Special Issue "Atmospheric Processes Shaping Arctic Climate"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Climatology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019) | Viewed by 23027

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Joseph Sedlar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
2. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA
3. Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrkoping, Sweden
Interests: my research interests have a central focus towards improved understanding of the interactions between Arctic clouds, boundary layer structure, atmospheric thermodynamics, and radiation, and how these processes impact the energy budget. I typically focus on observational data from a variety of in-situ and remote sensing instruments, both on the surface and from space

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The impacts of global climate change are felt exceptionally strongly over the high-latitude Arctic. On average, the region is warming at a rate that is double that of the global mean temperature increase. As a result of amplified warming, Arctic sea ice has seen a rapid decline, and the terrestrial snow pack characteristics over the surrounding Arctic land masses is showing regional responses to this warming, including over the Greenland Ice Sheet. Warming and moistening is occurring across the Arctic troposphere, potentially changing the thermodynamic phase, vertical distribution, and radiative properties of clouds. The changes observed over the Arctic will have critical impacts on the energy budget, and in turn feedback mechanisms may act to amplify this Arctic warming trend.

This Special Issue is focused on soliciting papers that contribute to an improved understanding of atmospheric processes impacting Arctic climate. Examples of particularly interesting topics include (not an exhaustive list):

  • Cloud microphysics and turbulence structure
  • Aerosol composition and vertical distribution, and aerosol-cloud interactions
  • Atmospheric and surface energy budgets
  • Atmospheric advection and transport of heat and moisture to/from the high latitudes
  • Feedback mechanisms
  • Evolution of atmospheric processes (and their importance) under a rapidly changing Arctic climate

This call solicits process-level studies based on both observations and model simulations. This includes intensive observational field campaign studies, long-term in-situ observatories, satellite observations, and simulations from idealized models, weather forecast models, and global circulation models. Studies that encompass a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, ranging from aerosol concentrations and turbulence, up to midlatitude-Arctic linkages, are encouraged.

Dr. Joseph Sedlar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Arctic atmospheric process-level understanding
  • clouds
  • aerosols
  • radiation
  • thermodynamics
  • turbulence
  • atmospheric circulation
  • feedbacks

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
The Role of Synoptic Cyclones for the Formation of Arctic Summer Circulation Patterns as Clustered by Self-Organizing Maps
Atmosphere 2019, 10(8), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080474 - 19 Aug 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2795
Abstract
Contribution of extra-tropical synoptic cyclones to the formation of mean summer atmospheric circulation patterns in the Arctic domain (≥60° N) was investigated by clustering dominant Arctic circulation patterns based on daily mean sea-level pressure using self-organizing maps (SOMs). Three SOM patterns were identified; [...] Read more.
Contribution of extra-tropical synoptic cyclones to the formation of mean summer atmospheric circulation patterns in the Arctic domain (≥60° N) was investigated by clustering dominant Arctic circulation patterns based on daily mean sea-level pressure using self-organizing maps (SOMs). Three SOM patterns were identified; one pattern had prevalent low-pressure anomalies in the Arctic Circle (SOM1), while two exhibited opposite dipoles with primary high-pressure anomalies covering the Arctic Ocean (SOM2 and SOM3). The time series of their occurrence frequencies demonstrated the largest inter-annual variation in SOM1, a slight decreasing trend in SOM2, and the abrupt upswing after 2007 in SOM3. Analyses of synoptic cyclone activity using the cyclone track data confirmed the vital contribution of synoptic cyclones to the formation of large-scale patterns. Arctic cyclone activity was enhanced in the SOM1, which was consistent with the meridional temperature gradient increases over the land–Arctic ocean boundaries co-located with major cyclone pathways. The composite daily synoptic evolution of each SOM revealed that all three SOMs persisted for less than five days on average. These evolutionary short-term weather patterns have substantial variability at inter-annual and longer timescales. Therefore, the synoptic-scale activity is central to forming the seasonal-mean climate of the Arctic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes Shaping Arctic Climate)
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Article
Simulating Arctic Ice Clouds during Spring Using an Advanced Ice Cloud Microphysics in the WRF Model
Atmosphere 2019, 10(8), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080433 - 26 Jul 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2947
Abstract
Two Types of Ice Clouds (TICs) have been characterized in the Arctic during the polar night and early spring. TIC-1 are composed by non-precipitating small ice crystals of less than 30 µm in diameter. The second type, TIC-2, are characterized by a low [...] Read more.
Two Types of Ice Clouds (TICs) have been characterized in the Arctic during the polar night and early spring. TIC-1 are composed by non-precipitating small ice crystals of less than 30 µm in diameter. The second type, TIC-2, are characterized by a low concentration of large precipitating ice crystals (>30 µm). Here, we evaluate the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model performance both in space and time after implementing a parameterization based on a stochastic approach dedicated to the simulation of ice clouds in the Arctic. Well documented reference cases provided us in situ data from the spring of 2008 Indirect and Semi-Direct Aerosol Campaign (ISDAC) campaign over Alaska. Simulations of the microphysical properties of the TIC-2 clouds on 15 and 25 April 2008 (polluted or acidic cases) and TIC-1 clouds on non-polluted cases are compared to DARDAR (raDAR/liDAR) satellite products. Our results show that the stochastic approach based on the classical nucleation theory, with the appropriate contact angle, is better than the original scheme in WRF model to represent TIC-1 and TIC-2 properties (ice crystal concentration and size) in response to the IN acidification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes Shaping Arctic Climate)
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Article
Uncertainties in Arctic Sea Ice Thickness Associated with Different Atmospheric Reanalysis Datasets Using the CICE5 Model
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10070361 - 30 Jun 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2354
Abstract
Reanalysis data are known to have relatively large uncertainties in the polar region than at lower latitudes. In this study, we used a single sea-ice model (Los Alamos’ CICE5) and three sets of reanalysis data to quantify the sensitivities of simulated Arctic sea [...] Read more.
Reanalysis data are known to have relatively large uncertainties in the polar region than at lower latitudes. In this study, we used a single sea-ice model (Los Alamos’ CICE5) and three sets of reanalysis data to quantify the sensitivities of simulated Arctic sea ice area and volume to perturbed atmospheric forcings. The simulated sea ice area and thickness thus volume were clearly sensitive to the selection of atmospheric reanalysis data. Among the forcing variables, changes in radiative and sensible/latent heat fluxes caused significant amounts of sensitivities. Differences in sea-ice concentration and thickness were primarily caused by differences in downward shortwave and longwave radiations. 2-m air temperature also has a significant influence on year-to-year variability of the sea ice volume. Differences in precipitation affected the sea ice volume by causing changes in the insulation effect of snow-cover on sea ice. The diversity of sea ice extent and thickness responses due to uncertainties in atmospheric variables highlights the need to carefully evaluate reanalysis data over the Arctic region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes Shaping Arctic Climate)
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Article
Arctic Sea Ice Decline in the 2010s: The Increasing Role of the Ocean—Air Heat Exchange in the Late Summer
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040184 - 05 Apr 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 6157
Abstract
This study is focused on the specific features of ocean–air interaction in the Laptev Sea, in the late summer, on the basis of recurrent measurements during four expeditions in the 2000s and 2010s, atmospheric reanalysis products, and satellite ice concentration data. It was [...] Read more.
This study is focused on the specific features of ocean–air interaction in the Laptev Sea, in the late summer, on the basis of recurrent measurements during four expeditions in the 2000s and 2010s, atmospheric reanalysis products, and satellite ice concentration data. It was established that in the “icy” years, the accumulation of heat in the upper ocean layer is insignificant for the subsequent ice formation. In the “ice-free” years, the accumulated heat storage in the upper mixed layer depends on the duration of open water and the distance of the point of interest to the nearest ice edge. In a broader context, we considered possible links between the average ice area/extent in the August–September–October (ASO) period, and in the December–January–February (DJF) period, for two representative Arctic regions; that is, the Eurasian segment, defined within the bounds 60–120° E, 65–80° N, and the American segment, defined within the bounds 150° E–150° W, 65–80° N. Significant “seasonal memory”, characterized by the consistent change of the ice cover parameters in sequential seasons, was revealed in the Eurasian segment between 2007 and 2017. No linkage on a seasonal time scale was found in the American segment. A possible explanation for the distinguished contrast between the two geographical regions is proposed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes Shaping Arctic Climate)
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Article
How Much Do Clouds Mask the Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice and Snow Cover Variations? Different Perspectives from Observations and Reanalyses
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010012 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 5054
Abstract
Decreasing sea ice and snow cover are reducing the surface albedo and changing the Arctic surface energy balance. How these surface albedo changes influence the planetary albedo is a more complex question, though, that depends critically on the modulating effects of the intervening [...] Read more.
Decreasing sea ice and snow cover are reducing the surface albedo and changing the Arctic surface energy balance. How these surface albedo changes influence the planetary albedo is a more complex question, though, that depends critically on the modulating effects of the intervening atmosphere. To answer this question, we partition the observed top of atmosphere (TOA) albedo into contributions from the surface and atmosphere, the latter being heavily dependent on clouds. While the surface albedo predictably declines with lower sea ice and snow cover, the TOA albedo decreases approximately half as much. This weaker response can be directly attributed to the fact that the atmosphere contributes more than 70% of the TOA albedo in the annual mean and is less dependent on surface cover. The surface accounts for a maximum of 30% of the TOA albedo in spring and less than 10% by the end of summer. Reanalyses (ASR versions 1 and 2, ERA-Interim, MERRA-2, and NCEP R2) represent the annual means of surface albedo fairly well, but biases are found in magnitudes of the TOA albedo and its contributions, likely due to their representations of clouds. Reanalyses show a wide range of TOA albedo sensitivity to changing sea ice concentration, 0.04–0.18 in September, compared to 0.11 in observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes Shaping Arctic Climate)
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Article
Effects of Northern Hemisphere Atmospheric Blocking on Arctic Sea Ice Decline in Winter at Weekly Time Scales
Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9090331 - 22 Aug 2018
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3252
Abstract
In this study, the effects of the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric blocking circulation on Arctic sea ice decline at weekly time scales are examined by defining four key regions based on observational data analysis. Given the regression analysis, the frequently occurring atmospheric patterns related [...] Read more.
In this study, the effects of the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric blocking circulation on Arctic sea ice decline at weekly time scales are examined by defining four key regions based on observational data analysis. Given the regression analysis, the frequently occurring atmospheric patterns related to the sea ice decline in four key sea regions (Baffin Bay, Barents-Kara Seas, Okhotsk Sea and Bering Sea) are found to be Greenland blocking (GB), Ural blocking (UB), western Pacific blocking (PB-W) and eastern Pacific blocking (PB-E), respectively. The results show that the regional blocking frequency is higher (lower) in lower (higher) sea ice winters for each key region. Moreover, composite analysis indicates that blocking evolution is usually accompanied by significant sea ice decline at weekly time scales during the blocking life cycle for each key region. In addition, the intensified surface downward infrared radiation (IR) anomaly and the precipitable water for the entire atmosphere (PWA) in each key region are found to make significant contributions to the positive surface air temperature (SAT) anomaly, which is beneficial for the reduction in sea ice. The approximate quantitative analysis of different surface energy fluxes induced by blocking is also applied. Further analysis shows that the blocking event and the associated changes in SAT and radiation anomalies for each key region lead the sea ice decline by approximately 3~6 days. This result indicates that regional blocking can contribute to regional sea ice decline at weekly time scales through surface warming associated with enhanced water vapor and associated IR variations. Further quantitative estimates indicate that regional blocking can reduce regional sea ice cover (SIC) by 49.6%, 49.4%, 52.2% and 49.5% for Baffin Bay, Barents-Kara Seas, Okhotsk Sea and Bering Sea, respectively, during the blocking life cycle. Finally, a physical process diagrammatic sketch is given to illustrate how blocking affects SIC decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes Shaping Arctic Climate)
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