Tropical Decadal Variability and the Rate of Arctic Sea Ice Decrease

TitleTropical Decadal Variability and the Rate of Arctic Sea Ice Decrease
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMeehl, Gerald A., Chung Christine T. Y., Arblaster Julie M., Holland Marika M., and Bitz Cecilia M.
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume45
Number20
Pages11,326-11,333
Date Published02/2019
Abstract

The trend for cold-season (NDJF) decreases in Arctic sea ice extent from 2000-2014 was about a factor of two larger than the 1979-2000 trend, and the warm-season (JJAS) trend was about a factor of three larger. Sensitivity experiments with an atmospheric model show that a negative convective heating anomaly in the tropical Pacific, associated with the negative Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) phase after 2000, produces an atmospheric teleconnection pattern over the Arctic comparable to the observations in NDJF but not JJAS. A positive convective heating anomaly over the tropical Atlantic, associated with warming SSTs there in the 2000-2014 period, produces a teleconnection pattern over the Arctic comparable to the observations in JJAS but not NDJF. Thus, the observed anomalously strong Arctic surface winds and sea ice drifts after 2000, which produced accelerated decreases in sea ice extent, likely had contributions from decadal-timescale variability in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2018gl079989
DOI10.1029/2018gl079989
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Number: 20
Volume: 45

The trend for cold-season (NDJF) decreases in Arctic sea ice extent from 2000-2014 was about a factor of two larger than the 1979-2000 trend, and the warm-season (JJAS) trend was about a factor of three larger. Sensitivity experiments with an atmospheric model show that a negative convective heating anomaly in the tropical Pacific, associated with the negative Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) phase after 2000, produces an atmospheric teleconnection pattern over the Arctic comparable to the observations in NDJF but not JJAS. A positive convective heating anomaly over the tropical Atlantic, associated with warming SSTs there in the 2000-2014 period, produces a teleconnection pattern over the Arctic comparable to the observations in JJAS but not NDJF. Thus, the observed anomalously strong Arctic surface winds and sea ice drifts after 2000, which produced accelerated decreases in sea ice extent, likely had contributions from decadal-timescale variability in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic.

DOI: 10.1029/2018gl079989
Year of Publication: 2019
Citation:
Meehl, G, C Chung, J Arblaster, M Holland, and C Bitz.  2019.  "Tropical Decadal Variability and the Rate of Arctic Sea Ice Decrease."  Geophysical Research Letters 45(20): 11326-11333, doi:10.1029/2018gl079989.