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The Role of Physical Processes in Determining the Interdecadal Variability of Central Arctic Sea Ice

The Role of Physical Processes in Determining the Interdecadal Variability of Central Arctic Sea Ice The importance of the Arctic region for global climate change has recently been highlighted in the results from general circulation model simulations under increasing atmospheric CO 2 scenarios. The warming that is predicted by these studies is most pronounced in the polar regions, indicating that it may be the first place in which the effects of global climate change will be detected. However, the natural variability that is present in the Arctic climate system is largely unknown and is likely to obscure the detection of anthropogenically forced changes. Additionally, there is little information on the internal processes of the Arctic ice pack, which are important for determining the variability of the ice cover. In an effort to address these issues, the variability of the Arctic ice volume is examined using a single column sea ice––ocean mixed layer model. The model contains an ice thickness distribution and the parameterization of export and ridging due to ice divergence and shear. Variability in the ice cover is forced by applying stochastic perturbations to the air temperature and ice divergence forcing fields. Several sensitivity tests are performed in order to assess the role of different physical processes in determining the variability of the perennial Arctic ice pack. It is found that the surface albedo and ice––ocean feedback mechanisms act to enhance the variability of the ice volume and are particularly important for the simulated response of the sea ice to fluctuations in air temperature, accounting for approximately 62%% and 25%% of the ice volume variance, respectively. The details of the ice thickness distribution also significantly affect the simulated variability. In particular, the ridging process acts to decrease the simulated variability of the ice pack. It reduces the variance of the ice volume by 50%% when air temperature stochastic forcing is applied. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Climate American Meteorological Society

The Role of Physical Processes in Determining the Interdecadal Variability of Central Arctic Sea Ice

Journal of Climate , Volume 12 (11) – Aug 21, 1997

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0442
DOI
10.1175/1520-0442(1999)012<3319:TROPPI>2.0.CO;2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The importance of the Arctic region for global climate change has recently been highlighted in the results from general circulation model simulations under increasing atmospheric CO 2 scenarios. The warming that is predicted by these studies is most pronounced in the polar regions, indicating that it may be the first place in which the effects of global climate change will be detected. However, the natural variability that is present in the Arctic climate system is largely unknown and is likely to obscure the detection of anthropogenically forced changes. Additionally, there is little information on the internal processes of the Arctic ice pack, which are important for determining the variability of the ice cover. In an effort to address these issues, the variability of the Arctic ice volume is examined using a single column sea ice––ocean mixed layer model. The model contains an ice thickness distribution and the parameterization of export and ridging due to ice divergence and shear. Variability in the ice cover is forced by applying stochastic perturbations to the air temperature and ice divergence forcing fields. Several sensitivity tests are performed in order to assess the role of different physical processes in determining the variability of the perennial Arctic ice pack. It is found that the surface albedo and ice––ocean feedback mechanisms act to enhance the variability of the ice volume and are particularly important for the simulated response of the sea ice to fluctuations in air temperature, accounting for approximately 62%% and 25%% of the ice volume variance, respectively. The details of the ice thickness distribution also significantly affect the simulated variability. In particular, the ridging process acts to decrease the simulated variability of the ice pack. It reduces the variance of the ice volume by 50%% when air temperature stochastic forcing is applied.

Journal

Journal of ClimateAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Aug 21, 1997

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