Dynamic and Thermodynamic Processes Related to Sea-Ice Surface Melt Advance in the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea
Abstract. Arctic summer sea ice has shrunk considerably in recent decades. This study investigates sea-ice surface melt onset in springtime in the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea, which are key seas along the Northeast Passage. Melt Advance, which is defined as the areal percentage of a sea that has experienced sea-ice surface melting before the end of May, is used instead of region-mean melt onset. Four representative scenarios of Melt Advance in the region are identified. Each scenario is driven by a distinct circulation in the lower troposphere in May, which regulates sea ice dynamics and air mass transport, further influencing surface energy balance and Melt Advance. In general, concurrent with faster Melt Advance are warm and wet atmosphere, reduced sea ice cover, and surface energy gains in spring. Melt Advance, as well as sea ice cover in May, is significantly correlated with summer sea ice over. This study implicates the interannual flexibility of spring circulation in the lower troposphere and the significance of seasonal evolution in the Arctic.
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