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Two-way interactions between ocean heat transport and Arctic sea ice

Project description

Arctic sea ice and ocean heat transport interactions

Sea ice loss in the Arctic region is caused by several factors, including anthropogenic global warming, atmospheric circulation changes, climate feedbacks and ocean heat transport. As regards the latter, recent observations show that heat transport from the Atlantic Ocean has led to strong reductions in the Arctic sea-ice area. Conversely, changing sea ice also has an influence on ocean heat transport. The EU-funded OSeaIce project explored this reciprocal interaction between Arctic sea ice and ocean heat transport. The project used a pioneering global climate model (EC-Earth) and performed diverse sensitivity experiments to understand these significant interactions and refine model projections of Arctic sea ice. OSeaIce delivered more reliable and robust insight on existing and future Arctic sea-ice changes.

Objective

Sea ice in the Arctic region is retreating at fast pace with potential impacts on the weather and climate at mid and high latitudes, as well as the biosphere and society. Sea-ice loss is driven by anthropogenic global warming, atmospheric circulation changes, climate feedbacks, and ocean heat transport. To date, no clear consensus regarding the detailed impact of the latter (ocean heat transport) on Arctic sea ice exists. Conversely, the changing sea ice also affects ocean heat transport, but this effect is much less studied. Therefore, this action proposes to explore the two-way interactions between ocean heat transport and Arctic sea ice. To this end, we will use a state-of-the-art global climate model (EC-Earth) and perform different sensitivity experiments to gain insights into these important interactions. Based on the results from these experiments, we will refine model projections of Arctic sea ice. Comparison to observations will be carried out to ensure that model simulations are realistic. We will also assess the impact of model spatial resolution on the relationships between ocean heat transport and Arctic sea ice, as an extension of the work performed within the EU PRIMAVERA project (PRocess-based climate sIMulation: AdVances in high resolution modelling and European climate Risk Assessment). This action will allow to provide more reliable and robust information on regional Arctic sea-ice present and future changes to users and stakeholders. Finally, this project is highly interdisciplinary as it combines three key components of the climate system (i.e. the ocean, sea ice, and atmosphere), and will be done in collaboration with the NordForsk ARCPATH project (Arctic Climate Predictions: Pathways to Resilient, Sustainable Societies), which focuses on improving Arctic climate predictions and better understanding socio-economic impacts of Arctic changes.

Coordinator

SVERIGES METEOROLOGISKA OCH HYDROLOGISKA INSTITUT
Net EU contribution
€ 101 926,08
Address
FOLKBORGSVAGEN 1
601 76 NORRKOEPING
Sweden

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Region
Östra Sverige Östra Mellansverige Östergötlands län
Activity type
Public bodies (excluding Research Organisations and Secondary or Higher Education Establishments)
Links
Total cost
€ 101 926,08