea ice minima of 2007 and 2012, are induced. In the ice loss regions there are strong (~3 K) local increases in sea surface temperature (SST); additionally, there are remote increases in SST in the central North Pacific and subpolar gyre in the North Atlantic. Over the central Arctic there are increases in surface air temperature (SAT) of ~8 K due to increases in ocean–atmosphere heat fluxes. There are increases in SAT over continental North America that are in good agreement with recent changes as seen by reanalysis data. It is estimated that up to two-thirds of the observed increase in SAT in this region could be related to Arctic sea ice loss. In early summer there is a significant but weak atmospheric circulation response that projects onto the summer North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). In early summer and early autumn there is an equatorward shift of the eddy-driven jet over the North Atlantic as a result of a reduction in the meridional temperature gradients. In winter there is no projection onto a particular phase of the NAO.
  • References (55)
    55 references, page 1 of 6

    Alexander, M., U. Bhatt, J. Walsh, M. Timlin, J. Miller, and J. Scott, 2004: The atmospheric response to realistic Arctic sea ice anomalies in an AGCM during winter. J. Climate, 17, 890-904, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017,0890:TARTRA.2.0.CO;2.

    Balmaseda, M. A., L. Ferranti, F. Molteni, and T. Palmer, 2010: Impact of 2007 and 2008 Arctic ice anomalies on the atmospheric circulation: Implications for long-range predictions. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 136, 1655-1664, doi:10.1002/ qj.661.

    Blackburn, M., J. Methven, and N. Roberts, 2008: Large-scale context for the UK floods in summer 2007. Weather, 63, 280- 288, doi:10.1002/wea.322.

    Budikova, D., 2009: Role of Arctic sea ice in global atmospheric circulation: A review. Global Planet. Change, 68, 149-163, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2009.04.001.

    Cohen, J., and Coauthors, 2014: Recent Arctic amplification and extreme mid-latitude weather. Nat. Geosci., 7, 627-637, doi:10.1038/ngeo2234.

    Collins, M., and Coauthors, 2013: Long-term climate change: Projections, commitments and irreversibility. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, T. F. Stocker et al., Eds., Cambridge University Press, 1029-1136.

    Comiso, J. C., 2012: Large decadal decline of the Arctic multiyear ice cover. J. Climate, 25, 1176-1193, doi:10.1175/ JCLI-D-11-00113.1.

    --, C. L. Parkinson, R. Gersten, and L. Stock, 2008: Accelerated decline in the Arctic sea ice cover. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L01703, doi:10.1029/2007GL031972.

    Dee, D., and Coauthors, 2011: The ERA-Interim reanalysis: Configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 553-597, doi:10.1002/ qj.828.

    Deser, C., G. Magnusdottir, R. Saravanan, and A. Philips, 2004: The effects of North Atlantic SST and sea ice anomalies on the winter circulation in CCM3. Part II: Direct and indirect components of the response. J. Climate, 17, 877-889, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2004)017,0877:TEONAS.2.0.CO;2.

  • Related Research Results (1)
    Inferred
    Arctic Sea Ice (2016)
    42%
  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark