10.2 The Influence of Winter Cloud on Summer Sea Ice in the Arctic, 1983-2013

Thursday, 18 August 2016: 8:45 AM
Lecture Hall (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Aaron Letterly, CIMSS, Madison, WI; and J. Key and Y. Liu

Over the last two decades, sea ice extent in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and East Siberian Seas has declined the fastest of anywhere in the Arctic, but also with the greatest variability. Thinner ice in these areas is more susceptible to changes in cloud cover and advection of heat and moisture. Using two climate reanalyses and satellite data, it is shown that increased wintertime surface cloud forcing contributed to the 2007 summer sea ice minimum. An analysis over the period 1983–2013 reveals that reanalysis cloud forcing anomalies in the East Siberian and Kara Seas precondition the winter ice pack for enhanced or decreased melting for more than 75% of the years studied. This finding was supported by Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer cloud cover anomalies, which explain up to 45% of the variance in late summer sea ice concentration. Results suggest that winter cloud forcing anomalies in this area have predictive capabilities for summer sea ice anomalies across much of the central and Eurasian Arctic.
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