The surface warming in recent decades has been most rapid in the Arctic, especially during the winter. Here, by utilizing global reanalysis and satellite datasets, it is shown that the northward flux of moisture into the Arctic during the winter strengthens the downward infrared radiation (IR) by 30- 40Wm-2 over 1- 2 weeks. This is followed by a decline of up to 10% in sea ice concentration over the Greenland, Barents, and Kara Seas.Aclimate model simulation indicates that the wind-induced sea ice drift leads the decline of sea ice thickness during the early stage of the strong downward IR events, but that within one week the cumulative downward IR effect appears to be dominant. Further analysis indicates that strong downward IR events are preceded several days earlier by enhanced convection over the tropical Indian and western Pacific Oceans. This finding suggests that sea ice predictions can benefit from an improved understanding of tropical convection and ensuing planetary wave dynamics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science