Journal article

Atmospheric impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss, 1979-2009: separating forced change from atmospheric internal variability

James A Screen, Clara Deser, Ian Simmonds, Robert Tomas



The ongoing loss of Arctic sea-ice cover has implications for the wider climate system. The detection and importance of the atmospheric impacts of sea-ice loss depends, in part, on the relative magnitudes of the sea-ice forced change compared to natural atmospheric internal variability (AIV). This study analyses large ensembles of two independent atmospheric general circulation models in order to separate the forced response to historical Arctic sea-ice loss (1979-2009) from AIV, and to quantify signal-to-noise ratios. We also present results from a simulation with the sea-ice forcing roughly doubled in magnitude. In proximity to regions of sea-ice loss, we identify statistically significant..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by UK Natural Environment Research Council

Awarded by Natural Environment Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Laurent Terray is thanked for useful discussions on the statistical methods. Two anonymous reviewers are thanked for the constructive comments. Parts of this research were funded by the Australian Research Council, the Merit Allocation Scheme on the Australian National Computational Infrastructure, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Polar Programs, and the UK Natural Environment Research Council grant NE/J019585/1. NCAR is sponsored by the NSF.