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Title: Collaborative Research: Improving Decadal Prediction of Arctic Climate Variability and Change Using a Regional Arctic

Abstract

This project developed and applied a regional Arctic System model for enhanced decadal predictions. It built on successful research by four of the current PIs with support from the DOE Climate Change Prediction Program, which has resulted in the development of a fully coupled Regional Arctic Climate Model (RACM) consisting of atmosphere, land-hydrology, ocean and sea ice components. An expanded RACM, a Regional Arctic System Model (RASM), has been set up to include ice sheets, ice caps, mountain glaciers, and dynamic vegetation to allow investigation of coupled physical processes responsible for decadal-scale climate change and variability in the Arctic. RASM can have high spatial resolution (~4-20 times higher than currently practical in global models) to advance modeling of critical processes and determine the need for their explicit representation in Global Earth System Models (GESMs). The pan-Arctic region is a key indicator of the state of global climate through polar amplification. However, a system-level understanding of critical arctic processes and feedbacks needs further development. Rapid climate change has occurred in a number of Arctic System components during the past few decades, including retreat of the perennial sea ice cover, increased surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet, acceleration and thinning ofmore » outlet glaciers, reduced snow cover, thawing permafrost, and shifts in vegetation. Such changes could have significant ramifications for global sea level, the ocean thermohaline circulation and heat budget, ecosystems, native communities, natural resource exploration, and commercial transportation. The overarching goal of the RASM project has been to advance understanding of past and present states of arctic climate and to improve seasonal to decadal predictions. To do this the project has focused on variability and long-term change of energy and freshwater flows through the arctic climate system. The three foci of this research are: - Changes in the freshwater flux between arctic climate system components resulting from decadal changes in land and sea ice, seasonal snow, vegetation, and ocean circulation. - Changing energetics due to decadal changes in ice mass, vegetation, and air-sea interactions. - The role of small-scale atmospheric and oceanic processes that influence decadal variability. This research has been addressing modes of natural climate variability as well as extreme and rapid climate change. RASM can facilitate studies of climate impacts (e.g., droughts and fires) and of ecosystem adaptations to these impacts.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23). Climate and Environmental Sciences Division
Contributing Org.:
Naval Postgraduate School; University of Colorado; University of Washington; University of Arizona; University of California/Santa Cruz; Los Alamos National Laboratory; University of Texas at El Paso
OSTI Identifier:
1415029
Report Number(s):
Final
DOE Contract Number:  
SC0006643
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Cassano, J.J., A. DuVivier, A. Roberts, M. Hughes, M. Seefeldt, M. Brunke, A. Craig, B. Fisel, W. Gutowski, J. Hamman, M. Higgins, W. Maslowski, B. Nijssen, R. Osinski, X. Zeng, 2017: Development of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM): Near-Surface Atmospheric Climate Sensitivity. Journal of Climate, 30, 5729-5753 [DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0775.1].
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; Arctic climate system; Regional arctic system model; Freshwater fluxes; Climate energetics; Decadal variability

Citation Formats

Gutowski, William J. Collaborative Research: Improving Decadal Prediction of Arctic Climate Variability and Change Using a Regional Arctic. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1415029.
Gutowski, William J. Collaborative Research: Improving Decadal Prediction of Arctic Climate Variability and Change Using a Regional Arctic. United States. doi:10.2172/1415029.
Gutowski, William J. Thu . "Collaborative Research: Improving Decadal Prediction of Arctic Climate Variability and Change Using a Regional Arctic". United States. doi:10.2172/1415029. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1415029.
@article{osti_1415029,
title = {Collaborative Research: Improving Decadal Prediction of Arctic Climate Variability and Change Using a Regional Arctic},
author = {Gutowski, William J.},
abstractNote = {This project developed and applied a regional Arctic System model for enhanced decadal predictions. It built on successful research by four of the current PIs with support from the DOE Climate Change Prediction Program, which has resulted in the development of a fully coupled Regional Arctic Climate Model (RACM) consisting of atmosphere, land-hydrology, ocean and sea ice components. An expanded RACM, a Regional Arctic System Model (RASM), has been set up to include ice sheets, ice caps, mountain glaciers, and dynamic vegetation to allow investigation of coupled physical processes responsible for decadal-scale climate change and variability in the Arctic. RASM can have high spatial resolution (~4-20 times higher than currently practical in global models) to advance modeling of critical processes and determine the need for their explicit representation in Global Earth System Models (GESMs). The pan-Arctic region is a key indicator of the state of global climate through polar amplification. However, a system-level understanding of critical arctic processes and feedbacks needs further development. Rapid climate change has occurred in a number of Arctic System components during the past few decades, including retreat of the perennial sea ice cover, increased surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet, acceleration and thinning of outlet glaciers, reduced snow cover, thawing permafrost, and shifts in vegetation. Such changes could have significant ramifications for global sea level, the ocean thermohaline circulation and heat budget, ecosystems, native communities, natural resource exploration, and commercial transportation. The overarching goal of the RASM project has been to advance understanding of past and present states of arctic climate and to improve seasonal to decadal predictions. To do this the project has focused on variability and long-term change of energy and freshwater flows through the arctic climate system. The three foci of this research are: - Changes in the freshwater flux between arctic climate system components resulting from decadal changes in land and sea ice, seasonal snow, vegetation, and ocean circulation. - Changing energetics due to decadal changes in ice mass, vegetation, and air-sea interactions. - The role of small-scale atmospheric and oceanic processes that influence decadal variability. This research has been addressing modes of natural climate variability as well as extreme and rapid climate change. RASM can facilitate studies of climate impacts (e.g., droughts and fires) and of ecosystem adaptations to these impacts.},
doi = {10.2172/1415029},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}