Amplified Arctic Surface Warming and Sea Ice Loss Due to Phytoplankton and Colored Dissolved Material


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vasileios.pefanis [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Optically active water constituents attenuate solar radiation and hence affect the vertical distribution of energy in the upper ocean. To understand their implications, we operate an ocean biogeochemical model coupled to a general circulation model with sea ice. Incorporating the effect of phytoplankton and colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) on light attenuation in the model increases the sea surface temperature in summer and decreases sea ice concentration in the Arctic Ocean. Locally, the sea ice season is reduced by up to one month. CDOM drives a significant part of these changes, suggesting that an increase of this material will amplify the observed Arctic surface warming through its direct thermal effect. Indirectly, changing advective processes in the Nordic Seas may further intensify this effect. Our results emphasize the phytoplankton and CDOM feedbacks on the Arctic ocean and sea ice system and underline the need to consider these effects in future modeling studies to enhance their plausibility.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
53270
DOI 10.1029/2020GL088795

Cite as
Pefanis, V. , Losa, S. N. , Losch, M. , Janout, M. and Bracher, A. (2020): Amplified Arctic Surface Warming and Sea Ice Loss Due to Phytoplankton and Colored Dissolved Material , Geophysical Research Letters, 47 , e2020GL088795 . doi: 10.1029/2020GL088795


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