Articles | Volume 16, issue 3
The Cryosphere, 16, 1107–1123, 2022
The Cryosphere, 16, 1107–1123, 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

Bootstrap Sea Ice Concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS J. C. Comiso

PIOMAS Data Polar Science Center

Arctic Sea Ice Melt NASA Earth Sciences

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

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.