AbstractThe regional climate model COSMO in Climate Limited-Area Mode (COSMO-CLM or CCLM) is used with a high resolution of 15 km for the entire Arctic for all winters 2002/03–2014/15. The simulations show a high spatial and temporal variability of the recent 2-m air temperature increase in the Arctic. The maximum warming occurs north of Novaya Zemlya in the Kara Sea and Barents Sea between March 2003 and 2012 and is responsible for up to a 20°C increase. Land-based observations confirm the increase but do not cover the maximum regions that are located over the ocean and sea ice. Also, the 30-km version of the Arctic System Reanalysis (ASR) is used to verify the CCLM for the overlapping time period 2002/03–2011/12. The differences between CCLM and ASR 2-m air temperatures vary slightly within 1°C for the ocean and sea ice area. Thus, ASR captures the extreme warming as well. The monthly 2-m air temperatures of observations and ERA-Interim data show a large variability for the winters 1979–2016. Nevertheless, the air temperature rise since the beginning of the twenty-first century is up to 8 times higher than in the decades before. The sea ice decrease is identified as the likely reason for the warming. The vertical temperature profiles show that the warming has a maximum near the surface, but a 0.5°C yr−1 increase is found up to 2 km. CCLM, ASR, and also the coarser resolved ERA-Interim data show that February and March are the months with the highest 2-m air temperature increases, averaged over the ocean and sea ice area north of 70°N; for CCLM the warming amounts to an average of almost 5°C for 2002/03–2011/12.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Nov 26, 2017
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