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Influences of Summertime Arctic Dipole Atmospheric Circulation on Sea Ice Concentration Variations in the Pacific Sector of the Arctic during Different Pacific Decadal Oscillation Phases

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  • 1 Key Laboratory of Marine Geology and Environment, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
  • | 2 Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, China
  • | 3 Center for Ocean Mega-Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, China
  • | 4 First Institute of Oceanography Ministry of Natural Resources, Qingdao, China
  • | 5 Key Laboratory of Research on Marine Hazard Forecasting Center, National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center, Beijing, China
  • | 6 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Abstract

Atmospheric circulation associated with the Arctic dipole (AD) pattern plays a crucial role in modulating the variations of summertime sea ice concentration (SIC) within the Pacific Arctic sector (PAS). Based on reanalysis data and satellite observations, we found that the impacts of atmospheric circulation associated with a positive AD (AD+) on SIC change over different regions of the PAS [including the East Siberian Sea (ESS), Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (BCS), and Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA)] are dependent on the phase shifts of Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). Satellite observations reveal that SIC anomalies, influenced by AD+ during PDO− relative to that during PDO+, varies significantly in summer by 4.9%, −7.3%, and −6.4% over ESS, BCS, and CAA, respectively. Overall, the atmospheric anomalies over CAA and BCS in terms of specific humidity, air temperature, and thereby downward longwave radiation (DLR), are enhanced (weakened) in the atmospheric conditions associated with AD+ during PDO− (PDO+). In these two regions, the larger (smaller) increases in specific humidity and air temperature, associated with AD+ during PDO− (PDO+), are connected to the increased (decreased) poleward moisture flux, strengthened (weakened) convergence of moisture and heat flux, and in part to adiabatic heating. As a consequence, the DLR and surface net energy flux anomalies over the two regions are reinforced in the atmospheric scenarios associated with AD+ during PDO− compared with that during PDO+. Therefore, smaller SIC anomalies are identified over CAA and BCS in the cases related to AD+ during PDO− than during PDO+. Essentially, the changes of the DLR anomaly in CAA and BCS are in alignment with geopotential height anomalies, which are modulated by the anticyclonic circulation pattern in association with AD+ during varying PDO phases. In contrast, the SIC changes over ESS is primarily attributed to the variations in mechanical wind forcing and sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. The cloud fraction anomalies associated with AD+ during different PDO phases are found not to be a significant contributor to the variations of sea ice anomaly in the studied regions. Given the oscillatory nature of PDO, we speculate that the recent shift to the PDO+ phase may temporarily slow the observed significant decline trend of the summertime SIC within PAS of the Arctic.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0843.s1.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding authors: Weifu Sun, sunweifu@fio.org.cn; Yu Liang, liangyu17@mails.ucas.ac.cn

Abstract

Atmospheric circulation associated with the Arctic dipole (AD) pattern plays a crucial role in modulating the variations of summertime sea ice concentration (SIC) within the Pacific Arctic sector (PAS). Based on reanalysis data and satellite observations, we found that the impacts of atmospheric circulation associated with a positive AD (AD+) on SIC change over different regions of the PAS [including the East Siberian Sea (ESS), Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (BCS), and Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA)] are dependent on the phase shifts of Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). Satellite observations reveal that SIC anomalies, influenced by AD+ during PDO− relative to that during PDO+, varies significantly in summer by 4.9%, −7.3%, and −6.4% over ESS, BCS, and CAA, respectively. Overall, the atmospheric anomalies over CAA and BCS in terms of specific humidity, air temperature, and thereby downward longwave radiation (DLR), are enhanced (weakened) in the atmospheric conditions associated with AD+ during PDO− (PDO+). In these two regions, the larger (smaller) increases in specific humidity and air temperature, associated with AD+ during PDO− (PDO+), are connected to the increased (decreased) poleward moisture flux, strengthened (weakened) convergence of moisture and heat flux, and in part to adiabatic heating. As a consequence, the DLR and surface net energy flux anomalies over the two regions are reinforced in the atmospheric scenarios associated with AD+ during PDO− compared with that during PDO+. Therefore, smaller SIC anomalies are identified over CAA and BCS in the cases related to AD+ during PDO− than during PDO+. Essentially, the changes of the DLR anomaly in CAA and BCS are in alignment with geopotential height anomalies, which are modulated by the anticyclonic circulation pattern in association with AD+ during varying PDO phases. In contrast, the SIC changes over ESS is primarily attributed to the variations in mechanical wind forcing and sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies. The cloud fraction anomalies associated with AD+ during different PDO phases are found not to be a significant contributor to the variations of sea ice anomaly in the studied regions. Given the oscillatory nature of PDO, we speculate that the recent shift to the PDO+ phase may temporarily slow the observed significant decline trend of the summertime SIC within PAS of the Arctic.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-19-0843.s1.

© 2021 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding authors: Weifu Sun, sunweifu@fio.org.cn; Yu Liang, liangyu17@mails.ucas.ac.cn

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