AbstractUsing daily reanalysis data from 1979-2015, this paper examines the impact of winter Ural blocking (UB) on winter Arctic sea ice concentration (SIC) change over the Barents-Kara Seas (BKS). A case study of the sea ice variability in the BKS in the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 winters is first presented to establish a link between the BKS sea ice variability and UB events. Then the UB events are classified into quasi-stationary (QUB), westward-shifting (WUB) and eastward-shifting (EUB) UB types. It is found that the frequency of the QUB events increases significantly during 1999-2015, while the WUB events show a decreasing frequency trend during 1979-2015.Moreover, it is shown that the variation of the BKS-SIC is related to downward infrared radiation (IR) and surface sensible and latent heat flux changes due to different zonal movements of the UB. Our calculations show that the downward IR is the main driver of the BKS-SIC decline for QUB events, while the downward IR and surface sensible heat flux make comparable contributions to the BKS-SIC variation for WUB and EUB events. The SIC decline peak lags the QUB and EUB peaks by about 3 days, though QUB and EUB require lesser prior SIC. The QUB gives rise to the largest SIC decline likely because of its longer persistence, while the BKS-SIC decline is relatively weak for the EUB. The WUB is found to cause a SIC decline during its growth phase and an increase during its decay phase. Thus, the zonal movement of the UB has an important impact on the SIC variability in BKS.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Dec 21, 2017
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