Definite, possible, and unlikely mechanisms for Arctic climate change

Speaker: Jennifer Kay, UCAR

When: Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time
Location: Room 2A305, DSRC (NOAA Building), 325 Broadway, Boulder
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Despite a long and rich history of observational analysis and numerical model experiments, the relative importance of processes controlling Arctic climate change is still subject to debate. In this talk, I will use both observations and model experiments to identify processes and feedbacks affecting Arctic climate change. First, I will present what I have learned by analyzing observed Arctic sea ice loss. Next, I will use coupled climate model experiments to identify the influence of atmospheric and oceanic processes on the Arctic climate response to idealized greenhouse gas forcing. My findings underscore that cloud feedbacks can be more important than northward heat transport for explaining the equilibrium Arctic surface climate response and response differences in coupled climate models. I will end the talk by presenting ongoing research to understand the processes controlling transient 21st century climate change projections.