Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Climate 30 (2017): 6757-6769, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-16-0461.1.
Arctic sea ice area (SIA) during late summer and early fall decreased substantially over the last four decades, and its decline accelerated beginning in the early 2000s. Statistical analyses of observations show that enhanced poleward moisture transport from the North Pacific to the Arctic Ocean contributed to the accelerated SIA decrease during the most recent period. As a consequence, specific humidity in the Arctic Pacific sector significantly increased along with an increase of downward longwave radiation beginning in 2002, which led to a significant acceleration in the decline of SIA in the Arctic Pacific sector. The resulting sea ice loss led to increased evaporation in the Arctic Ocean, resulting in a further increase of the specific humidity in mid-to-late fall, thus acting as a positive feedback to the sea ice loss. The overall set of processes is also found in a long control simulation of a coupled climate model.
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant NRF-2009-C1AAA001-0093, funded by the Korean government (MEST), to HJL, YHK, and MOK. S-WY is supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant KMIPA2015-1042. Y-OK is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-SC0014433) and National Science Foundation (OCE-1242989). WP acknowledges support from the BMBF project CLIMPRE InterDec (FKZ: 01LP1609B).
Pacific decadal oscillation
Sea surface temperature
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