Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Clark 507
A CICOR distinguished lecture series on the Arctic future under the influence of an ice-free summer ocean.
Marika M. Holland
Climate and Global Dynamics Division
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Abstract: Observations show large and coordinated changes are occurringin the Arctic climate system. Perhaps the most dramatic of theseis a significant decline in the summer Arctic ice cover. The summerof 2007 was particularly striking, being 3 standard deviationsbelow the linear trend. Model projections suggest continued andpossibly accelerated ice loss into the future. Here we exploreprojected changes in Arctic sea ice conditions through the 21stcentury and how they relate to observed change. Particular attentionis paid to instances of rapid summer ice loss and the mechanismsthat are important in driving that loss. The possibility thatthese simulated rapid ice loss events represent a "tipping point"in the system is explored. Evidence of potential feedbacks thatcan modify the ice loss are also discussed.