Investigating Rapid Changes in Arctic As An Ice-Breaker

Date:Aug 30, 2023    |  【 A  A  A 】

(Text by BI Haibo,

Haibo is invited to make a research report in a special session supported by the Wuhan University. Credit: Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The strong reduction in late summer minimum Arctic sea ice extent during the last decades is one of the most prominent signals of anthropogenic climate warming due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations. Furthermore, the long-term declining trend of Arctic sea ice is regarded as the main driver of the so-called Arctic amplification (that is, the stronger climate warming in the Arctic compared with that at lower latitudes). In turn, Arctic amplification leads to a reduced meridional temperature gradient, with potentially important consequences for the dynamics of mid-latitude weather and extreme events.

Now I am leading a polar sea ice research team using multiple satellite observations to investigate the rapid changes in Arctic region. Complementary to field measurements and modeling results, spaceborne observations provide a clearer and larger picture and consecutive snapshot of the fast decline in Arctic sea ice coverage.

Our team is making an effort to deepen the understanding of sea ice outflow via the Fram Strait, unveiling the key physical mechanism of sea ice changes related to large-scale atmospheric circulation. Over the past several years, we have clarified that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) is conducive to the frequent occurrence of Arctic Dipole anomaly pattern since 2000s, which is a response contributed to the enhanced downward longwave radiation, leading to the shrinkage of Arctic sea ice. In addition, Our results reiterate the key role of cyclone in connection to the Arctic sea ice changes by augmenting the poleward transport of water vapor.

Recently, we are interested in examining the distinguishable high-Arctic heatwave events and the related sea ice loss in a warming climate, using Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) climate models, by specially probing the intimate impacts of atmospheric blocking. This will help us to identify the link between sea ice changes and extreme weather in a warmer Arctic climate.

Our findings will provide valuable scientific suggestions to support government policy and allow the people to better foresee the future challenges under an uncertain warming climate.

(Editor: ZHANG Yiyi)

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