WP 1: Impact of cryosphere changes on the large-scale atmospheric circulation

Lead: UiB (Noel Keenlyside); Partners: DMI, IAPRAS, NERSC, SMHI

The main objective of this WP is to quantify and improve understanding of the impact of sea-ice and snow-cover changes on the atmosphere, focusing on the mean large-scale circulation and patterns of variability (i.e., NAM). Specific goals are as follows:

  • To quantify and assess the robustness of the atmospheric response to changes in sea ice and snow cover, through coordinated multi-model experiments, and evaluate their importance relative to other factors such as SST and internal atmospheric variability.
  • To identify key uncertainties in the mechanisms, and identify best practices for capturing the atmospheric response to future sea-ice, snow, and SST changes.

This WP is divided into 3 tasks:

  • Tasks 1.1: Coordinated model experiments to assess the robustness of atmospheric response to anomalous sea ice and snow cover
  • Task 1.2: Additional sensitivity studies to improve understanding
  • Task 1.3: Simulation of climate change during the last 30 years
WP 2: Improved predictions of changes in the NH climate over the coming decades

Lead: DMI (Shuting Yang); Partners: SMHI, UiB

The main objective of this WP is to provide a better-constrained estimate of near-term (10-30yr) climate change for North Hemisphere (NH) atmospheric circulation and variability. Specific goals are as follows:

  • To provide quantitative estimates of changes in sea ice and snow cover projected for the next 30 years, and associated uncertainties (model formulation, climate change scenarios, and internal climate variability) based on analysis of existing multi-climate model simulations.
  • To provide more reliable estimates of future changes in NH atmospheric circulation and weather extremes for the next 30 years, through additional simulations with improvements adopted from WP1.
  • To quantify the potential gain in prediction reliability of NH climate that may be achieved from improving global climate models.
  • To provide appropriate information on changes in climate to stakeholders (hydropower) and society (northern communities) in order to facilitate planning decisions for adaptation and green growth.

This WP is divided into 3 tasks:

  • Tasks 2.1: Characterising near-term changes in sea ice, snow cover, and SST
  • Task 2.2: More reliable estimates of future changes in NH atmospheric circulation and weather extremes
  • Task 2.3: Synthesis of information for stakeholders
WP 3: Understanding the relation between climate change in the cryosphere and intensity of the extreme events in mid- and high-latitudes

Lead: IORAS (Sergey Gulev); Partners: IAPRAS, SMHI, DMI

In this WP we will perform quantitative evaluations of mechanisms of forming extremes in mid- and high-latitudes in response to changing sea ice and snow cover. Extreme weather resulting from intense, repeating and prolonged winter cold spells and summer heat waves in Eurasia as seen in observational data and coordinated simulations in WP1 will be investigated. A particular focus will be on high latitudinal cyclones. This will allow for the analysis of the potential impact of reducing sea ice on marine storminess in the Arctic Seas and associated feedbacks of surface marine roughness onto sea-ice dynamics. These effects will be considered in a regional coupled model for the pan-Arctic that will also be used to provide near-term predictions of future sea ice and wave heights. We will also analyse extreme events associated with extreme mid- to high-latitude moisture transport events and their role in forming changes in the Arctic climate.
This WP is divided into 6 tasks:

  • Tasks 3.1: Mechanism of the generation and re-intensification of mid- and high-latitudinal cyclones under the influence of declining sea ice
  • Task 3.2: Impacts of Arctic sea ice on the life cycle of extreme high latitudinal cyclones
  • Task 3.3: Atmospheric rivers as drivers for high-latitude extreme precipitation events
  • Task 3.4: Impacts of sea-ice and snow-cover on weather extremes in mid- and high-latitude continents, including the relation to changes in the high-latitudinal cyclones
  • Task 3.5: Improved representation and predictions of sea ice and wave height
  • Task 3.6: Synthesis of results for stakeholders
WP 4: Implications of sea-ice and snow-cover changes for the sustainability of northern communities: challenges for adaptation and green growth.

Lead: SAI Astrid Ogilvie); Partners: BKK, Agder

This part of the project directly addresses the main aim of the TRI call which is to support Nordic societies in developing new and sustainable solutions in addressing and adapting to climate change and developing green growth.
This WP is divided into 7 tasks:

  • Tasks 4.1: To consider the societal implications of changes in sea-ice cover and extent, including whether internal climate variability could lead to unexpected impacts on societies
  • Task 4.2: To assess how changes in our study areas relate to international developments and globalisation
  • Task 4.3: To research the complex interactions between contemporary governance systems in fisheries, and coastal community viability in specific localities in northern Norway, Iceland, and Greenland
  • Task 4.4: To analyse the politics of regional development in these countries, in particular how development involving large-scale hydroelectric, mining and aluminium-smelter projects interacts with fisheries policy
  • Task 4.5: To identify factors that will promote opportunities for green economic growth, and sustainable human development
  • Task 4.6: To use GREENICE prediction results as a tool for improving future water management and as an aid in investment decisions for designing future power plants
  • Task 4.7: To synthesize these findings in terms of prospects for increased and changing fisheries and fish stocks movements, tourism, ongoing and future oil and gas development, and other industrial activities such as hydropower dependent industries
TRACE extension: The role of the Atlantic in constraining Eurasian climate change.

Nordic partners: UiB (N. Keenlyside, PI), NERSC (Y. Gao), SMHI (T. Koenigk); Russian partners: IORAS (S. Gulev, Co-PI), IAPRAS (V. Semenov), NIERSC (L. Bobylev)

TRACE is a joint study between GREENICE and the Nordic Centre of Excellence ARCPATH addressing an important scientific question that is not considered by either of these NordForsk projects: Can better resolving the sharp Gulf Stream sea surface temperature front help constrain future projections of climate and weather extremes over Eurasia?
TRACE will achieve its main objective by performing and analysing climate model simulations for present day and future conditions (see table below). Stand-alone atmospheric model experiments forced by prescribed SST will isolate the effects of atmospheric and SST resolution in climate change projections over Eurasia. For these experiments, North Atlantic SST will be from a high resolution regional model simulation covering 1920-2099, with historical and RCP8.5 external forcing14; elsewhere the SST will be from the coarser resolution global climate model used to drive the regional model [Dr D. Sein (AWI, Germany) has performed these simulations and will kindly make them available to TRACE]. To assess the importance of ocean-atmosphere interaction we will also utilise a set of relatively high resolution coupled ocean-atmosphere model experiments being performed for the EU H2020 PRIMAVERA. Analysing these simulations will reveal the impact of resolving the North Atlantic SST front on atmospheric circulation, blocking, and weather extremes over Eurasia. Storm track composite analysis will identify affects on synoptic variability. We will diagnose diabatic heating over the North Atlantic to isolate the impacts of SST front, and study land-surface heat budgets to assess the interplay with ocean driven teleconnections. We will assess model uncertainties by comparing these analysis in present day TRACE and multi-model, lower resolution GREENICE experiments. Thus, TRACE will provide the first mechanistic understanding of how resolving the sharp North Atlantic SST front may influence global warming projections.

Simulation Period Model Atm. model res.* N.Atl.SST res.** Partner
P_HA_HSST 1980-2000 Atmosphere CAM4 0.25°x0.25° 0.25°x0.25° UiB
F_HA_HSST 2080-2099 Atmosphere CAM4 0.25°x0.25° 0.25°x0.25° UiB
P_HA_LSST 1980-2000 Atmosphere CAM4 0.25°x0.25° 1°x1° UiB
F_HA_LSST 2080-2099 Atmosphere CAM4 0.25°x0.25° 1°x1° UiB
P_LA_LSST 1980-2000 Atmosphere CAM4 1°x1° 1°x1° NERSC
F_LA_LSST 2080-2099 Atmosphere CAM4 1°x1° 1°x1° NERSC
P_HC_HSST 1950-2014 Coupled EC-EARTH 0.4°x0.4° 0.25°x0.25° SMHI
F_HC_HSST 2015-2050 Coupled EC-EARTH 0.4°x0.4° 0.25°x0.25° SMHI
P_LC_LSST 1950-2014 Coupled EC-EARTH 0.8°x0.8° 1°x1° SMHI
F_LC_LSST 2015-2050 Coupled EC-EARTH 0.8°x0.8° 1°x1° SMHI

* Atmospheric model resolution. ** North Atlantic Sea Surface Temperature resolution.

For more information on specific tasks, you are most welcome to contact the lead partners of each work package here or the project office here.