EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Impact of an abrupt Arctic sea ice loss on the extreme precipitation events in the midlatitudes

Steve Delhaye1, Thierry Fichefet1, François Massonnet1, David Docquier2, Svenya Chripko3, Sarah Keeley4, Rym Msadek3, and Christopher Roberts4
Steve Delhaye et al.
  • 1Université catholique de Louvain, Earth and Life, Earth and Climate, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (
  • 2Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
  • 3CERFACS, Toulouse, France
  • 4European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK

The current Arctic sea ice melting is accompanied by a significant Arctic warming, which could induce several climatic responses not limited to the high latitudes. These responses include changes in storm tracks, modification of the jet stream patterns as well as a stimulation of the planetary waves. The objective of this study is to determine the short-term changes on the extreme precipitation events over the high and mid-latitudes due to a sudden loss of Arctic sea ice. These changes are analysed using two different climate models (ECMWF-IFS and CNRM-CM6) at two different horizontal resolutions, that participate to the EU Horizon 2020 PRIMAVERA project. A common protocol in which the sea ice albedo is reduced to the ocean value is applied to simulate the sudden loss of Arctic sea ice. The results show an increase in drought duration in early winter over the southwestern North America in the ECMWF-IFS model at the two different horizontal resolutions and in the CNRM-CM6 at low resolution, and over the western part of the Mediterranean Basin in the ECMWF-IFS model. This increase can be understood by a stationary wave response due to Arctic sea ice loss which leads to an amplification of the subsidence over these two regions. Indeed, a northward shift of the North Atlantic High and North Pacific High is modelled in early winter. Thanks to these results, abrupt Arctic sea ice loss seems to play a role on the extreme precipitation events over mid-latitudes.

How to cite: Delhaye, S., Fichefet, T., Massonnet, F., Docquier, D., Chripko, S., Keeley, S., Msadek, R., and Roberts, C.: Impact of an abrupt Arctic sea ice loss on the extreme precipitation events in the midlatitudes, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8283,, 2020

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