Does changes in the atmospheric circulation lead to Arctic warming and melting of the Greenland ice sheet?
The Arctic shows some of the world’s most significant signs of climate change. These signs include a strong negative trend in summer sea-ice cover, and a warming which is three times larger than the global average.
A large concern for humanity is that the climate change in the polar regions will lead to significant melting of the ice sheets and glaciers and hereby to rising of the sea level. Through the history we have built cities and infrastructure at low altitude close to the sea; human habitation at many of these locations will be challenged given a sea-level rise of a few meters. The melting of the Greenland ice sheet has in recent decades increased to the extent that this ice sheet is now one of the major contributors to sea-level rise.
The atmospheric circulation plays a crucial role for the Arctic climate. For instance, in the the high Arctic where solar radiation is absent in the winter months, the temperature would have been far below -100 °C during this season, had it not been for the atmospheric circulation bringing warm air from the south to these northerly latitudes. In addition the atmospheric circulation plays a key role for the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, since it can bring warm air in over the ice leading to ice melt, or humid air leading to more precipitation and ice growth.
There has been little emphasis on the role of the atmospheric circulation in recent Arctic climate change and in the recent strong melt of the Greenland ice sheet. Based on a combination of analysis of observations, statistical methods, and modelling this project will approach these questions.
Prof. Rune Graversen!
I googled the photo