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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 18, issue 19
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 14149-14159, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-14149-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 14149-14159, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-18-14149-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Oct 2018

Research article | 05 Oct 2018

Changes in sea-surface temperature and atmospheric circulation patterns associated with reductions in Arctic sea ice cover in recent decades

Lejiang Yu1 and Shiyuan Zhong2 Lejiang Yu and Shiyuan Zhong
  • 1SOA Key Laboratory for Polar Science, Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, China
  • 2Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

Abstract. In recent decades, the Arctic sea ice has been declining at a rapid pace as the Arctic warms at a rate of twice the global average. The underlying physical mechanisms for the Arctic warming and accelerated sea ice retreat are not fully understood. In this study, we apply a relatively novel statistical method called self-organizing maps (SOM) along with composite analysis to examine the trend and variability of autumn Arctic sea ice in the past three decades and their relationships to large-scale atmospheric circulation changes. Our statistical results show that the anomalous autumn Arctic dipole (AD) (Node 1) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO) (Node 9) could explain in a statistical sense as much as 50% of autumn sea ice decline between 1979 and 2016. The Arctic atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with anomalous sea-surface temperature (SST) patterns over the North Pacific and North Atlantic influence Arctic sea ice primarily through anomalous temperature and water vapor advection and associated radiative feedback.

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The Arctic sea ice has been declining at a rapid pace in recent decades, which has been attributed largely to global warming. Using a relatively novel statistical method called self-organizing maps (SOM), we show that a large portion of the autumn Arctic sea ice decline in the past four decades may be explained by atmospheric circulation anomalies associated with anomalous sea-surface temperature patterns over the North Pacific and North Atlantic through ocean–atmosphere interactions.
The Arctic sea ice has been declining at a rapid pace in recent decades, which has been...
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