The Polar Marine Climate Revisited

Thomas J. Ballinger Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Search for other papers by Thomas J. Ballinger in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Thomas W. Schmidlin Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Search for other papers by Thomas W. Schmidlin in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Daniel F. Steinhoff Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research,* Boulder, Colorado

Search for other papers by Daniel F. Steinhoff in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

As an additional classification to Köppen’s climate classification for polar (E) climates, the Polar Marine (EM) climate was presented nearly five decades ago and is revisited in this paper. The EM climate was traced to the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Southern Ocean and recognized as wet, cloudy, and windy, especially during winter. These areas by definition are encompassed by monthly mean air temperatures of −6.7°C (20°F) and 10°C (50°F) in the coldest and warmest months of the annual cycle, respectively. Here three global reanalyses [ECMWF Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim), Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), and Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) 25-yr reanalysis (JRA-25)] are used to produce a modern depiction of EM climate. General agreement is found between original and new EM boundaries, for which the poleward boundary can be approximated by the winter sea ice maximum and the equatorward boundary by the warmest month SSTs. Variability of these parameters is shown to largely dictate the EM area. A downward trend in global EM areal extent for 1979–2010 (−42.4 × 109 m2 yr−1) is dominated by the negative Northern Hemisphere (NH) EM trend (−45.7 × 109 m2 yr−1), whereas the Southern Hemisphere (SH) EM areal trend is insignificant. This observed reduction in NH EM areal extent of roughly 20% over the past three decades, largely from losses at the equatorward boundaries of these biologically rich EM zones, may not be fully compensated by poleward shifts in the EM environment due to projected warming and sea ice decline in the twenty-first century.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Corresponding author address: Thomas J. Ballinger, Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242. E-mail: tballin1@kent.edu

Abstract

As an additional classification to Köppen’s climate classification for polar (E) climates, the Polar Marine (EM) climate was presented nearly five decades ago and is revisited in this paper. The EM climate was traced to the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Southern Ocean and recognized as wet, cloudy, and windy, especially during winter. These areas by definition are encompassed by monthly mean air temperatures of −6.7°C (20°F) and 10°C (50°F) in the coldest and warmest months of the annual cycle, respectively. Here three global reanalyses [ECMWF Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim), Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), and Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) 25-yr reanalysis (JRA-25)] are used to produce a modern depiction of EM climate. General agreement is found between original and new EM boundaries, for which the poleward boundary can be approximated by the winter sea ice maximum and the equatorward boundary by the warmest month SSTs. Variability of these parameters is shown to largely dictate the EM area. A downward trend in global EM areal extent for 1979–2010 (−42.4 × 109 m2 yr−1) is dominated by the negative Northern Hemisphere (NH) EM trend (−45.7 × 109 m2 yr−1), whereas the Southern Hemisphere (SH) EM areal trend is insignificant. This observed reduction in NH EM areal extent of roughly 20% over the past three decades, largely from losses at the equatorward boundaries of these biologically rich EM zones, may not be fully compensated by poleward shifts in the EM environment due to projected warming and sea ice decline in the twenty-first century.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Corresponding author address: Thomas J. Ballinger, Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242. E-mail: tballin1@kent.edu
Save
  • Andersson, E., 2007: Data assimilation in the polar regions. ECMWF Newsletter, No. 112, ECMWF, Reading, United Kingdom, 10–15.

  • Arzel, O., T. Fichefet, and H. Goosse, 2006: Sea ice evolution over the 20th and 21st centuries as simulated by AOGCMs. Ocean Modell., 12, 401415.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Astthorsson, O. S., A. Gislason, and S. Jonsson, 2007: Climate variability and the Icelandic marine ecosystem. Deep-Sea Res. II, 54, 24562477.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bekryaev, R. V., I. V. Polyakov, and V. A. Alexeev, 2010: Role of polar amplification in long-term surface air temperature variations and modern Arctic warming. J. Climate, 23, 38883906.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bengtsson, L., S. Hagemann, and K. I. Hodges, 2004a: Can climate trends be calculated from reanalysis data? J. Geophys. Res., 109, D11111, doi:10.1029/2004JD004536.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bengtsson, L., K. I. Hodges, and S. Hagemann, 2004b: Sensitivity of the ERA-40 reanalysis to the observing system: Determination of the global atmospheric circulation from reduced observations. Tellus, 56A, 456471.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bracegirdle, T. J., and D. B. Stephenson, 2012: Higher precision estimates of regional polar warming by ensemble regression of climate model projections. Climate Dyn., 39, 28052821, doi:10.1007/s00382-012-1330-3.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bracegirdle, T. J., W. M. Connolley, and J. Turner, 2008: Antarctic climate change over the twenty first century. J. Geophys. Res., 113, D03103, doi:10.1029/2007JD008933.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bromwich, D. H., and R. L. Fogt, 2004: Strong trends in the skill of the ERA-40 and NCEP–NCAR Reanalyses in the high and midlatitudes of the Southern Hemisphere, 1958–2001. J. Climate, 17, 46034619.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bromwich, D. H., and S.-H. Wang, 2005: Evaluation of the NCEP–NCAR and ECMWF 15- and 40-yr reanalyses using rawinsonde data from two independent Arctic field experiments. Mon. Wea. Rev., 133, 35623578.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bromwich, D. H., A. J. Monaghan, and Z. Guo, 2004: Modeling the ENSO modulation of Antarctic climate in the late 1990s with the Polar MM5. J. Climate, 17, 109132.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bromwich, D. H., R. L. Fogt, K. I. Hodges, and J. E. Walsh, 2007: A tropospheric assessment of the ERA-40, NCEP, and JRA-25 global reanalyses in the polar regions. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D10111, doi:10.1029/2006JD007859.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bromwich, D. H., J. P. Nicolas, and A. J. Monaghan, 2011: An assessment of precipitation changes over Antarctica and the Southern Ocean since 1989 in contemporary global reanalyses. J. Climate, 24, 41894209.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cannone, N., J. C. Ellis Evans, R. Strachan, and M. Guglielmin, 2006: Interactions between climate, vegetation and the active layer in soils at two maritime Antarctic sites. Antarct. Sci., 18, 323333.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cavalieri, D. J., and C. L. Parkinson, 2008: Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979– 2006. J. Geophys. Res., 113, C07004, doi:10.1029/2007JC004564.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cavalieri, D. J., and C. L. Parkinson, 2012: Arctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010. Cryosphere Discuss., 6, 957979, doi:10.5194/tcd-6-957-2012.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cavalieri, D. J., C. L. Parkinson, and K. Y. Vinnikov, 2003: 30-year satellite record reveals contrasting Arctic and Antarctic decadal sea ice variability. Geophys. Res. Lett., 30, 1970, doi:10.1029/2003GL018031.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chapman, W. L., and J. E. Walsh, 2007: A synthesis of Antarctic temperatures. J. Climate, 20, 40964117.

  • Chylek, P., C. K. Folland, G. Lesins, M. K. Dubey, and M. Wang, 2009: Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation. Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L14801, doi:10.1029/2009GL03877.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Clarke, A., and C. M. Harris, 2003: Polar marine ecosystems: Major threats and future changes. Environ. Conserv., 30, 125.

  • Dee, D. P., and S. Uppala, 2009: Variational bias correction of satellite radiance data in the ERA-Interim reanalysis. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 135, 18301841.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dee, D. P., and Coauthors, 2011: The ERA-Interim reanalysis: Configuration and performance of the data assimilation system. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 553597.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Feng, S., C.-H. Ho, Q. Hu, R. J. Oglesby, S.-J. Jeong, and B.-M. Kim, 2012: Evaluating observed and projected future climate changes for the Arctic using the Köppen–Trewartha climate classification. Climate Dyn., 38, 13591373.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fogt, R. L., and D. H. Bromwich, 2006: Decadal variability of the ENSO teleconnection to the high-latitude South Pacific governed by coupling with the southern annular mode. J. Climate, 19, 979997.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fogt, R. L., D. H. Bromwich, and K. M. Hines, 2011: Understanding the SAM influence on the South Pacific ENSO teleconnection. Climate Dyn., 36, 15551576.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Francis, J. A., and E. Hunter, 2007: Drivers of declining sea ice in Arctic winter: A tale of two seas. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L17503, doi:10.1029/2007GL030995.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gille, S. T., 2002: Warming of the Southern Ocean since the 1950s. Science, 295, 12751277.

  • Haussmann, N. S., J. C. Boelhouwers, and M. A. McGeoch, 2009: Fine scale variability in soil frost dynamics surrounding cushions of the dominant vascular plant species (Azorella selago) on sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Geogr. Ann., 91, 257268.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hines, K. M., D. H. Bromwich, and G. J. Marshall, 2000: Artificial surface pressure trends in the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis over the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. J. Climate, 13, 39403952.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hodges, K. I., R. W. Lee, and L. Bengtsson, 2011: A comparison of extratropical cyclones in recent reanalyses ERA-Interim, NASA MERRA, NCEP CFSR, and JRA-25. J. Climate, 24, 48884906.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hoskins, B. J., and K. I. Hodges, 2002: New perspectives on the Northern Hemisphere winter storm tracks. J. Atmos. Sci., 59, 10411061.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hoskins, B. J., and K. I. Hodges, 2005: A new perspective on Southern Hemisphere storm tracks. J. Climate, 18, 41084129.

  • Kanamitsu, M., W. Ebisuzaki, J. Woollen, S.-K. Yang, J. J. Hnilo, M. Fiorino, and G. L. Potter, 2002: NCEP–DOE AMIP-II Reanalysis (R-2). Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 83, 16311643.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kay, J. E., M. M. Holland, and A. Jahn, 2011: Inter-annual to multi-decadal Arctic sea ice extent trends in a warming world. Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L15708, doi:10.1029/2011GL048008.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kleist, D. T., D. F. Parrish, J. C. Derber, R. Treadon, W.-S. Wu, and S. Lord, 2009: Introduction of the GSI into the NCEP Global Data Assimilation System. Wea. Forecasting, 24, 16911705.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kumar, A., and Coauthors, 2010: Contribution of sea ice loss to Arctic amplification. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L21701, doi:10.1029/2010GL045022.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Levitus, S., J. I. Antonov, T. B. Boyer, and C. Stephens, 2000: Warming of the world ocean. Science, 287, 22252229.

  • Liston, G. E., and C. A. Hiemstra, 2011: The changing cryosphere: Pan-Arctic snow trends (1979–2009). J. Climate, 24, 56915712.

  • Livingston, P. A., and S. Tjelmeland, 2000: Fisheries in boreal ecosystems. ICES J. Mar. Sci., 57, 619627.

  • Loeng, H., and K. Drinkwater, 2007: An overview of the ecosystems of the Barents and Norwegian Seas and their response to climate variability. Deep-Sea Res. II, 54, 24782500.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mark, A. F., K. J. M. Dickinson, and R. G. M. Hofstede, 2000: Alpine vegetation, plant distribution, life forms, and environments in a perhumid New Zealand region: Oceanic and tropical high mountain affinities. Arct. Antarct. Alp. Res., 32, 240254.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Markus, T., J. C. Stroeve, and J. Miller, 2009: Recent changes in Arctic sea ice melt onset, freezeup, and melt season length. J. Geophys. Res., 114, C12024, doi:10.1029/2009JC005436.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marshall, G. J., 2002: Trends in Antarctic geopotential height and temperature: A comparison between radiosonde and NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data. J. Climate, 15, 659674.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marshall, G. J., and S. A. Harangozo, 2000: An appraisal of NCEP/NCAR reanalysis MSLP data viability for climate studies in the South Pacific. Geophys. Res. Lett., 27, 30573060.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Maslanik, J. A., C. Fowler, J. Stroeve, S. Drobot, J. Zwally, D. Yi, and W. Emery, 2007: A younger, thinner Arctic ice cover: Increased potential for rapid extensive sea-ice loss. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L24501, doi:10.1029/2007GL032043.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Miller, A. J., A. W. Trites, and H. D. G. Maschner, 2005: Ocean climate changes and the Steller sea lion decline. Antarct. Res. USA, 19, 5463.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Monaghan, A. J., D. H. Bromwich, and S.-H. Wang, 2006: Recent trends in Antarctic snow accumulation from polar MM5 simulations. Philos. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, 364A, 16831708.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Neelin, J. D., 2011: Climate Change and Climate Modeling. Cambridge University Press, 282 pp.

  • Nghiem, S. V., I. G. Rigor, D. K. Perovich, P. Clemente-Colón, J. W. Weatherly, and G. Neumann, 2007: Rapid reduction of Arctic perennial sea ice. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L19504, doi:10.1029/2007GL031138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Noguchi, Y., H. Tabuchi, and H. Hasegawa, 1987: Physical factors controlling the formation of patterned ground on Haleakala, Maui. Geogr. Ann., 69A, 329342.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • O’Harra, D., 2005: A puzzle in the Pribilofs. Smithsonian, 2005 (March), 6570.

  • Onogi, K., and Coauthors, 2007: The JRA-25 Reanalysis. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 85, 369432.

  • Overland, J. E., and M. Wang, 2007: Future regional Arctic sea ice declines. Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L17705, doi:10.1029/2007GL030808.

  • Parish, T. R., and D. H. Bromwich, 1998: A case study of Antarctic katabatic wind interaction with large-scale forcing. Mon. Wea. Rev., 126, 199209.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Parkinson, C. L., and D. J. Cavalieri, 2012: Antarctic sea ice variability and trends, 1979–2010. Cryosphere Discuss., 6, 931956, doi:10.5194/tcd-6-931-2012.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Porter, D. F., J. C. Cassano, and M. C. Serreze, 2012: Local and large-scale atmospheric responses to reduced Arctic sea ice and ocean warming in the WRF model. J. Geophys. Res., 117, D11115, doi:10.1029/2011JD016969.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Quayle, W. C., L. S. Peck, H. Peat, J. C. Ellis-Evans, and P. R. Harrigan, 2002: Extreme responses to climate change in Antarctic lakes. Science, 295, 645.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Renwick, J. A., 2004: Trends in the Southern Hemisphere polar vortex in NCEP and ECMWF reanalyses. Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L07209, doi:10.1029/2003GL019302.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rigor, I. G., J. M. Wallace, and R. L. Colony, 2002: Response of sea ice to the Arctic Oscillation. J. Climate, 15, 26482663.

  • Rohli, R. V., and A. J. Vega, 2011: Climatology. 2nd ed. Jones and Bartlett, 432 pp.

  • Saha, S., and Coauthors, 2010: The NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, 10151057.

  • Schneider, D. P., C. Deser, and Y. Okumura, 2012: An assessment and interpretation of the observed warming of West Antarctica in austral spring. Climate Dyn., 38, 323347.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Screen, J. A., and I. Simmonds, 2010: The central role of diminishing sea ice in recent Arctic temperature amplification. Nature, 464, 13341337.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Screen, J. A., and I. Simmonds, 2011: Erroneous Arctic temperature trends in the ERA-40 reanalysis: A closer look. J. Climate, 24, 26202627.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Serreze, M. C., and A. P. Barrett, 2011: Characteristics of the Beaufort Sea high. J. Climate, 24, 159182.

  • Serreze, M. C., A. P. Barrett, J. C. Stroeve, D. N. Kindig, and M. M. Holland, 2009: The emergence of surface-based Arctic amplification. Cryosphere, 3, 1119.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Serreze, M. C., A. P. Barrett, and J. Stroeve, 2012: Recent changes in tropospheric water vapor over the Arctic as assessed from radiosondes and atmospheric reanalyses. J. Geophys. Res., 117, D10104, doi:10.1029/2011JD017421.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shear, J. A., 1964: The polar marine climate. Ann. Assoc. Amer. Geogr., 54, 310317.

  • Simmonds, I., K. Keay, and E.-P. Lim, 2003: Synoptic activity in the seas around Antarctica. Mon. Wea. Rev., 131, 272288.

  • Smith, V. R., 2002: Climate change in the sub-Antarctic: An illustration from Marion Island. Climatic Change, 52, 345357.

  • Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, M. Marquis, K. Averyt, M. M. B. Tignor, H. L. Miller Jr., and Z. Chen, Eds., 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Cambridge University Press, 996 pp.

  • Stammerjohn, S. E., D. G. Martinson, R. C. Smith, X. Yuan, and D. Rind, 2008: Trends in Antarctic annual sea ice retreat and advance and their relation to El Niño–Southern Oscillation and southern annular mode variability. J. Geophys. Res., 113, C03S90, doi:10.1029/2007JC004269.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Steele, M., W. Ermold, and J. Zhang, 2008: Arctic Ocean surface warming trends over the past 100 years. Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L02614, doi:10.1029/2007GL031651.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Steig, E. J., D. P. Schneider, S. D. Rutherford, M. E. Mann, J. C. Comiso, and D. T. Shindell, 2009: Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year. Nature, 457, 459462.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sterl, A., 2004: On the (in)homogeneity of reanalysis products. J. Climate, 17, 38663873.

  • Thompson, D. W. J., and S. Solomon, 2002: Interpretation of recent Southern Hemisphere climate change. Science, 296, 895899.

  • Thorne, P. W., and R. S. Vose, 2010: Reanalyses suitable for characterizing long-term trends: Are they really achievable? Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, 353361.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Trenberth, K. E., D. P. Stepaniak, and L. Smith, 2005: The mass of the atmosphere: A constraint on global analyses. J. Climate, 18, 864875.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Uppala, S. M., and Coauthors, 2005: The ERA-40 Re-Analysis. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 131, 29613012.

  • Vaughn, D. G., and Coauthors, 2003: Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climatic Change, 60, 243274.

  • Vavrus, S. J., M. M. Holland, A. Jahn, D. A. Bailey, and B. A. Blazey, 2012: Twenty-first-century Arctic climate change in CCSM4. J. Climate, 25, 26962710.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Walsh, J. E., W. L. Chapman, and D. H. Portis, 2009: Arctic cloud fraction and radiative fluxes in atmospheric reanalyses. J. Climate, 22, 23162334.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, M., and J. E. Overland, 2004: Detecting Arctic climate change using Köppen climate classification. Climatic Change, 67, 4362.

  • Winker, K., D. D. Gibson, A. L. Sowls, B. E. Lawhead, P. D. Martin, E. P. Hoberg, and D. Causey, 2002: The birds of St. Matthew Island, Bering Sea. Wilson Bull., 114, 491509.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Yuan, X., 2004: ENSO-related impacts on Antarctic sea ice: A synthesis of phenomenon and mechanisms. Antarct. Sci., 16, 415425.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 375 75 6
PDF Downloads 207 42 0