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Climate 2019, 7(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli7020025

A Modeling Investigation of Northern Hemisphere Extratropical Cyclone Activity in Spring: The Linkage between Extreme Weather and Arctic Sea Ice Forcing

1
International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
2
Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775, USA
3
College of Oceanography, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract

Arctic sea ice exhibits rapid reductions and large fluctuations during recent decades in conjunction with a warming climate. Arctic sea ice shows a prominent seasonal cycle with the maximum extent in spring and the minimum extent in fall. In this study a suite of modeling experiments, which were solely forced with observed time-varying sea-ice concentration for spring 1979 to 2008 was conducted using NCAR’s Community Atmosphere Model to identify sea ice impacts on extratropical storms and associated surface climate parameters when they at the peak of their seasonal variability. Storms are the linkage between the large-scale circulation changes, forced by Arctic sea ice and local extreme weather events through strong winds, high precipitation, and high/low air temperature. In this study, a storm identification and tracking algorithm indicates that reduced sea-ice cover enhances Arctic storm activity. As a consequence, surface climate parameters such as surface air temperature (SAT) and precipitation increases in spring over the Arctic. The changes in the Arctic have a direct and indirect effect on the extratropical storm activity over the mid-latitudes. In contrast to the Arctic, storm activity weakens over Eurasia in the years with less sea ice. Further analysis of the surface climate indicates a warmer and dryer Eurasia for years with reduced sea ice. View Full-Text
Keywords: extratropical cyclones; extreme weather events; Arctic sea ice; climate model; Arctic climate extratropical cyclones; extreme weather events; Arctic sea ice; climate model; Arctic climate
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Basu, S.; Zhang, X.; Wang, Z. A Modeling Investigation of Northern Hemisphere Extratropical Cyclone Activity in Spring: The Linkage between Extreme Weather and Arctic Sea Ice Forcing. Climate 2019, 7, 25.

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