05 Jun 2023
 | 05 Jun 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Understanding influence of ocean waves on Arctic sea ice simulation: A modeling study with an atmosphere-ocean-wave-sea ice coupled model

Chao-Yuan Yang, Jiping Liu, and Dake Chen

Abstract. Rapid decline of Arctic sea ice has created more open water for ocean wave development and highlighted the importance of wave-ice interactions in the Arctic. Some studies have made contributions to our understanding of the potential role of the prognostic floe size distribution (FSD) on sea ice changes. However, these efforts do not represent the full interactions across atmosphere, ocean, wave, and sea-ice. In this study, we implement a modified joint floe size and thickness distribution (FSTD) in a newly-developed regional atmosphere-ocean-wave-sea ice coupled model and conduct a series of pan-Arctic simulation with different physical configurations related to FSD changes, including FSD-fixed, FSD-varied, lateral melting rate, wave-fracturing formulation, and wave attenuation rate. Firstly, our atmosphere-ocean-wave-sea ice coupled simulations show that the prognostic FSD leads to reduced ice area due to enhanced ice-ocean heat fluxes, but the feedbacks from the atmosphere and the ocean partially offset the reduced ice area induced by the prognostic FSD. Secondly, lateral melting rate formulations do not change the simulated FSD significantly but they influence the flux exchanges across atmosphere, ocean, and sea-ice and thus sea ice responses. Thirdly, the changes of FSD are sensitive to the simulated wave height, wavelength, and wave period associated with different wave-fracturing formulations and wave attenuation rates, and the limited oceanic energy imposes a strong constraint for the response of sea ice to FSD changes. Finally, our results also demonstrate that wave-related physical processes can have impacts on sea ice changes with the constant FSD, suggesting the indirect influences of ocean waves on sea-ice through the atmosphere and the ocean.

Chao-Yuan Yang et al.

Status: open (until 21 Oct 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2023-79', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 Jun 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2023-79', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Aug 2023 reply

Chao-Yuan Yang et al.

Chao-Yuan Yang et al.


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Short summary
We present a new atmosphere-ocean-wave-sea ice coupled model to study the influences of ocean waves on Arctic sea ice simulation. Our results show 1) smaller ice-floe size with wave-breaking increases ice melt, 2) the responses in the atmosphere and the ocean to smaller floe size partially reduce the effect of the enhanced ice melt, 3) the limited oceanic energy is a strong constraint for ice melt enhancement, 4) ocean waves can indirectly affect sea ice through the atmosphere and the ocean.