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Proceedings Paper

Arctic climate characteristics and recent trends from space
Author(s): Xuanji Wang; Jeffrey R. Key
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Paper Abstract

The newly available Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Polar Pathfinder (APP) data has been extended to create a comprehensive data set, called APP-x, containing cloud microphysical properties, surface temperature and broadband albedo, radiative fluxes and cloud forcing for the Arctic and Antarctic over the 19-year period 1982-2000. The APP-x data show that the annual mean cloud coverage in the Arctic is about 70%, with a maximum in September and a minimum in April. Arctic cloud optical depth averages about 5 ~ 6. The largest downwelling shortwave radiative flux at the surface occurs in June; the largest upwelling shortwave flux occurs in May. The largest downwelling and upwelling longwave and net radiative fluxes occur in July, with the largest loss of longwave radiation from the surface in April. Over the past 19 years, the Arctic has warmed and become cloudier in spring and summer, but has cooled and become less cloudy in winter. The decadal rate of annual surface temperature change is 0.57C for the Arctic region north of 60N. The surface broadband albedo has decreased at a decadal rate of -1.5% (absolute). Cloud fraction has decreased at a decadal rate of 6% (absolute) in winter, and increased at decadal rates of 3.2% and 1.6% in spring and summer, respectively. On an annual time scale, net cloud forcing at the surface has decreased at a decadal rate of -3.35 W/m2, indicating an increased cooling by clouds. There are large correlations between surface temperature anomalies and climate indices such as the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index for some areas, implying linkages between global climate change and Arctic climate change.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 January 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5658, Applications with Weather Satellites II, (5 January 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.578803
Show Author Affiliations
Xuanji Wang, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Jeffrey R. Key, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5658:
Applications with Weather Satellites II
W. Paul Menzel; Toshiki Iwasaki, Editor(s)

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