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The Seasonal Atmospheric Circulation and Climate Response to Arctic Sea Ice Loss: Mechanisms and Robustness across Models


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Weather, climate & atmosphere
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The PIs will use 4 state-of-the-art coupled climate models participating in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 4th and 5th Assessment Reports in a consistent framework to investigate several outstanding issues related to the seasonal atmospheric response to Arctic sea ice loss including: model sensitivity to identical prescriptions of Arctic sea ice loss; the relative roles of late summer/early autumn vs. winter sea ice retreat; and the mediating influences of troposphere-stratosphere coupling and terrestrial snow cover. By using the same experimental design in all 4 models, they anticipate being able to assess the robustness of the seasonal atmospheric and surface climate response as well as identify the underlying physical processes. Policy and management responses to scenarios of future climate change will be informed by many sources, including models. It is known that some aspects of model output are robust between models and others are less so. The partnership between university, government, and international scientists contributing to this study will assess the robustness and uncertainty of models with respect to various polar processes.