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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-183
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-183
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 26 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 26 Aug 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal The Cryosphere (TC).

Evaluation of Arctic sea-ice drift and its dependency on near-surface wind and sea-ice concentration and thickness in the coupled regional climate model HIRHAM-NAOSIM

Xiaoyong Yu1,2, Annette Rinke1, Wolfgang Dorn1, Gunnar Spreen3, Christof Lüpkes4, Hiroshi Sumata4, and Vladimir M. Gryanik4 Xiaoyong Yu et al.
  • 1Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2School of Marine Sciences, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 3Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 4Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany

Abstract. We examine the simulated Arctic sea-ice drift speed for the period 2003–2014 in the coupled Arctic regional climate model HIRHAM-NAOSIM 2.0. In particular, we evaluate the dependency of the drift speed on the near-surface wind speed and sea-ice conditions. Considering the seasonal cycle of Arctic basin averaged drift speed, the model reproduces the summer-autumn drift speed well, but significantly overestimates the winter-spring drift speed, compared to satellite-derived observations. Also, the model does not capture the observed seasonal phase lag between drift and wind speed, but the simulated drift speed is more in phase with near-surface wind. The model calculates a realistic negative relationship between drift speed and ice thickness and between drift speed and ice concentration during summer-autumn when concentration is relatively low, but the correlation is weaker than observed. A daily grid-scale diagnostic indicates that the model reproduces the observed positive relationship between drift and wind speed. The strongest impact of wind changes on drift speed occurs for high and moderate wind speeds, with a low impact for calm conditions. The correlation under low-wind conditions is overestimated in the simulations, compared to observation/reanalysis. A sensitivity experiment demonstrates the significant effects of sea-ice form drag included by an improved parameterization of the transfer coefficients for momentum and heat over sea ice. However, this does not improve the agreement of the modelled drift speed/wind speed ratio with observations based on reanalysis for wind and remote sensing for sea ice drift. An improvement might be possible, among others, by tuning the open parameters of the parameterization in future.

Xiaoyong Yu et al.
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Short summary
This study presents an evaluation of Arctic sea-ice drift speed for the period 2003–2014 in a state-of-the-art coupled regional model for the Arctic, called HIRHAM-NAOSIM. In particular, the dependency of the drift speed on the near-surface wind speed and sea-ice conditions is presented. Effects of sea-ice form drag included by an improved parameterization of the transfer coefficients for momentum and heat over sea ice are discussed.
This study presents an evaluation of Arctic sea-ice drift speed for the period 2003–2014 in a...
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