AbstractA long-term climatology of cloudiness over the Norwegian, Barents, and Kara Seas (NBK) based on visual surface observations is presented. Annual mean total cloud cover (TCC) is almost equal over solid-ice (SI) and open-water (OW) regions of the NBK (73% ± 3% and 76% ± 2%, respectively). In general, TCC has higher intra- and interannual variability over SI than over OW. A decrease of TCC in the middle of the twentieth century and an increase in the last few decades was found at individual stations and for the NBK as a whole. In most cases these changes are statistically significant with magnitudes exceeding the data uncertainty that is associated with the surface observations. The most pronounced trends are observed in autumn when the largest changes to the sea ice concentration (SIC) occur. TCC over SI correlates significantly with SIC in the Barents Sea, with a statistically significant correlation coefficient between annual TCC and SIC of −0.38 for the period 1936–2013. Cloudiness over OW shows nonsignificant correlation with SIC. An overall increase in the frequency of broken and scattered cloud conditions and a decrease in the frequency of overcast and cloudless conditions were found over OW. These changes are statistically significant and likely to be connected with the long-term changes of morphological types (an increase of convective and a decrease of stratiform cloud amounts).
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Mar 21, 2017
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