Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2021-61
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2021-61

  01 Oct 2021

01 Oct 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WCD.

Achieving realistic Arctic-midlatitude teleconnections in a climate model through stochastic process representation

Kristian Strommen1 and Stephan Juricke2,3 Kristian Strommen and Stephan Juricke
  • 1University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 2Mathematics and Logistics, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany
  • 3Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany

Abstract. The extent to which interannual variability in Arctic sea ice influences the midlatitude circulation has been extensively debated. While observational data supports the existence of a teleconnection between November sea ice in the Barents-Kara region and the subsequent winter circulation, climate models do not consistently reproduce such a link, with only very weak inter-model consensus. We show, using the EC-Earth3 climate model, that while a deterministic ensemble of coupled simulations shows no evidence of such a teleconnection, the inclusion of stochastic parameterizations to the ocean and sea ice component of EC-Earth3 results in the emergence of a robust teleconnection comparable in magnitude to that observed. We show that this can be accounted for entirely by an improved ice-ocean-atmosphere coupling due to the stochastic perturbations. In particular, the inconsistent signal in existing climate model studies may be due to model biases in surface coupling, with stochastic parameterizations being one possible remedy.

Kristian Strommen and Stephan Juricke

Status: open (until 19 Nov 2021)

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Kristian Strommen and Stephan Juricke

Kristian Strommen and Stephan Juricke

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Short summary
Observational data suggests that the extent of Arctic sea ice influences mid-latitude winter weather. However, climate models generally fail to reproduce this link, making it unclear if models are missing something or if the observed link is just a coincidence. We show that if one explicitly represents the effect of unresolved sea ice variability in a climate model, then it is able to reproduce this link. This implies that the link may be real but that many models simply fail to simulate it.