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Journal Article

Arctic climate change: observed and modelled temperature and sea-ice variability

MPS-Authors
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Bengtsson,  Lennart
The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;
Emeritus Scientific Members, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Semenov,  V. A.
The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons37172

Hasselmann,  Klaus F.
Emeritus Scientific Members, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Tellus_p328.pdf
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Citation

Johannssen, O. M., Bengtsson, L., Miles, M. W., Kuzmina, S. I., Semenov, V. A., Alekseev, G. V., et al. (2004). Arctic climate change: observed and modelled temperature and sea-ice variability. Tellus Series A-Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 56(4), 328-341.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-002F-1
Abstract
Changes apparent in the arctic climate system in recent years require evaluation in a century-scale perspective in order to assess the Arctic's response to increasing anthropogenic greenhouse-gas forcing. Here, a new set of century- and multidecadal-scale observational data of surface air temperature (SAT) and sea ice is used in combination with ECHAM4 and HadCM3 coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean global model simulations in order to better determine and understand arctic climate variability. We show that two pronounced twentieth-century warming events, both amplified in the Arctic, were linked to sea-ice variability. SAT observations and model simulations indicate that the nature of the arctic warming in the last two decades is distinct from the early twentieth-century warm period. It is suggested strongly that the earlier warming was natural internal climate-system variability, whereas the recent SAT changes are a response to anthropogenic forcing. The area of arctic sea ice is furthermore observed to have decreased similar to8 x 10(5) km(2) (7.4%) in the past quarter century, with record-low summer ice coverage in September 2002. A set of model predictions is used to quantify changes in the ice cover through the twenty-first century, with greater reductions expected in summer than winter. In summer, a predominantly sea-ice-free Arctic is predicted for the end of this century