Coupled mode of cloud, atmospheric circulation, and sea ice controlled by wave-3 pattern in Antarctic winter

Wang, Yunhe; Yuan, Xiaojun; Cane, Mark A.

This study examines coupled relationships among clouds, atmospheric circulation, and sea ice in Antarctic winter. We find that the wave-3 pattern dominates the leading covariability mode among cloud, atmospheric circulation, and sea ice. Both horizontal transport and vertical motion contribute to cloud formation, resulting in maximum cloud anomalies spatially between maximum meridional wind and pressure anomalies in the coupled system. The radiative effect of the clouds related to the wave-3 pattern can generate sea ice anomalies up to 12 cm thick in one month in the Amundsen Sea. It also strengthens the sea ice anomalies that are directly induced by low-level atmospheric circulation anomalies. In addition, the radiative forcing of the leading cloud mode in the lower troposphere is suppressed by the dynamic and thermodynamic effects of the circulation anomalies. These discoveries provide a better understanding of Antarctica's interactive processes, and also offer physical evidence for climate model validations.

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Environmental Research Letters

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Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Ocean and Climate Physics
Published Here
April 4, 2022