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Spring Arctic Atmospheric Preconditioning: Do Not Rule Out Shortwave Radiation Just Yet
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology . University of Colorado Boulder, USA.
Number of Authors: 12018 (English)In: Journal of Climate, ISSN 0894-8755, E-ISSN 1520-0442, Vol. 31, no 11, p. 4225-4240Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Springtime atmospheric preconditioning of Arctic sea ice for enhanced or buffered sea ice melt during the subsequent melt year has received considerable research focus. Studies have identified enhanced poleward atmospheric transport of moisture and heat during spring, leading to increased emission of longwave radiation to the surface. Simultaneously, these studies ruled out the role of shortwave radiation as an effective preconditioning mechanism because of relatively weak incident solar radiation, high surface albedo from sea ice and snow, and increased clouds during spring. These conclusions are derived primarily from atmospheric reanalysis, which may not always accurately represent the Arctic climate system. Here, top-of-atmosphere shortwave radiation observations from a state-of-the-art satellite sensor are compared with ERA-Interim reanalysis to examine similarities and differences in the springtime absorbed shortwave radiation (ASR) over the Arctic Ocean. Distinct biases in regional location and absolute magnitude of ASR anomalies are found between satellite-based measurements and reanalysis. Observations indicate separability between ASR anomalies in spring corresponding to anomalously low and high ice extents in September; the reanalysis fails to capture the full extent of this separability. The causes for the difference in ASR anomalies between observations and reanalysis are considered in terms of the variability in surface albedo and cloud presence. Additionally, biases in reanalysis cloud water during spring are presented and are considered for their impact on overestimating spring downwelling longwave anomalies. Taken together, shortwave radiation should not be overlooked as a contributing mechanism to springtime Arctic atmospheric preconditioning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 31, no 11, p. 4225-4240
Keywords [en]
Albedo, Cloud cover, Energy budget, balance, Ice loss, growth, Radiative fluxes, Shortwave radiation
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157714DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-17-0710.1ISI: 000432380400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157714DiVA, id: diva2:1236215
Available from: 2018-08-01 Created: 2018-08-01 Last updated: 2018-08-01Bibliographically approved

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