Selected topics in arctic atmosphere and climate
This paper summarizes the main elements of four IPY projects that examine the Arctic Atmosphere. All four projects focus on present conditions with a view to anticipating possible climate change. All four investigate the Arctic atmosphere, ocean, ice, and land interfacial surfaces. One project uses computer models to simulate the dynamics of the Arctic atmosphere, storms, and their interactions with the ocean and ice interface. Another project uses statistical methods to infer transports of pollutants as simulated in large-scale global atmospheric and oceanic models verifying results with available observations. A third project focuses on measurements of pollutants at the ice-ocean–atmosphere interface, with reference to model estimates. The fourth project is concerned with multiple, high accuracy measurements at Eureka in the Canadian Archipelago. While these projects are distinctly different, led by different teams and interdisciplinary collaborators, with different technical approaches and methodologies, and differing objectives, they all strive to understand the processes of the Arctic atmosphere and climate, and to lay the basis for projections of future changes. Key findings include: • Decreased sea ice leads to more intense storms, higher winds, reduced surface albedo, increased surface air temperature, and enhanced vertical mixing in the upper ocean. • Arctic warming may affect toxic chemicals by remobilizing persistent organic pollutants and augmenting mercury deposition/retention in the environment. • Changes in sea ice can dramatically change processes in and at the ice surface related to ozone, mercury and bromine oxide and related chemical/physical properties. • Structure and properties of the Arctic atmospheric—troposphere to stratosphere—and tracking of transport of pollution and smoke plumes from mid-latitudes to the poles.