The rapid decline of the Arctic sea ice in the last decade is a dramatic indicator of climate change. The Arctic sea ice cover is now thinner, weaker and drifts faster. Freak heatwaves are common. On land, the permafrost is dramatically thawing, glaciers are disappearing, and forest fires are raging. The ocean is also changing: the volume of freshwater stored in the Arctic has increased as have the inputs of coastal runoff from Siberia and Greenland and the exchanges with the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. As the global surface temperature rises, the Arctic Ocean is speculated to become seasonally ice-free by the mid 21st century, which prompts us to revisit our perceptions of the Arctic system as a whole. What could the Arctic Ocean look like in the future? How are the present changes in the Arctic going to affect and be affected by the lower latitudes? What aspects of the changing Arctic should observational, remote sensing and modelling programmes address in priority?
In this session, we invite contributions from a variety of studies on the recent past, present and future Arctic. We encourage submissions examining interactions between the ocean, atmosphere and sea ice, on emerging mechanisms and feedbacks in the Arctic and on how the Arctic influences the global ocean. Submissions taking a cross-disciplinary, system approach and focussing on emerging cryospheric, oceanic and biogeochemical processes and their links with land are particularly welcome.
The session supports the actions of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) towards addressing challenges for sustainable development in the Arctic and its diverse regions. We aim to promote discussions on the future plans for Arctic Ocean modelling and measurement strategies, and encourages submissions on the results from IPCC CMIP and the recent observational programs, such as the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC). This session is cosponsored by the CLIVAR /CliC Northern Ocean Regional Panel (NORP) that aims to facilitate progress and identify scientific opportunities in (sub)Arctic ocean-sea-ice-atmosphere research.