5.2 Interactions of high-latitude ice and snow cover and its influence on regional and hemispheric climate anomalies

Wednesday, 4 May 2011: 8:45 AM
Rooftop Ballroom (15th Floor) (Omni Parker House )
Judah Cohen, AER, Lexington, MA; and M. Barlow, J. Cherry, V. Alexeev, and A. Frei

We will introduce and present preliminary results from an ongoing project to investigate the links between Arctic sea ice trends and changes to seasonal snow cover. The autumn snow cover is of particular interest due to its persistent increases over the last two decades despite the robust warming trend and its connection to stratosphere-troposphere coupling and hemispheric variability in the subsequent winter season. And while fall snow cover has been increasing, spring snow cover has been decreasing. We will focus on the links to sea ice in terms of changes to moisture transport, synoptic activity, and soil moisture and on the links to the large scale atmospheric dynamics in terms of changes to the timing and occurrence of stratosphere-troposphere coupling events. This understanding will make it possible to better evaluate the feedback mechanisms associated with snow cover and the atmosphere, and should lead to a quantitative assessment of future trends in the Arctic. The likely influence of snow and ice cover on future global temperature trends highlights the importance of developing a fundamental understanding of regional surface-atmosphere water and energy exchange dynamics of the Arctic regions.
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