Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-50
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2021-50

  30 Mar 2021

30 Mar 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal TC and is expected to appear here in due course.

Lasting impact of winds on Arctic sea ice through the ocean's memory

Qiang Wang1,2, Sergey Danilov1,3,4, Longjiang Mu5, Dmitry Sidorenko1, and Claudia Wekerle1 Qiang Wang et al.
  • 1Alfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung (AWI), Bremerhaven, Germany
  • 2Laboratory for Regional Oceanography and Numerical Modeling, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, China
  • 3Department of Mathematics and Logistics, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany
  • 4A. M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics Russian Academy of Science, Moscow, Russia
  • 5Laboratory for Ocean and Climate Dynamics, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao, China

Abstract. In this paper we studied the impact of winds on Arctic sea ice through the ocean’s memory by using numerical simulations. We found that the changes in ocean freshwater content induced by wind perturbations can significantly affect the Arctic sea ice drift, thickness, concentration and deformation rates regionally even years after the wind perturbations. Changes in the Arctic liquid freshwater content cause changes in the sea surface height and surface geostrophic currents, which further enforce a lasting and strong impact on sea ice. Both the changes in sea surface height gradient force (due to changes in sea surface height) and ice-ocean stress (due to changes in surface geostrophic currents) are found to be important in determining the overall ocean effects. The revealed ocean effects are mainly associated with changes in sea ice dynamics, not thermodynamics. Depending on the preceding atmospheric mode driving the ocean, the ocean’s memory of the wind forcing can lead to changes in Arctic sea ice characteristics with very different spatial patterns. We identified these spatial patterns associated with Arctic Oscillation, Arctic Dipole Anomaly and Beaufort High modes through dedicated numerical simulations. The dynamical impact of the ocean has strong seasonal variations, stronger in summer and weaker in winter and spring. It implies that declining trends of Arctic sea ice will very possibly allow a stronger ocean impact on the sea ice in a warming climate.

Qiang Wang et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-50', Céline Heuzé, 10 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Qiang Wang, 02 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-50', Leandro Ponsoni, 28 May 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Qiang Wang, 02 Jul 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2021-50', Céline Heuzé, 10 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Qiang Wang, 02 Jul 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2021-50', Leandro Ponsoni, 28 May 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Qiang Wang, 02 Jul 2021

Qiang Wang et al.

Model code and software

The Finite-Element Sea ice-Ocean Model (FESOM) Wang, Qiang; Wekerle, Claudia; Danilov, Sergey; Wang, Xuezhu; Jung, Thomas https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1116851

Qiang Wang et al.

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Short summary
Using simulations we found that changes in ocean freshwater content induced by wind perturbations can significantly affect the Arctic sea ice drift, thickness, concentration and deformation rates even years after the wind perturbations. The impact is through changes in sea surface height and surface geostrophic currents and the most pronounced in warm seasons. Such lasting impact might become stronger in a warming climate, and implies the importance of ocean initialization in sea ice prediction.