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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-2019-38
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2019-38
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 30 Apr 2019

Research article | 30 Apr 2019

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

The contributions of the leading modes of the North Pacific sea surface temperature variability to the Arctic sea ice depletion in recent decades

Lejiang Yu1, Shiyuan Zhong2, and Timo Vihma3 Lejiang Yu et al.
  • 1State Oceanic Administration 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
  • 3Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Arctic sea ice decrease in extent in recent decades has been linked to sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the North Pacific Ocean. In this study, we assess the relative contributions of the two leading modes in North Pacific SST anomalies representing external forcing related to global warming and internal forcing related to Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) to the Arctic sea ice loss in boreal summer and autumn. For the 1979–2017 period, the time series of the global warming and PDO modes show significant positive and negative trends, respectively. The global warming mode accounts for 44.9 % and 50.1 % of the Arctic sea ice loss in boreal summer and autumn during this period, compared to the 20.0 % and 22.2 % from the PDO mode. There is also a seasonal difference in the response of atmospheric circulations to the two modes. The PDO mode excites a wavetrain from North Pacific to the Arctic; the wavetrain is not seen in the response of atmospheric circulation to the global warming mode. Both dynamic and thermodynamic forcings work in the relationship of atmospheric circulation and sea ice anomalies.

Lejiang Yu et al.
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Short summary
Arctic sea ice cover has been decreasing in recent decades. The reason for the decrease remains unclear. In this study, we examine the contributions of the North Pacific SST anomalies to the decrease. There are global warming and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) modesof the North Pacific SST variability in boreal summer and autumn. The global warming mode explains 44.9% and 50.1% of the Arctic sea ice loss in boreal summer and autumn, respectively. There are 22.0% and 22.2% for PDO mode.
Arctic sea ice cover has been decreasing in recent decades. The reason for the decrease remains...
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