Cyclone impact on sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean: a statistical study 1Meteorological Institute, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
27 Feb 2014
*now at: Climate Service Center, Hamburg, Germany
Received: 09 January 2013 – Published in The Cryosphere Discuss.: 21 March 2013 Abstract. This study investigates the impact of cyclones on the Arctic Ocean sea ice
for the first time in a statistical manner. We apply the coupled ice–ocean
model NAOSIM which is forced by the ECMWF analyses for the period 2006–2008.
Cyclone position and radius detected in the ECMWF data are used to extract
fields of wind, ice drift, and concentration from the ice–ocean model.
Composite fields around the cyclone centre are calculated for different
cyclone intensities, the four seasons, and different sub-regions of the
Arctic Ocean. In total about 3500 cyclone events are analyzed. In general,
cyclones reduce the ice concentration in the order of a few percent
increasing towards the cyclone centre. This is confirmed by independent
AMSR-E satellite data. The reduction increases with cyclone intensity and is
most pronounced in summer and on the Siberian side of the Arctic Ocean. For
the Arctic ice cover the cumulative impact of cyclones has climatologic
consequences. In winter, the cyclone-induced openings refreeze so that the
ice mass is increased. In summer, the openings remain open and the ice melt
is accelerated via the positive albedo feedback. Strong summer storms on the
Siberian side of the Arctic Ocean may have been important contributions to
the recent ice extent minima in 2007 and 2012.
Revised: 22 November 2013 – Accepted: 06 January 2014 – Published: 27 February 2014
Citation: Kriegsmann, A. and Brümmer, B.: Cyclone impact on sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean: a statistical study, The Cryosphere, 8, 303-317, doi:10.5194/tc-8-303-2014, 2014.