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Title: Sea ice–air interactions amplify multidecadal variability in the North Atlantic and Arctic region

Winter surface air temperature (Tas) over the Barents–Kara Seas (BKS) and other Arctic regions has experienced rapid warming since the late 1990s that has been linked to the concurring cooling over Eurasia, and these multidecadal trends are attributed partly to internal variability. However, how such variability is generated is unclear. Through analyses of observations and model simulations, we show that sea ice–air two-way interactions amplify multidecadal variability in sea-ice cover, sea surface temperatures (SST) and Tas from the North Atlantic to BKS, and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) mainly through variations in surface fluxes. When sea ice is fixed in flux calculations, multidecadal variations are reduced substantially (by 20–50%) not only in Arctic Tas, but also in North Atlantic SST and AMOC. The results suggest that sea ice–air interactions are crucial for multidecadal climate variability in both the Arctic and North Atlantic, similar to air-sea interactions for tropical climate.

Award ID(s):
2015780 1743738
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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