Effect of retreating sea ice on Arctic cloud cover in simulated recent global warming

M. Abe, T. Nozawa, T. Ogura, K. Takata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the effect of sea ice reduction on Arctic cloud cover in historical simulations with the coupled atmosphere-ocean general circulation model MIROC5. During simulated global warming since the 1970s, the Arctic sea ice extent has reduced substantially, particularly in September. This simulated reduction is consistent with satellite observation results. However, the Arctic cloud cover increases significantly during October at grids with significant reductions in sea ice because of the enhanced heat and moisture flux from the underlying ocean. Cloud fraction increases in the lower troposphere. However, the cloud fraction in the surface thin layers just above the ocean decreases despite the increased moisture because the surface air temperature rises strikingly in the thin layers and the relative humidity decreases. As the cloud cover increases, the cloud radiative effect in surface downward longwave radiation (DLR) increases by approximately 40-60 % compared to a change in clear-sky surface DLR. These results suggest that an increase in the Arctic cloud cover as a result of a reduction in sea ice could further melt the sea ice and enhance the feedback processes of the Arctic amplification in future projections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17527-17552
Number of pages26
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 30 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science


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