Abstract

Strong and thick temperature inversions are key components of the Arctic climate system and it is important to study and better understand them. The present study quantifies the temporal and spatial variability of surface-based inversions (SBIs) and elevated inversions (EIs) over Greenland, as derived from the ERA-Interim (ERA-I) reanalysis for the period 1979–2017. The seasonal and multi-annual variability of inversion strength, thickness, and frequency are examined. Our results clearly show regional as well as seasonal patterns of both SBIs and EIs. SBIs are more frequent and stronger than EIs, and the spatial variability of inversions is larger during winter and smaller during summer. Furthermore, during summer, there has been a trend towards stronger (0.3 K decade-1), thicker (12 m decade-1), and more frequent (3% decade-1) SBIs in the southern part of Greenland, especially in the past two decades. Evidently, the strengthening of the anticyclone over Greenland causes a reduction of cloud cover, which manifests in an increase in SBI strength and thickness, particularly in the southern part of Greenland.

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