Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
The Cryosphere, 10, 1631–1645, 2016
The Cryosphere, 10, 1631–1645, 2016
Research article
28 Jul 2016
Research article | 28 Jul 2016

Statistical indicators of Arctic sea-ice stability – prospects and limitations

Sebastian Bathiany et al.

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Cited articles

Abbot, D. S., Silber, M., and Pierrehumbert, R. T.: Bifurcations leading to summer Arctic sea ice loss, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D19120,, 2011.
Armour, K. C., Eisenman, I., Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, E., McCusker, K. E., and Bitz, C. M.: The reversibility of sea-ice loss in a state-of-the-art climate model, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L16705,, 2011.
Bathiany, S., Claussen, M., and Fraedrich, K.: Implications of climate variability for the detection of multiple equilibria and for rapid transitions in the atmosphere-vegetation system, Clim. Dynam., 38, 1775–1790, 2012.
Bathiany, S., Claussen, M., and Fraedrich, K.: Detecting hotspots of atmosphere–vegetation interaction via slowing down – Part 1: A stochastic approach, Earth Syst. Dynam., 4, 63–78,, 2013a.
Bathiany, S., Claussen, M., and Fraedrich, K.: Detecting hotspots of atmosphere–vegetation interaction via slowing down – Part 2: Application to a global climate model, Earth Syst. Dynam., 4, 79–93,, 2013b.
Short summary
We examine if a potential "tipping point" in Arctic sea ice, causing abrupt and irreversible sea-ice loss, could be foreseen with statistical early warning signals. We assess this idea by using several models of different complexity. We find robust and consistent trends in variability that are not specific to the existence of a tipping point. While this makes an early warning impossible, it allows to estimate sea-ice variability from only short observational records or reconstructions.