Articles | Volume 16, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 16, 1107–1123, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-16-1107-2022
The Cryosphere, 16, 1107–1123, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-16-1107-2022
Research article
31 Mar 2022
Research article | 31 Mar 2022

Contribution of warm and moist atmospheric flow to a record minimum July sea ice extent of the Arctic in 2020

Yu Liang et al.

Data sets

Polar Pathfinder Daily 25\,km EASE-Grid Sea Ice Motion Vectors M. Tschudi, W. N. Meier, J. S. Stewart, C. Fowler, and J. Maslanik https://doi.org/10.5067/INAWUWO7QH7B

Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS J. C. Comiso https://doi.org/10.5067/7Q8HCCWS4I0R

PIOMAS Data Polar Science Center http://psc.apl.uw.edu/research/projects/arctic-sea-ice-volume-anomaly/data/model_grid

Arctic Sea Ice Melt NASA Earth Sciences https://earth.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.php/cryo/data/arctic-sea-ice-melt

ERA5 hourly data on single levels from 1979 to present H. Hersbach, B. Bell, P. Berrisford, G. Biavati, A. Horányi, J. Muñoz Sabater, J. Nicolas, C. Peubey, R. Radu, I. Rozum, D. Schepers, A. Simmons, C. Soci, D. Dee, and J.-N. Thépaut https://doi.org/10.24381/cds.adbb2d47

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Short summary
A record minimum July sea ice extent, since 1979, was observed in 2020. Our results reveal that an anomalously high advection of energy and water vapor prevailed during spring (April to June) 2020 over regions with noticeable sea ice retreat. The large-scale atmospheric circulation and cyclones act in concert to trigger the exceptionally warm and moist flow. The convergence of the transport changed the atmospheric characteristics and the surface energy budget, thus causing a severe sea ice melt.