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CR 84:113-131 (2021)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01662

Influence of summer great cyclones on sea ice concentration and area in the Arctic Ocean

Haili Li1,2,3, Qinghui Zhu1,2,3, Chang-Qing Ke1,2,3,*, Difeng Wang4, Xiaoyi Shen1,2,3

1Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Geographic Information Science and Technology, Key Laboratory for Land Satellite Remote Sensing Applications of Ministry of Natural Resources, School of Geography and Ocean Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210023, PR China
2Collaborative Innovation Center of Novel Software Technology and Industrialization, Nanjing 210023, PR China
3Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing 210023, PR China
4State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamic, Second Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Hangzhou 310012, PR China
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Summer Arctic cyclones occur frequently in the Arctic Ocean and play an important role in sea ice variability. We used a reanalysis dataset and sea ice concentration data to identify and track summer great Arctic cyclones and to quantitatively analyse the contribution of cyclones to variations in sea ice concentration and area. We further explored the process of how cyclones influence sea ice via sea surface temperature, radiation, sea ice motion and ice deformation. The results indicate that cyclones accelerate decreases in sea ice concentration and area. The higher the values of the sea ice concentration index (ratio of maximum variation in sea ice concentration change rate to the minimum value of sea ice concentration change rate caused by the cyclone) and sea ice area responsivity (ratio of sea ice area change caused by cyclones to total sea ice area change) are, the greater is the contribution of cyclones to sea ice reduction. Over time, sea ice concentration decreases, and the impacts of cyclones on sea ice concentration are enhanced. During summer great cyclones, a strong low-pressure system and wind stress lead to increases in sea ice motion, ice divergence and changes in sea surface temperature and net radiation, promoting decreases in sea ice concentration and area. This study aids in the prediction of short-term sea ice change, and is beneficial to the development of coupled atmosphere-ocean-ice models.


KEY WORDS: Summer great cyclones · Sea ice concentration · Sea ice area · Responsivity · Sea ice motion · Sea surface temperature · Arctic Ocean


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Cite this article as: Li H, Zhu Q, Ke CQ, Wang D, Shen X (2021) Influence of summer great cyclones on sea ice concentration and area in the Arctic Ocean. Clim Res 84:113-131. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01662

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