The impact of poleward moisture and sensible heat flux on arctic winter sea ice variability

Hyo Seok Park, Sukyoung Lee, Seok Woo Son, Steven B. Feldstein, Yu Kosaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


The surface warming in recent decades has been most rapid in the Arctic, especially during the winter. Here, by utilizing global reanalysis and satellite datasets, it is shown that the northward flux of moisture into the Arctic during the winter strengthens the downward infrared radiation (IR) by 30- 40Wm-2 over 1- 2 weeks. This is followed by a decline of up to 10% in sea ice concentration over the Greenland, Barents, and Kara Seas.Aclimate model simulation indicates that the wind-induced sea ice drift leads the decline of sea ice thickness during the early stage of the strong downward IR events, but that within one week the cumulative downward IR effect appears to be dominant. Further analysis indicates that strong downward IR events are preceded several days earlier by enhanced convection over the tropical Indian and western Pacific Oceans. This finding suggests that sea ice predictions can benefit from an improved understanding of tropical convection and ensuing planetary wave dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5030-5040
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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