Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-140
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
21 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal The Cryosphere (TC) and is expected to appear here in due course.
How much should we believe correlations between Arctic cyclones and sea ice extent?
Jamie G. L. Rae1, Alexander D. Todd1,2, Edward W. Blockley1, and Jeff K. Ridley1 1Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB, United Kingdom
2College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 4QF, United Kingdom
Abstract. This paper presents an analysis of Arctic summer cyclones in a climate model and in a reanalysis dataset. A cyclone identification and tracking algorithm is run for output from model simulations at two resolutions, and for the reanalysis, using two different tracking variables (mean sea-level pressure and 850 hPa vorticity) for identification of the cyclones. Correlations between characteristics of the cyclones and September Arctic sea ice extent are investigated, and the influence of the tracking variable, the spatial resolution of the model, and spatial and temporal sampling, on the correlations is explored. We conclude that the correlations obtained depend on all of these factors, and that care should be taken when interpreting the results of such analyses, especially when the focus is on one reanalysis, or output from one model, analysed with a single tracking variable for a short time period.

Citation: Rae, J. G. L., Todd, A. D., Blockley, E. W., and Ridley, J. K.: How much should we believe correlations between Arctic cyclones and sea ice extent?, The Cryosphere Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2017-140, in review, 2017.
Jamie G. L. Rae et al.
Jamie G. L. Rae et al.

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Short summary
Several studies have highlighted links between Arctic summer storms and September sea ice extent in observations. Here we used model and reanalysis data to investigate the sensitivity of such links to the analytical methods used, in order to determine their robustness. The links were found to depend on the resolution of the model/dataset, the method used to identify storms, and the time period used in the analysis. We recommend further study of the physical processes involved.
Several studies have highlighted links between Arctic summer storms and September sea ice extent...
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