The Effect of Downwelling Longwave and Shortwave Radiation on Arctic Summer Sea Ice
2016 (English)In: Journal of Climate, ISSN 0894-8755, E-ISSN 1520-0442, Vol. 29, no 3, 1143-1159 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The Arctic summer sea ice has diminished fast in recent decades. A strong year-to-year variability on top of this trend indicates that sea ice is sensitive to short-term climate fluctuations. Previous studies show that anomalous atmospheric conditions over the Arctic during spring and summer affect ice melt and the September sea-ice extent (SIE). These conditions are characterized by clouds, humidity and heat anomalies which all affect shortwave (SWD) and longwave (LWD) radiation to the surface. In general, positive LWD anomalies are associated with cloudy and humid conditions, whereas positive anomalies of SWD appear under clear-sky conditions. Here we investigate the effect of realistic anomalies of LWD and SWD on summer sea ice, by performing experiments with the Community Earth System Model. The SWD and LWD anomalies are studied separately and in combination for different seasons. It is found that positive LWD anomalies in spring and early summer have significant impact on the September SIE, whereas winter anomalies show only little effect. Positive anomalies in spring and early summer initiate an earlier melt onset, hereby triggering several feedback mechanisms that amplify melt during the succeeding months. Realistic positive SWD anomalies appear only important if they occur after the melt has started and the albedo is significantly reduced relative to winter conditions. Simulations where both positive LWD and negative SWD anomalies are implemented simultaneously, mimicking cloudy conditions, reveal that clouds during spring have a significant impact on summer sea ice while summer clouds have almost no effect.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 29, no 3, 1143-1159 p.
Geographic location/entity, Arctic, Sea ice, Circulation/ Dynamics, Clouds, Physical Meteorology and Climatology, Feedback, Surface fluxes, Models and modeling, Climate models
Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences
Research subject Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124366DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0238.1ISI: 000369287000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-124366DiVA: diva2:885556