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Title: Amplified wintertime Barents Sea warming linked to intensified Barents oscillation
Abstract In recent decades, the Barents Sea has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the Arctic in winter, but the exact causes behind this amplified warming remain unclear. In this study, we quantify the wintertime Barents Sea warming (BSW, for near-surface air temperature) with an average linear trend of 1.74 °C decade −1 and an interdecadal change around 2003 based on a surface energy budget analysis using the ERA5 reanalysis dataset from 1979–2019. Our analysis suggests that the interdecadal change in the wintertime near-surface air temperature is dominated by enhanced clear-sky downward longwave radiation (CDLW) associated with increased total column water vapor. Furthermore, it is found that a mode of atmospheric variability over the North Atlantic region known as the Barents oscillation (BO) strongly contributed to the BSW with a stepwise jump in 2003. Since 2003, the BO turned into a strengthened and positive phase, characteristic of anomalous high pressure over the North Atlantic and South of the Barents Sea, which promoted two branches of heat and moisture transport from southern Greenland along the Norwegian Sea and from the Eurasian continent to the Barents Sea. This enhanced the water vapor convergence over the Barents Sea, resulting more » in BSW through enhanced CDLW. Our results highlight the atmospheric circulation related to the BO as an emerging driver of the wintertime BSW through enhanced meridional atmospheric heat and moisture transport over the North Atlantic Ocean. « less
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Environmental Research Letters
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National Science Foundation
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