Ocean Sci. Discuss., 9, 2327-2373, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Ocean Science (OS). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in OS.
Arctic rapid sea ice loss events in regional coupled climate scenario experiments
R. Döscher and T. Koenigk
SMHI/Rossby Centre Folkborgsvägen 1, 60176 Norrköping, Sweden

Abstract. Rapid sea ice loss events (RILEs) in a mini-ensemble of regional Arctic coupled climate model scenario experiments are analyzed. Mechanisms of sudden ice loss are strongly related to atmospheric circulation conditions and preconditioning by sea ice thinning during the seasons and years before the event. Clustering of events in time suggests a strong control by large scale atmospheric circulation. Anomalous atmospheric circulation is forcing ice flow and providing warm air affecting winter ice growth. Even without a seasonal preconditioning during winter, ice drop events can be initiated by anomalous inflow of warm air from the Atlantic sector during summer. It is shown that RILE events can be generated solely based on atmospheric circulation changes without possible competing mechanisms, such as anomalous seasonal radiative forcing or short-lived forcers (e.g. soot). Such forces do merely play minor roles or no role at all in our model. Mechanisms found are qualitatively in line with observations of the 2007 RILE.

Citation: Döscher, R. and Koenigk, T.: Arctic rapid sea ice loss events in regional coupled climate scenario experiments, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 9, 2327-2373, doi:10.5194/osd-9-2327-2012, 2012.
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