The Role of Ocean Heat Transport in the Global Climate Response to Projected Arctic Sea Ice Loss

AMS Citation:
Tomas, R. A., C. Deser, and L. Sun, 2016: The Role of Ocean Heat Transport in the Global Climate Response to Projected Arctic Sea Ice Loss. Journal of Climate, 29, 6841-6859, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0651.1.
Date:2016-10-01
Resource Type:article
Title:The Role of Ocean Heat Transport in the Global Climate Response to Projected Arctic Sea Ice Loss
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to elucidate the individual and combined roles of thermodynamic and dynamic ocean-atmosphere coupling in the equilibrium global climate response to projected Arctic sea ice loss using a suite of experiments conducted with Community Climate System Model, version 4, at 18 latitude-longitude spatial resolution. The results highlight the contrasting spatial structures and partially compensating effects of thermodynamic and dynamic coupling. In combination, thermodynamic and dynamic coupling produce a response pattern that is largely symmetric about the equator, whereas thermodynamic coupling alone yields an antisymmetric response. The latter is characterized by an interhemispheric sea surface temperature (SST) gradient, with maximum warming at high northern latitudes decreasing toward the equator, which displaces the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and Hadley circulation northward. In contrast, the fully coupled response shows enhanced warming at high latitudes of both hemispheres and along the equator; the equatorial warming is driven by anomalous ocean heat transport convergence and is accompanied by a narrow equatorward intensification of the northern and southern branches of the ITCZ. In both cases, the tropical precipitation response to Arctic sea ice loss feeds back onto the atmospheric circulation at midlatitudes via Rossby wave dynamics, highlighting the global interconnectivity of the coupled climate system. This study demonstrates the importance of ocean dynamics in mediating the equilibrium global climate response to Arctic sea ice loss.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2016 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 USC, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the Society's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statements, requires written permission or license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policies, available from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or amspubs@ametsoc.org. Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7862j59
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0651.1
Author(s):
  • Robert A. Tomas - NCAR/UCAR
  • Clara Deser - NCAR/UCAR
  • Lantao Sun
  • Random Profile

    PROJ SCIENTIST IV

    Recent & Upcoming Visitors