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Publication Date
8 May 2024

High-resolution modelling identifies the Bering Strait’s role in amplified Arctic warming



The Arctic region has warmed nearly four times faster than the global average since 1979, with far-reaching global implications. However, model projections of Arctic warming rates are uncertain and one key component is the ocean heat transport (OHT) into the Arctic Ocean. Here we use high-resolution historical and future climate simulations to show that the OHT through the Bering Strait exerts a more substantial influence on Arctic warming than previously recognized. The high-resolution ensemble exhibits a 20% larger warming rate for 2006–2100 compared with standard low-resolution model simulations. The enhanced Arctic warming in the high-resolution simulations is primarily attributable to an increased OHT through the narrow and shallow Bering Strait that is nearly four times larger than in the low-resolution simulations. Consequently, the projected rate of Arctic warming by low-resolution climate simulations is likely to be underestimated due to the model resolution being insufficient to capture future changes in Bering Strait OHT.

Xu, Gaopeng, M. Cameron Rencurrel, Ping Chang, Xiaoqing Liu, Gokhan Danabasoglu, Stephen G. Yeager, Michael Steele, et al. 2024. “High-Resolution Modelling Identifies The Bering Strait’s Role In Amplified Arctic Warming”. Nature Climate Change 14 (6). Springer Science and Business Media LLC: 615-622. doi:10.1038/s41558-024-02008-z.
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