The Arctic sea ice extent change connected to Pacific decadal variability

Yang, Xiao-Yi; Wang, Guihua; Keenlyside, Noel

After an unprecedented retreat, the total Arctic sea ice cover for the post-2007 period is characterized by low extent and a remarkable increase in annual cycle amplitude. We have identified the leading role of spring Bering Sea ice in explaining the changes in the amplitude of the annual cycle of total Arctic sea ice. In particular, these changes are related to the recent occurrence of multiyear variability in spring Bering Sea ice extent. This is due to the phase-locking of the North Pacific Gyre Oscillation (NPGO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) after about 2007, with a correlation coefficient reaching inline-formula−0.6. Furthermore, there emerge notable changes in the sea level pressure and sea surface temperature patterns associated with the NPGO in the recent decade. After 2007, the NPGO is related to a quadrupole of sea level pressure (SLP) anomalies that is associated with the wind stress curl and Ekman pumping rate anomalies in the Bering deep basin; these account for the change in Bering Sea subsurface variability that contribute to the decadal oscillation of the spring Bering Sea ice extent.

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Yang, Xiao-Yi / Wang, Guihua / Keenlyside, Noel: The Arctic sea ice extent change connected to Pacific decadal variability. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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