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Heavy footprints of upper-ocean eddies on weakened Arctic sea ice in marginal ice zones

Manucharyan, Georgy E. and Thompson, Andrew F. (2022) Heavy footprints of upper-ocean eddies on weakened Arctic sea ice in marginal ice zones. Nature Communications, 13 . Art. No. 2147. ISSN 2041-1723. PMCID PMC9021234. doi:10.1038/s41467-022-29663-0.

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Arctic sea ice extent continues to decline at an unprecedented rate that is commonly underestimated by climate projection models. This disagreement may imply biases in the representation of processes that bring heat to the sea ice in these models. Here we reveal interactions between ocean-ice heat fluxes, sea ice cover, and upper-ocean eddies that constitute a positive feedback missing in climate models. Using an eddy-resolving global ocean model, we demonstrate that ocean-ice heat fluxes are predominantly induced by localized and intermittent ocean eddies, filaments, and internal waves that episodically advect warm subsurface waters into the mixed layer where they are in direct contact with sea ice. The energetics of near-surface eddies interacting with sea ice are modulated by frictional dissipation in ice-ocean boundary layers, being dominant under consolidated winter ice but substantially reduced under low-concentrated weak sea ice in marginal ice zones. Our results indicate that Arctic sea ice loss will reduce upper-ocean dissipation, which will produce more energetic eddies and amplified ocean-ice heat exchange. We thus emphasize the need for sea ice-aware parameterizations of eddy-induced ice-ocean heat fluxes in climate models.

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URLURL TypeDescription ItemNASA ECCO Data Portal CentralArticle
Manucharyan, Georgy E.0000-0001-7959-2675
Thompson, Andrew F.0000-0003-0322-4811
Additional Information:© The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit Received 19 December 2018; Accepted 22 March 2022; Published 20 April 2022. The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the following funding sources: NSF grant OCE-1829969, G.E.M. and A.F.T.; ONR grant N00014-19-1-2421, G.E.M., and A.F.T.; the Stanback Postdoctoral Fellowship Fund, G.E.M.; the Davidow Discovery Fund, G.E.M.; and the Terrestrial Hazard Observations and Reporting program at Caltech, A.F.T. The manuscript benefited from discussions at the annual Forum for Arctic modeling and Observing Synthesis (FAMOS) funded by the NSF OPP awards PLR-1313614 and PLR-1203720. The authors acknowledge the high-performance computing support from JPL/NASA and D. menemenlis for conducting the LLC4320 high-resolution numerical simulation. The authors thank Robert Fajber for discussions of the open-water area formation efficiency for sea ice models as well as comments from three reviewers that improved the manuscript. Data availability: The output from the high-resolution ocean model simulation (LLC4320) is available at the NASA ECCO Data Portal Contributions: G.E.M. conceived the study and together with A.F.T. analyzed the data from the high-resolution simulation and idealized sensitivity experiments. Both authors wrote the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information: Nature Communications Cecilia Bitz, Thomas Haine, and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work. Peer reviewer reports are available.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014-19-1-2421
Stanback Postdoctoral Fellowship FundUNSPECIFIED
Davidow Discovery FundUNSPECIFIED
Terrestrial Hazard Observation and Reporting CenterUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Cryospheric science; Physical oceanography
PubMed Central ID:PMC9021234
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220421-143909286
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Official Citation:Manucharyan, G.E., Thompson, A.F. Heavy footprints of upper-ocean eddies on weakened Arctic sea ice in marginal ice zones. Nat Commun 13, 2147 (2022).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114399
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Apr 2022 14:49
Last Modified:28 Apr 2022 16:32

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