The Pacific Region

Cyclonic activity in winter in the Pacific region is significantly lower than in the Atlantic and Baffin Bay regions and, according to the calculations of Serreze et al. (1993), their frequency is lower than 3 . The low frequency of cyclones is caused by the occurrence of orographic barriers (zonally stretching mountains the Koryak, Chukchi, and Brooks Ranges). As a result, cyclones can enter to the Pacific region only through the narrow Bering Strait. The narrowness of this strait also limits...

Climatic Regions

From the descriptions which have been presented earlier of the different elements of the Arctic climate, one can see that their spatial changes are extremely heterogeneous. Surprisingly, the greater horizontal gradients occur in winter, when the differentiated influence of the solar energy is meagre or equal to zero (polar night). During this time the differences in observable meteorological fields are caused mainly by the atmospheric circulation and, to a significantly lesser degree, by the...

Synopticscale Circulation

Mean Winter Circulation

Similarly to the mid-latitudes, synoptic-scale disturbances control the daily weather events in the Arctic. Vangengeim (1952, 1961) showed that changes of synoptic processes in the Arctic are about 1.5 times faster than in moderate latitudes. Working from this and other facts given earlier, it can be concluded that the climate of the Arctic is significantly more sensitive to atmospheric circulation variability than the climates in both moderate and low latitudes. The first analysis of the...

The Climate of the Arctic

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The Atlantic Region

In the cold half-year, the most striking feature of this region is its extreme high temperatures (relative to other parts of the Arctic) related to strong and vigorous cyclonic activity and the warm ocean currents which are branches of the Gulf Stream (see Figure 4.4). For example, the mean monthly air temperatures in Spitsbergen are about 20 C higher than in the Canadian Arctic at the same latitude. The anomalies get smaller to the north, northeast, and east because the influence of cyclonic...

Frequency Distribution

In the previous section, the mean seasonal and annual patterns of temperature distribution in the Arctic in the period 1951-1990 have been presented. Also knowledge about the occurrence frequency of different temperature intervals is particularly useful, especially for weather and climate forecasting. Przybylak (1996a) investigated this problem using both data from individual stations and area-average for climatic regions (see Figure 1.2). The results for such data are very similar. Figure 4.9...

Acknowledgements

It would not have been possible to carry out the research for the present volume without the financial support provided by the Nicholas Copernicus University in Torun. For their assistance in securing this support I would like to thank the Vice-Rector for Research and International Relations Prof. Marek Zaidlewicz, the Dean of the Faculty of Biology and Earth Sciences Prof. Andrzej Tretyn, the Director of the NCU Institute of Geography Prof. Jan Falkowski, and the Administrative Director Dr....

Scenarios Of The Arctic Climate In The 21st Century

Both observations and model studies have shown that the Arctic is a region of high climate sensitivity to increased concentration of greenhouse gases (see e.g. Houghton et al. 1990, 1992, 1996, 2001). Most climate model simulations suggest that a doubling of C02 will cause a rise in global mean surface air temperature from 1,4 C to 5.8 C (Houghton et al. 2001) with a two-to three-fold amplification in the Arctic. Atkinson (1994) gives the following reasons for this enhanced warming in the...

Greenland

The best paleoclimatic information exists for Greenland, where during the last 30-40 years quite a large number of ice-cores have been drilled, beginning with the oldest one (Camp Century) and ending with the series of 13 drilled during the summers of 1993-1995 along the North-Greenland-Traverse. The routine analyses of ice cores include measurements of iso-topic composition (51B0, 8D), content of greenhouse gases (CO, and CIi4), dust content, chemical composition, electricity conductivity,...

Snow Cover

The snow cover becomes established earliest in the ccntral part of the Arctic in late August (Figure 7.12). According to Radionov et al. (1997), stable snow cover at the geographic Pole forms on 20 August. At the height of the Arctic islands (Zemlya Frantsa Josifa, Severnaya Zemlya, Novosi-birskiye Ostrova) the autumn formation of snow cover occurs on around 11 September. Ten days later it becomes established near the north of the Svatbard islands, Taymyr Peninsula, and in the Laptev and New...

The Interior Arctic Region

The horizontal gradients of meteorological elements here are the lowest in the Arctic. However, some differences in pattern distribution of these elements exist, which allow a distinction to be drawn between two separate sub-regions the sub-Atlantic and the sub-Pacific (Prik 1971 Atlas Arktiki 1985). The sub-Atlantic area quite often falls under the influence of the North Atlantic cyclones and therefore the temperatures here are higher than in the sub-Pacific sub-region, where anticyclones...

Preface

Towards the end of the 19th century some researchers put forward the hypothesis that the Polar regions may play the key role in the shaping of the global climate. This supposition found its full confirmation in empirical and model research conducted in the 20th century, particularly in recent decades. The intensification of the global warming after about 1975 brought into focus the physical causes of this phenomenon. The first climatic models created at that time, and the analyses of long...

Shortwave Net Radiation

From a climatological point of view, knowledge about short-wave net radiation (or the absorbed solar radiation) is more important than about the potential global solar radiation reaching the earth's surface. Short-wave net radiation depends mainly on the declination of the sun and surface albedo. Along the same latitude only the albedo determines the amount of absorbed energy hy the earth's surface. On a local scale (in mountainous areas), however, differences in the elevation of the land, its...

Temperature Variations After 1950

Detailed research into air temperature tendencies in the Arctic using data from 33 to 35 stations in the periods from 1951 to 1990 (Przybylak 1996a, 1997a, 2002a) and from 1951 to 1995 (Przybylak 2000a) revealed the predominance of negative trends, even though most of them were not statistically significant. Similar results have also been obtained by Chapman and Walsh (1993) Kahl et al. (1993a, b) Walsh (1995) Bom (1996) F0rland etal. 1997 and others. The areally averaged seasonal and annual...

Eurasian Arctic Islands

Again, as in the previous section, the best proxy data for this part of the Arctic are to be found in Svalbard. Therefore, the history of the climate for the period analysed will be presented mainly using information from this area. Researchers investigating the history of the climate in the Holocene period (e.g. Tarussov 1992 Werner 1993 Svendsen and Mangerud 1997) generally do not mention the existence of the MWP. Most of them indicate late-Holoccne climatic deterioration (see also Section...

Model Simulations of the Presentday Arctic Climate

One measure of the level of confidence in results generated by GCMs is the degree to which they reproduce the cunent global climate. A review of the first three IPCC reports (Houghton et al. 1990, 1992, 1996) and other works (e.g. Gates et al 1996, 1999) shows that the largest disagreement between coupled climate model simulations of prcscnt-day climate is in the Polar regions. It is worth adding, however, that in more rcccnt models this disagreement is still observable, though it is lower...

Canadian High Arctic

A review of the ice-core literature and data (e.g. Koerner and Fisher 1981 Bradley 1990 Koerner 1992) presenting the history of the climate in the Canadian Arctic in the Holocene period and particularly in last two to three millennia shows that in this part of the world the MWP is rarely distinguished. Generally most researchers indicate a steady decrease in temperature from 2000-3000 BP until the LIA period. Similar results have also been obtained based on glacial geology records (Blake 1981,...

Development of Views on Atmospheric Circulation in the Arctic

In the late 19th century scientists undertook attempts to construct various schemes of atmospheric circulation in the Arctic on the basis of theoretical considerations. Ferrel (1882, 1889) argued that the mid-latitude westerlies circulate around a large low pressure system occurring in the Arctic with its centre above the Pole. His idea was preserved until the publication of the meteorological observations from the Fram drift (Mohn 1905), and according to Hobbs (1926) even until 1920. Mohn,...

Scenarios of the Arctic Climate in the 21si Century 1121 The GCM Method

Two types of GCMs can be distinguished equilibrium and transient models. The first group simulate changes of climate for C02 doubling occurring rapidly, while the second group compute the same for a gradually in creasing CO, (most often of a compounded increase per year). The second approach is more realistic and resembles the contemporary changes of CO, concentrations. The first equilibrium experiments conducted using atmospheric general circulation models simulated a very large increase of...

Radiation Conditions

In the history of actinometric measurements in the Arctic, five phases can be distinguished Phase 1. The 19lh ccnniry. During this period, measurements of solar radiation were made using ordinary thermometers, i.e. the difference between tiic readings of thermometers with shaded and exposed bulbs, placed in the sun and in the shade, was used to estimate the intensity of radiation. According to Gavrilova (1963) the first such measurements were made during the expeditions of John Franklin to the...

The Canadian Region

This region is one of the largest areas in the Arctic. Therefore, of course, the differentiation of climate is particularly evident here. The estimates of magnitude of these differences are, however, not identical. For example, Barry and Hare (1974) write, The Canadian Arctic Archipelago extends over 15 of latitude but the climatic characteristics are relatively homogeneous. In turn, Maxwell (1982) noted that despite the northern latitudes of the Canadian Arctic Islands, the climate there is...

The Annua Cycle

Variations of cloud amount in the annual march in different parts of the Arctic are very similar and rather straightforward. Analysing them allows us to distinguish three states winter, summer, and transitional (spring and autumn) (see Figure 5.1). In cold half-year (from November to April) the mean total cloud amounts are clearly at their iowesl and oscillate between 40 and 60 . In May an abrupt increase in cloudiness is observed, especially outside the Canadian Arctic. The highest cloudiness...

Atmospheric Precipitation 711 Annual Cycle of Precipitation

The amount of precipitation over any area depends on the moisture content of the air, the pattern of synoptic scale weather systems affecting the area, and the topography and the character of the underlying surface. The moisture contcnt of the air can be described using the concept of precipitable water. Precipitable water is defined as the depth to which liquid water would stand if all the water vapour in a vertical column of uniform cross-section, extending from the earth's surface to the top...

The Analogue Method

The analogue studies use as analogues of a high-C02 world wann periods taken from either paleoclimatological reconstruction of, for example, the Medieval Warm Epoch, the mid-Holocene, and the last interglacial (Eemian) or instrumental period. For the Arctic, our knowledge concerning the climates of the above periods (other than the instrumental) is not sufficient. Therefore, only the second approach is acceptable. The major advantage of scenarios based on the instnimcntal records, according to...

Climatic Change And Variability In The Holocene

Polar regions play a very important role in shaping the global climate. Both empirical and modelling studies show that these are the most sensitive regions to climatic changes. As a consequence, warming and cooling epochs should be significantly more distinct here that in the lower latitudes. Climatic models indicate that they should also occur earlier. However, this is not always the case. It depends on the factor(s) causing the climate change (Przybylak 1996a, 2000a). The Arctic climate...

Main Geographical Factors Shaping the Climate

Secret Garden Coloring Book

Undoubtedly, geographical latitude is the main factor determining the weather and climate both in the Arctic and elsewhere. For the purpose of this work, the Arctic has been defined after Atlas Arktiki (1985) (Figure 1.2). From Figure 1.2 it can be seen that the southern boundary of the Arctic thus defined ranges between about 54 N (the Labrador Peninsula) to about 75 N near Spitsbergen. No matter how we define the Arctic, its location in high latitudes limits significantly the magnitude of...

Longwave Net Radiation

Long-wave net radiation (so-callcd effective radiation) is a residual of two fluxes terrestrial radiation (upward infrared radiation) and the counter-radiation of the atmosphere (downward infrared radiation). The main factors determining effective radiation are air temperature and humidity, temperature of the surface, stratification of the atmosphere, and cloudiness (cloud amount and type, height and physical properties of clouds). Counter-radiation plays a very important role in the Arctic,...

Atmospheric Precipitation And Snow Cover

Knowledge about precipitation and its changes in the Arctic is just as important as knowledge about air temperature. This information is needed first of all to correctly estimate the mass balance of the Arctic glaciers and the Greenland Ice Sheet. In turn, the mass balance influences the recession (negative balance) or advance (positive balance) of glaciers. As a result, changes of sea level are observed. Both these processes are very important for natural environment and for human industrial...

Global Solar Radiation

Star Trek Space Station Blueprints

Global solar radiation is one of the important factors in the formation of the radiation regime, weather, and climate. Its role in both net radiation and energy balance is crucial. Luckily, this component of the radiation balance is very easy to measure. From the reasons mentioned above, global solar radiation measurements are most often conducted in actinometric stations, not only in the Arctic. In spite of this, the network of stations is still insufficient for analysing the field of global...

Net Radiation and Other Elements of the Heat Balance

The net radiation balance of the surface is a result of the subtraction of its long-wave component from its short-wave component. The net short-wave radiation in the Arctic is always positive or equal to zero (polar night). The effective radiation exists throughout the whole year and it is mainly positive in the sense given in the previous section. For the mean monthly and annual averages which we have analysed, it is always positive, as was shown in the previous section (see Figure 3.6)....

Largescale Atmospheric Circulation

The Arctic must import heat from southerly latitudes due to the net radiation loss to space from the top of the atmosphere. Investigations have also shown that almost the entire deficit of energy is supplemented by atmospheric circulation (see previous chapter). This fact ascribes considerable importance to atmospheric circulation as a climatic factor. Schemes of general atmospheric circulation which are frequently published in handbooks show the occurrence of the so-called 'polar cell' in the...

Diurnal Temperature Ranges and Cloudiness

Based on the results presented in Section 4,2, the general pattern of influence of cloudiness on T and T seems to be quite similar. However, the existing differences in magnitudes of this influence (expressed by anomalies) are significant during some seasons and should cause appropriate changes of the DTR in the case of increasing or decreasing trends in cloudiness in the Arctic. The influence of cloudiness on DTR is presented in Table 4.4 and Figure 4.13. These data clearly show that, on an...

Cloudiness

Our current knowledge concerning cloudiness in the Arctic, as has already noted been by Raatz (1981), Barry et al. (1987) and Serreze and Rehder (1990), is still remarkably poor. Of the existing 15 distinct global cloud climatologies reviewed by Hughes (1984), only two (Scherr et al. 1968 and Berlyand and Strokina 1980) provide information about both poles while a further four have information for only one or other of the poles. In the second half of the 1980s and at the beginning of the 1990s...

References

AGASP (Arctic Gas and Aerosol Sampling Program), 1984, Geophys. Res. Lett., 11 (5). Ahlmann H.W., 1948, Glaciological Research on the North Atlantic Coasts, Roy. Geogr. Soc. Res. Ser. 1, London, 83 pp. Ahlmann H.W., 1953, Glacier Variations and Climatic Fluctuations, Bowman memorial lectures, ser. 3, Amer. Geogr. Soc., New York, 51 pp. Aleksandrov E.I. and Lubarski A.N., 1988, 'Stabilisation of norms under climate monitoring', in Voskresenskiy A.I (Ed.), Monitoring Klimata Arktiki,...

Latent Heat

Latent heat fluxes in the Arctic are significantly weaker in January than sensible heat fluxes. In this month (Figure 3.13), evaporation is very slight in the Arctic because of low temperature and a surface covered by sea ice and snow. As a result, the latent heat fluxes do not exceed -1 kJ cm in the central Arctic. Near the sea-ice edge the loss of energy gets higher (-4 kJ cm ) and in the open water areas it reaches its maximum (-39 kJ cm2). Polynya areas show a loss of energy up to -4 kJ...

Sunshine Duration

Knowledge about sunshine duration, aside from being important theoretically, is also of practical significance. The study of sunshine duration enables improved calculations of global solar radiation (e.g. Spinnangr 1968 Dahlgren 1974 Markin 1975). Such a possibility is very important for the Arctic, where only infrequent numerous and short scries of actinometric observations are available. Sunshine duration, having a strong relationship with cloudiness, can also supplement our information,...

The Influence of Atmospheric Circulation on Temperature

It is not possible to investigate the reasons for recent air temperature variations without discussing atmospheric circulation changes. It is widely known that the importance of circulation in the formation of climate is much greater here than at lower latitudes (see Alekseev et al. 1991, their Table 1). Alekseev et al. (1991) also found that the advcction of warmth from lower latitudes by atmospheric and oceanic circulation provides more than half the energy annually available in the Arctic...

Relative Humidity

Relative humidity describes the degree of saturation of air by water vapour. This parameter is almost always used to characterise the air humidity in the Arctic. Some of the above cited papers are devoted to studying this parameter, either entirely (Meteorology of the Canadian Arctic 1944 Rae 1951 Putnins 1970 Vowinckc and Orvig 1970 Sater et al. 1971 Pereyma 1983) or to a great extent (Petterssen et al. 1956 Zavyalova 1971). In winter, the relative humidity in the Arctic should be calculated...

Spatial Patterns

In January, representing winter conditions, the spatial distribution of cloudiness shows greater variation than in summer. The zone with highest cloudiness (> 80 ) spreads from the Norwegian Sea to Novaya Zemlya, covering a large part of the Barents Sea and even the southern part of Spitsbergen (Figure 5.4). Cloudiness above 60 occurs in the whole Atlantic region and in the south-eastern part of the Baffin Bay region. The lowest cloudiness (< 40 ) includes the belt spreading from the...

Air Humidity

Water vapour is a very important meteorological element because it is a crucial link in water circulation on the globe. Air humidity is most often characterised in meteorology using the following characteristics actual water vapour pressure, relative humidity, and saturation deficit. It should be mentioned here that, when relative humidity is used to describe the humidity conditions in the Arctic, a distinction should be made between the expression of relative humidity in terms of percentage of...

Przybylak Arctic Winds

Winds, as we know, are the result of both large-scale and synoptic-scale atmospheric circulation. n addition, local factors such as geography, orography, and topography (altitude and relief) can sometimes significantly influence the direction and speed of winds (Rae 1951 Wagner 1965 Markin 1975 Maxwell 1980, 1982 Ohmura 1981 Pereyma 1983 Wojcik and Przybylak 1991). There is a paucity of scientific literature describing winds in the Arctic in general. Some information may be found in the...

Mean Seasonal and Annual Diurnal Temperature Ranges

Meaning Spatial Figures

The highest mean annual Diurnal Temperature Ranges (DTRs) above 8 C occur over the continental parts of the Canadian and Russian Arctic which are located far from Atlantic and Pacific oceans (Figure 4.10). The lowest DTRs (< 5 C) are noted in the Norwegian Arctic, particularly in those areas which are not covered by sea ice. The region spreading from the Norwegian Arctic to Alaska which encompasses almost all islands lying here (from Spitsbergen to Ostrov Vrangciya) has a slightly higher DTR...

LsOo

-1T -15 -13-20 -18 -16-16 -14 -12-16 -14 -12-10 -8 -6 Figure 10,13. Variations in S S0 for the Svalbard ice cores (I) Westfonna. (2) Austfonna, (3) Lomonosov plateau. (4) Gronfjord-Fridtjof ice divide (after Vaikmac 1990). The LIA was interrupted in Spitsbergen in the 16' century. However, the pronounced warming occurred mainly in the lower located glaciers (Figure 10.13). On the other hand, on the Lomonosov plateau (1000 m a.s.l.) both warm and cold spells occurred during this period. Summer...

Period 1011 ka 1 ka BP

Oxygen Isotopes Greenland

The start of the Holocene is estimated most often between 10 and 11 ka before present (years BP, the present being defined as 1950 A.D.). However, glaciological proxy data show that this date should be shifted to about 11.6 ka (see e.g. Johnsen et al. 1992 or O'Brien et al. 1995). As can be seen from Figure 10.1, there is a dramatic change of climate at about this time. At the Summit and Dye 3 8lsO profdes, the change is equal to 3 4 o (it gives about a 5 7 C rise in temperature). Most of the...

Mean Monthly Seasonal and Annual Air Temperature

Air temperature is the most important, and therefore also most often studied, climatological clement. This is as true for the Arctic as it is for everywhere else. For this reason, our knowledge about this element, in comparison with others, is the best, but is still not sufficient for some parts of the Arctic (e.g. the central Arctic and the inner part of Greenland). The instrumental records of Arctic temperature arc brief and geographically sparse. Only five records (Upernavik commenced 1874...

Number of Days with Precipitation

The number of days with precipitation is a very important characteristic of the precipitation regime. Three categories of days with precipitation are mostly used 0.1 > 1.0, and > 10.0 mm. In the Arctic, as was mentioned in the previous section, light (< 1.0 mm) precipitation prevails. More intensive amounts of precipitation occur with a significantly lower frequency. Days with precipitation greater than 10.0 mm are particularly rare. Most authors presenting results for large parts of the...

Air Pollution

Dimensions Tree Life Diagram

Until recently, the Arctic environment was treated as a pristine place unspoiled by man. If we take diaries or logbooks of polar explorers from the I9'h and early 20lh centuries, we will find a large number of phrases underlying the Arctic's cleanliness, its crystal air, and sparkling ice. Opinions about the lack of pollution in the Arctic continued to be held to the beginning of the 1970s, although the first documented report of arctic air pollution (coining the term 'Arctic haze') was...

Temperature Inversions

Surface-based temperature inversions in the troposphere are one of the main features of the Arctic climate, particularly in the low-sun (or no-sun) periods. This differs from normal tropospheric conditions, in which temperature decreases with height from the surface. Because of the very high frequency of the temperature inversions in the Arctic in the annual march, the term 'semi-permanent inversion' is often used. Outside the Polar regions, the semi-permanent inversions occur only in the...

The Baffin Bay Region

The Baffin Bay region climatically is very similar to the Atlantic region, particularly to its southern and western sub-regions. The weather in winter in both these regions is shaped mainly by the cyclones developing over the North Atlantic. In the case of the Baffin Bay region, the cyclones move from the source areas through the Davis Strait and Baffin Bay. Cyclones bring large amounts of warmth and moist air to the areas where they enter. Therefore, air temperatures here are markedly higher...

Local Circulation and Mesoscale Disturbances

As mentioned at the beginning of previous section, local factors can sometimes significantly change the surface wind speed and direction. This change in many cases is so great that little or any connection with the large- scale circulation exists. In addition, local circulation and other mcsoscale phenomena such as polar (also called Arctic) lows can also markedly change the parameters of wind. Thus to describe large-scale atmospheric circulation, we cannot use the observations of wind speeds...

Fog

Four types of fog can be distinguished in the Arctic steam fog or Arctic smoke, The most common type is advection fog occurring mainly in summer (particularly from June to September) when relatively warm, moist air flows in over a cold surface. The most favourable conditions for the formation of this type of fog arc the open waters of the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi seas. Warm water carricd by the northern extension of the Gulf Stream system significantly reduces the frequency of...

Boundaries of the Arctic

The Arctic is not an easily definable geographic entity similar to, for example, Iceland, Lake Baykal, or even the Antarctic. Therefore, until recently, it has not been possible to arrive at any single definition of the area. Since the 1870s a large number of researchers representing different disciplines such as geography, climatology, and botany have tried to establish a widely acccpted criterion to delimit the Arctic boundary (Figure 1.1). In almost all the geographical monographs and other...

Water Vapour Pressure

Generally speaking, because of the low air temperatures, water vapour contcnt is also low throughout the Arctic. This results both from limited evaporation and the small amount of water vapour which can be held by the cold air. The annual course of the water vapour pressure is therefore very similar to that of air temperature. In winter months, from November to March, and in some parts of the Arctic even to April (e.g. Spitsbergen), the water vapour pressure is the lowest and shows clear...