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Ayan H. Chaudhuri and Rui M. Ponte

1. Introduction Sea ice is a key component of the Arctic Ocean physical system and can control the exchange of heat, water, momentum, and gases at the sea surface. Changes in the albedo of the surface brought on by changes in the ice cover over very large areas are a major factor in global climate change. The summer extent of the Arctic sea ice cover, widely recognized as an indicator of climate change ( Hassol 2005 ), has been declining for the past few decades. The ice pack is also thinning

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Matthew D. Shupe, Von P. Walden, Edwin Eloranta, Taneil Uttal, James R. Campbell, Sandra M. Starkweather, and Masataka Shiobara

1. Introduction Clouds play an important role in Arctic atmospheric radiation and hydrologic cycles. In addition, complex feedbacks involving clouds have a substantial systemic regional impact on Arctic climate, yet they are not well characterized ( Stephens 2005 ). Clouds may have been influential in recent dramatic Arctic sea ice loss ( Kay et al. 2008 ; Perovich et al. 2008 ; Schweiger et al. 2008 ) and their climate influence is sensitive to changes in atmospheric aerosols (e.g., Sassen

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Sam B. Cornish, Yavor Kostov, Helen L. Johnson, and Camille Lique

1. Introduction The physical dynamics of the Arctic encompass atmospheric, oceanic, and cryospheric processes; systems that are interlinked at the surface of the ocean. The Arctic Ocean is stratified by salinity—it is a so-called β ocean ( Carmack 2007 )—and therefore freshwater in the Arctic represents an important control on these linkages, because its abundance modulates the connections between the surface of the ocean and the relatively warm Atlantic Water below. Changes to the freshwater

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Zhaoyi Shen, Yi Ming, Larry W. Horowitz, V. Ramaswamy, and Meiyun Lin

1. Introduction The discovery of accumulation of visibility-reducing aerosols in the Arctic during late winter and early spring (known as Arctic haze) dates back to the late 1800s ( Garrett and Verzella 2008 , and references therein). After being underappreciated for decades, the haze was rediscovered by pilots flying over the North American Arctic in the 1950s ( Mitchell 1957 ). Since then the haze has been attracting interests among researchers. The haze has its root cause in the long

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Brian Medeiros, Clara Deser, Robert A. Tomas, and Jennifer E. Kay

1. Introduction Low-level temperature inversions are a noted feature of the Arctic winter climate ( Serreze et al. 1992 ; Zhang et al. 2011 ). The so-called Arctic inversion mediates the surface energy balance and contributes to amplifying the high-latitude surface temperature response to anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations ( Serreze and Barry 2005 ). The amplified warming over the Arctic Ocean and surrounding continents in recent years has been most pronounced in

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Panxi Dai and Benkui Tan

1. Introduction The Arctic Oscillation (AO), also termed as the northern annular mode (NAM), is the leading mode of natural climate variability in the extratropics of the wintertime Northern Hemisphere from intraseasonal to decadal scales. The AO pattern consists of three centers of action: one is located over the North Pacific and the other two are located in the North Atlantic, which has a large projection onto the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Since the initial work of Thompson and

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William J. Gutowski Jr., Helin Wei, Charles J. Vörösmarty, and Balázs M. Fekete

1. Introduction The Arctic’s land surface has large areas of relatively flat terrain where surface water flow is poorly organized ( Vörösmarty et al. 2001 ; Smith et al. 2005 ), yielding wetlands characterized by saturated soil and pools of surface water. Arctic wetlands have long been recognized for their importance in the global carbon cycle (e.g., Gorham 1991 ) and continue to receive substantial attention because of their potentially changing role as carbon sinks or sources (e.g., Oechel

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James Overland, Jennifer A. Francis, Richard Hall, Edward Hanna, Seong-Joong Kim, and Timo Vihma

1. Introduction The assessment of the potential for recent Arctic changes to influence broader hemispheric weather is a complex and controversial topic. There is little agreement on problem formulation, methods, or robust mechanisms in the research community. The topic, however, is consequential and a major science challenge, as continued Arctic changes are an inevitable aspect of anthropogenic global change ( Jeffries et al. 2013 ) and may be an opportunity for improved extended

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Michael A. Spall

1. Introduction The Arctic Ocean plays an important role in the global climate system through its absorption/reflection of solar radiation (which is strongly dependent on the presence of sea ice), as a conduit for freshwater input from rivers, and through water mass modification by exporting both fresh buoyant surface waters and dense salty deep waters. The Arctic Ocean is a semienclosed marginal sea that is connected to the lower-latitude oceans through several shallow and/or narrow passages

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Edward Blanchard-Wrigglesworth and Cecilia M. Bitz

1. Introduction Over the last few years, interest in Arctic sea ice predictability has grown mainly as a consequence of the recent decline in Arctic sea ice. Stakeholders include groups as diverse as resource extraction, shipping, and local traditional hunting industries. The extreme melt in 2007 triggered an organization of yearly summer forecasts called the Sea Ice Outlook project under the auspices of the Study for Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH). The outlook project has become an

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