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  1. Abstract Winter Arctic sea-ice concentration (SIC) decline plays an important role in Arctic amplification which, in turn, influences Arctic ecosystems, midlatitude weather and climate. SIC over the Barents-Kara Seas (BKS) shows large interannual variations, whose origin is still unclear. Here we find that interannual variations in winter BKS SIC have significantly strengthened in recent decades likely due to increased amplitudes of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in a warming climate. La Niña leads to enhanced Atlantic Hadley cell and a positive phase North Atlantic Oscillation-like anomaly pattern, together with concurring Ural blocking, that transports Atlantic ocean heat and atmospheric moisture toward the BKS and promotes sea-ice melting via intensified surface warming. The reverse is seen during El Niño which leads to weakened Atlantic poleward transport and an increase in the BKS SIC. Thus, interannual variability of the BKS SIC partly originates from ENSO via the Atlantic pathway. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  3. Abstract Marine heatwaves (MHWs), episodic periods of abnormally high sea surface temperature, severely affect marine ecosystems. Large marine ecosystems (LMEs) cover ~22% of the global ocean but account for 95% of global fisheries catches. Yet how climate change affects MHWs over LMEs remains unknown because such LMEs are confined to the coast where low-resolution climate models are known to have biases. Here, using a high-resolution Earth system model and applying a ‘future threshold’ that considers MHWs as anomalous warming above the long-term mean warming of sea surface temperatures, we find that future intensity and annual days of MHWs over the majority of the LMEs remain higher than in the present-day climate. Better resolution of ocean mesoscale eddies enables simulation of more realistic MHWs than low-resolution models. These increases in MHWs under global warming pose a serious threat to LMEs, even if resident organisms could adapt fully to the long-term mean warming. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Winter surface air temperature (SAT) over North America exhibits pronounced variability on subseasonal, interannual, decadal, and interdecadal time scales. Here, reanalysis data from 1950–2017 are analyzed to investigate the atmospheric and surface ocean conditions associated with its subseasonal to interannual variability. Detrended daily SAT data reveal a known warm west/cold east (WWCE) dipole over midlatitude North America and a cold north/warm south (CNWS) dipole over eastern North America. It is found that while the North Pacific blocking (PB) is important for the WWCE and CNWS dipoles, they also depend on the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). When a negative-phase NAO (NAO − ) coincides with PB, the WWCE dipole is enhanced (compared with the PB alone case) and it also leads to a warm north/cold south dipole anomaly in eastern North America; but when PB occurs with a positive-phase NAO (NAO + ), the WWCE dipole weakens and the CNWS dipole is enhanced. The PB events concurrent with the NAO − (NAO + ) and SAT WWCE (CNWS) dipole are favored by the Pacific El Niño–like (La Niña–like) sea surface temperature mode and the positive (negative) North Pacific mode. The PB-NAO + has a larger component projecting onto the SAT WWCE dipole during the La Niña winter than during the El Niño winter because a more zonal wave train is formed. Strong North American SAT WWCE dipoles and enhanced projections of PB-NAO + events onto the SAT WWCE dipole component are also readily seen for the positive North Pacific mode. The North Pacific mode seems to play a bigger role in the North American SAT variability than ENSO. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Oceanic fronts associated with strong western boundary current extensions vent a vast amount of heat into the atmosphere, anchoring mid-latitude storm tracks and facilitating ocean carbon sequestration. However, it remains unclear how the surface heat reservoir is replenished by ocean processes to sustain the atmospheric heat uptake. Using high-resolution climate simulations, we find that the vertical heat transport by ocean mesoscale eddies acts as an important heat supplier to the surface ocean in frontal regions. This vertical eddy heat transport is not accounted for by the prevailing inviscid and adiabatic ocean dynamical theories such as baroclinic instability and frontogenesis but is tightly related to the atmospheric forcing. Strong surface cooling associated with intense winds in winter promotes turbulent mixing in the mixed layer, destructing the vertical shear of mesoscale eddies. The restoring of vertical shear induces an ageostrophic secondary circulation transporting heat from the subsurface to surface ocean. 
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  6. null (Ed.)