The footprints of 16-year trends of Arctic springtime cloud and radiation properties on September sea-ice retreat

Yiyi Huang1, Xiquan Dong1, Baike Xi2, Erica Dolinar2, Ryan Stanfield2

1Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota

The most prominent September Arctic sea-ice decline over the period of 2000-2015 occurs over the Siberian Sea, Laptev Sea, and Kara Sea. The satellite observed and retrieved sea-ice concentration (SIC) and cloud/radiation properties over the Arctic (70°-90°N) have been used to investigate the impact of springtime cloud and radiation properties on September SIC variation. Positive trends of cloud fractions, cloud water paths and surface downward longwave flux at the surface over the September sea-ice retreat areas are found over the period of March 1st to May 14th, while negative trends are found over the period of May 15th to June 28th. The spatial distributions of correlations between springtime cloud/radiation properties and September SIC have been calculated, indicating that increasing cloud fractions and downward longwave flux during springtime tend to enhance sea-ice melting due to strong cloud warming effects. Surface downward and upward shortwave fluxes play an important role from May to June when the onset of sea-ice melting occurs. The comparison between linearly detrended and non-detrended of each parameter indicates that significant impact of cloud and radiation properties on September sea-ice retreat occurs over the Chukchi/Beaufort Sea at interannual time-scale, especially over the period of March 31st to April 29th, while strongest climatological trends are found over the Laptev/Siberian Sea.

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