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Fluctuations in Arctic sea-ice extent: comparing observations and climate models
Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita). Yale University, USA; University of Oxford, UK.
Number of Authors: 22018 (English)In: Philosophical Transactions. Series A: Mathematical, physical, and engineering science, ISSN 1364-503X, E-ISSN 1471-2962, Vol. 376, no 2129, article id 20170332Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The fluctuation statistics of the observed sea-ice extent during the satellite era are compared with model output from CMIP5 models using a multifractal time series method. The two robust features of the observations are that on annual to biannual time scales the ice extent exhibits white noise structure, and there is a decadal scale trend associated with the decay of the ice cover. It is shown that (i) there is a large inter-model variability in the time scales extracted from the models, (ii) none of the models exhibits the decadal time scales found in the satellite observations, (iii) five of the 21 models examined exhibit the observed white noise structure, and (iv) the multi-model ensemble mean exhibits neither the observed white noise structure nor the observed decadal trend. It is proposed that the observed fluctuation statistics produced by this method serve as an appropriate test bed for modelling studies. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling of sea-ice phenomena'.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 376, no 2129, article id 20170332
Keywords [en]
sea ice, stochastic processes, predictions
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160198DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2017.0332ISI: 000442108500001PubMedID: 30126907OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160198DiVA, id: diva2:1251791
Available from: 2018-09-28 Created: 2018-09-28 Last updated: 2018-09-28Bibliographically approved

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Wettlaufer, John S.
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