Early predictors of seasonal Arctic sea-ice volume loss: The impact of spring and early-summer cloud radiative conditions

Michalea D. King, Dana E. Veron, Helga S. Huntley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Clouds play an important role in the Arctic surface radiative budget, impacting the seasonal evolution of Arctic sea-ice cover. We explore the large-scale impacts of springtime and early summer (March through July) cloud and radiative fluxes on sea ice by comparing these fluxes to seasonal ice volume losses over the central Arctic basin, calculated for available observational years 2004-2007 (ICESat) and 2011-2017 (CryoSat-2). We also supplement observation data with sea-ice volume computed from the Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) during summer months. We find that the volume of sea ice lost over the melt season is most closely related to observed downwelling longwave radiation in March and early summer (June and July) longwave cloud radiative forcing, which together explain a large fraction of interannual variability in seasonal sea-ice volume loss (R2= 0.71, p = 0.007). We show that downwelling longwave fluxes likely impact the timing of melt onset near the sea-ice edge, and can limit the magnitude of ice thickening from March to April. Radiative fluxes in June and July are likely critical to seasonal volume loss because modeled data show the greatest ice volume reductions occur during these months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
Volume61
Issue number83
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes

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