Atmospheric response in summer linked to recent Arctic sea ice loss
Petrie, Ruth E.
Shaffrey, Len C.
Sutton, Rowan T.
- Publisher: Royal Meteorological Society
Since 2007 a large decline in Arctic sea ice has been observed. The large-scale atmospheric circulation response to this decline is investigated in ERA-Interim reanalyses and HadGEM3 climate model experiments. In winter, post-2007 observed circulation anomalies over the Arctic, North Atlantic and Eurasia are small compared to interannual variability. In summer, the post-2007 observed circulation is dominated by an anticyclonic anomaly over Greenland which has a large signal-to-noise ratio. Climate model experiments driven by observed SST and sea ice anomalies are able to capture the summertime pattern of observed circulation anomalies, although the magnitude is a third of that observed. The experiments suggest high SSTs and reduced sea ice in the Labrador Sea lead to positive temperature anomalies in the lower troposphere which weaken the westerlies over North America through thermal wind balance. The experiments also capture cyclonic anomalies over Northwest Europe, which are consistent with downstream Rossby wave propagation