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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 12 Jun 2018

Research article | 12 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).

Contribution of sea-ice albedo and insulation effects to Arctic amplification in the EC-Earth Pliocene simulation

Jianqiu Zheng1,2,3, Qiong Zhang1, Qiang Li1, Qiang Zhang1, and Ming Cai4 Jianqiu Zheng et al.
  • 1Department of Physical Geography and Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 10691, Sweden
  • 2School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China
  • 4Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32306, USA

Abstract. In the present work, we simulate the Pliocene climate with EC-Earth climate model as an analogue for current warming climate induced by massive CO2 in the atmosphere. The simulated Pliocene climate shows a strong Arctic amplification featured by pronounced warming sea surface temperature (SST) over North Atlantic in particular over Greenland Sea and Baffin Bays, which is comparable with geological SST reconstructions from PRISM. To understand the underlying physical processes, the air-sea heat flux variation in response to Arctic sea-ice change is quantitatively assessed by a climate feedback and response analysis method (CFRAM) and an equilibrium feedback assessment (EFA)-like approach. Giving the facts that the maximum warming in SST occurs in summer while the maximum warming in surface air temperature happens during winter, our analyses show that dominant ice-albedo effect is the main reason for summer SST warming, a 1% loss in sea-ice concentration could lead to an approximate 2Wm-2 increase in shortwave solar radiation into open sea surface. During winter month, the insulation effect induces enhanced turbulent heat flux out of sea surface due to sea-ice melting in previous summer months. This leads to more heat release from the ocean to atmosphere, thus explaining the stronger surface air temperature warming amplification in winter than in summer.

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Short summary
This paper addressed two important issues with the EC-Earth Pliocene simulation, including (1) Quantifying albedo and insulation effects of Arctic sea ice on interface heat exchange respectively and (2) Explanation as to why Arctic amplification in surface air temperature peaks in winter while maximum SST warming in summer. These issues provide potential implications for researching Arctic amplification and climate change.
This paper addressed two important issues with the EC-Earth Pliocene simulation, including (1)...