Arctic

Atmospheric moisture transport, the bridge between ocean evaporation and Arctic Sea ice melting (EVOCAR)

 

Summary:

If we could choose a region where the effects of global warming are likely to be pronounced and considerable, and at the same time one where the changes could affect the global climate in similarly asymmetric way with respect to other regions, this would unequivocally be the Arctic. The atmospheric branch of the hydrological cycle lies behind the linkages between the Arctic system and the global climate. Changes in the atmospheric moisture transport have been proposed as a vehicle for interpreting the most significant changes in the Arctic region. This is because the transport of moisture from the extratropical regions to the Arctic has increased in recent decades, and is expected to increase with warming. This increase could be due either to changes in circulation patterns which have altered the moisture sources, or to changes in the intensity of the moisture sources because of enhanced evaporation, or a combination of these two mechanism. In this project we focus on the general idea that there is a strong link between ocean evaporation trends and Arctic Sea ice melting. In this project, we will critically analyze previous results suggesting links between moisture transport and the extent of sea-ice in the Arctic, this being one of the most distinct indicators of continuous climate change both in the Arctic and on a global scale. To do this we will use a sophisticated Lagrangian approach to contrast these existing results using new information and insights. The many mechanisms are hydrological (increased Arctic river discharges), radiative (increase of cloud cover and water vapour) and meteorological (increase in summer storms crossing the Arctic, or increments in precipitation). Finally we will analyze changes in response to anthropogenic forcing in the twenty-first century and comparison with current climate of the relationship between anomalies of moisture transport from the moisture sources and anomalies of ice-melting precursors.

General objective is:

To know if there is a significant link between evaporation and sea ice melting through the atmospheric moisture transport with the overall hypothesis in mind that exists a link between two climate change hotspots through the chain of events related to (1) trends in evaporation in moisture source regions, (2) trends in atmospheric transport from these regions to ice-melting precursors regions and (3) trends in ice-melting.

Specific objectives are:

  1. To identify all the mechanisms (e.g. hydrological such as increased Arctic river discharges, radiative such as increase of cloud cover and water vapour and meteorological such as increase in summer storms crossing the Arctic) suggesting links between moisture transport and the extent of sea-ice in the Arctic and define precursor variables for ice-melting and significant areas and periods to study these precursors.
  1. To evaluate the relationship between the atmospheric moisture transport from the sources of these significant areas and periods and the precursors (target regions).
  1. To analyze differences in atmospheric moisture transport from the sources to target regions for different atmospheric circulation patterns
  1. To follow the stream  ”anomalies of evaporation in the moisture sources, anomalies of moisture transport from the moisture sources and anomalies of precursors” with a view of define robust relationships.
  2. To analyze possible changes of this robust relationships in response to anthropogenic forcing in the twenty-first century

List of publications:

L. Gimeno-Sotelo, R. NietoM. VázquezL. Gimeno (2019) The role of  moisture transport for precipitation in the inter-annual and inter-daily fluctuations of the Arctic sea ice extension, Earth System Dynamics, Vol. 10, Pages 121-133, doi: https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-10-121-2019

M. VázquezI. Algarra, J. Eiras-Barca, A.M. Ramos, R. NietoL. Gimeno (2019) Atmospheric Rivers over the Arctic: Lagrangian Characterisation of Their Moisture Sources, Water, 2019, 11(1), 41.  Pages 1-14 doi:10.3390/w11010041

L. Gimeno-Sotelo, R. NietoM. VázquezL. Gimeno (2018) A new pattern of the moisture transport for precipitation related to the drastic decline in Arctic sea ice extent, Earth System Dynamics, 9,  
611-625, 2018 https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-9-611-2018

M. VázquezR. NietoA. DrumondL. Gimeno (2018) Moisture transport from the Arctic: a characterization from a Lagrangian perspectiveCuadernos de Investigación Geográfica, P 1-12 http://doi.org/10.18172/cig.3477  [pdf]

L. Gimeno-Sotelo, R. NietoM. VázquezL. Gimeno (2018) A new pattern of the moisture transport for precipitation related to the drastic decline in Arctic sea ice extentEarth System Dynamics, 9, 611-625, 2018 https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-9-611-2018  [pdf]

M. VázquezR. NietoA. DrumondL. Gimeno (2017) Extreme Sea Ice Loss over the Arctic: An Analysis Based on Anomalous Moisture TransportAtmosphere, 8(2), 32; doi:10.3390/atmos8020032 [pdf]

M. VázquezR. NietoA. DrumondL. Gimeno (2016) Moisture transport into the Arctic: Source-receptor relationships and the roles of atmospheric circulation and evaporationJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 121, doi:10.1002/2016JD025400  [pdf]

M. Wegmann, Y. Orsolini, M. VázquezL. GimenoR. Nieto, O. Bulygina, R. Jaiser, D. Handorf, A. Rinke, K. Dethloff, A. Sterin, S. Brönnimann (2015) Arctic moisture source for Eurasian snow cover variations in autumnEnvironmental Research Letters, 10 054015  [pdf]

L. GimenoM. VázquezR. Nieto, R.M. Trigo (2015) Atmospheric moisture transport: the bridge between ocean evaporation and Arctic ice meltingEarth System Dynamics, pages: 583-589, vol: 2, doi:10.5194/esd-6-583-2015 [pdf]