Causes and consequences of mid-21st-century rapid ice loss events simulated by the Rossby centre regional atmosphere-ocean model
2013 (English)In: Tellus. Series A, Dynamic meteorology and oceanography, ISSN 0280-6495, E-ISSN 1600-0870, Vol. 65, 19110Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Recent observations and modelling studies suggest that the Arctic climate is undergoing important transition. One manifestation of this change is seen in the rapid sea-ice cover decrease as experienced in 2007 and 2012. Although most numerical climate models cannot adequately reproduce the recent changes, some models produce similar Rapid Ice Loss Events (RILEs) during the mid-21st-century. This study presents an analysis of four specific RILEs clustered around 2040 in three transient climate projections performed with the coupled Rossby Centre regional Atmosphere-Ocean model (RCAO). The analysis shows that long-term thinning causes increased vulnerability of the Arctic Ocean sea-ice cover. In the Atlantic sector, pre-conditioning (thinning of sea ice) combined with anomalous atmospheric and oceanic heat transport causes large ice loss, while in the Pacific sector of the Arctic Ocean sea-ice albedo feedback appears important, particularly along the retreating sea-ice margin. Although maximum sea-ice loss occurs in the autumn, response in surface air temperature occurs in early winter, caused by strong increase in ocean-atmosphere surface energy fluxes, mainly the turbulent fluxes. Synchronicity of the events around 2040 in the projections is caused by a strong large-scale atmospheric circulation anomaly at the Atlantic lateral boundary of the regional model. The limited impact on land is caused by vertical propagation of the surface heat anomaly rather than horizontal, caused by the absence of low-level temperature inversion over the ocean.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 65, 19110
coupled regional climate model, rapid ice loss events, Arctic, climate scenarios, sea-ice
Research subject Climate
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:smhi:diva-402DOI: 10.3402/tellusa.v65i0.19110ISI: 000323764700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:smhi-402DiVA: diva2:800011