Berlin 2014 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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UP: Fachverband Umweltphysik

UP 10: Atmosphäre - Aerosole

UP 10.4: Hauptvortrag

Mittwoch, 19. März 2014, 15:30–16:00, MAG 100

Amplified Climate Changes in the Arctic: Role of Clouds and Atmospheric Radiation — •Manfred Wendisch — Universität Leipzig, Institute for Meteorology, Leipzig, Germany

The characteristic conditions and processes leading to the so-called Arctic amplification are outlined. The phenomenon of Arctic amplification comprises an enhanced variability and amplified increase of the near-surface air temperature in the Arctic in comparison to the average near-surface warming at lower latitudes. Observations and simulations show the magnitude of the observed Arctic near-surface air temperature increase is more than double the air temperature increase at lower latitudes. To illustrate the phenomenon of Arctic amplification, several examples of observed Arctic near-surface air temperature increases are presented. In general, Arctic amplification also implies serious Arctic climate changes other than near-surface air temperature, such as the dramatic summer melting of Arctic Sea ice and the Greenland ice sheet, and the decrease of snow cover and surface albedo of the Greenland ice sheet. Numerous reasons for the Arctic climate changes are discussed; the direct and indirect surface albedo feedback and the related increase of near-surface water vapor and cloudiness, meridional heat and water vapor transports in the atmosphere and ocean, and increased soot amounts in both the atmosphere and snow/ice surfaces. The special role of low-level clouds under Arctic conditions (low Sun, polar day and night, high surface albedo) for the self-enforcing amplification processes is described. In particular, the impact of ice in Arctic mixed-phase clouds on the cloud radiative forcing is investigated.

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