Articles | Volume 17, issue 1
Research article
18 Jan 2023
Research article |  | 18 Jan 2023

Causes and evolution of winter polynyas north of Greenland

Younjoo J. Lee, Wieslaw Maslowski, John J. Cassano, Jaclyn Clement Kinney, Anthony P. Craig, Samy Kamal, Robert Osinski, Mark W. Seefeldt, Julienne Stroeve, and Hailong Wang

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Cited articles

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Butler, A. H., Sjoberg, J. P., Seidel, D. J., and Rosenlof, K. H.: A sudden stratospheric warming compendium, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 9, 63–76,, 2017. 
Cassano, J. J., DuVivier, A., Roberts, A., Hughes, M., Seefeldt, M., Brunke, M., Craig, A., Fisel, B., Gutowski, W., Hamman, J., and Higgins, M.: Development of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM): near-surface atmospheric climate sensitivity, J. Climate, 30, 5729–5753, 2017. 
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Short summary
During 1979–2020, four winter polynyas occurred in December 1986 and February 2011, 2017, and 2018 north of Greenland. Instead of ice melting due to the anomalous warm air intrusion, the extreme wind forcing resulted in greater ice transport offshore. Based on the two ensemble runs, representing a 1980s thicker ice vs. a 2010s thinner ice, a dominant cause of these winter polynyas stems from internal variability of atmospheric forcing rather than from the forced response to a warming climate.