On oceanic forcing of Arctic climate change
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Recent dramatic climate change in the Arctic is most manifested by the reduction of multiyear sea ice pack. It has been commonly associated with anomalies of surface air temperature and atmospheric circulation, which in turn have been linked to the Arctic Oscillation (AO). A typical assessment of such hypotheses is the assumption of the dominant role of external atmospheric forcing and the neglect of effects of processes internal to the Arctic Ocean. Especially the oceanic thermodynamic control of sea ice through the under-ice ablation and lateral melt along marginal ice zones tends to be overlooked. However, those ice-ocean interactions may act to de-correlate AO forcing, which helps to explain some of the timing issues between AO/atmospheric forcing and recent sea ice variability.
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