Sedlar, J; Devasthale, A (2012). Clear-sky thermodynamic and radiative anomalies over a sea ice sensitive region of the Arctic. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 117, D19111.
Monthly clear-sky anomalies of atmospheric temperature and water vapor over the East Siberian and Laptev Sea regions of the Arctic for 2003-2010 are examined here. This region experiences significant interannual variations in sea ice concentration and is also where ice loss was most apparent in the record year 2007. Clear-sky thermodynamic profiles come from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) sensor onboard the Aqua satellite. Associated longwave (LW) and shortwave (SW) radiation-flux anomalies are estimated through radiative transfer modeling. Anomalies of temperature (+/- 10 K) and water vapor (+/- 1 g kg(-1)) often positively covary, resulting in distinct signatures in the clear-sky downwelling LW (LWD) anomalies, occasionally larger than +/- 10 W m(-2) around the 2003-2010 climatology. Estimates of mean greenhouse anomalies indicate a shift from negative to positive anomalies midway through the 8-year record. Sensitivity tests suggest that temperature anomalies are the strongest contributor to both LWD and greenhouse anomalies, relative to water-vapor anomalies; monthly averaging of column precipitable water yields relatively small anomalies (order 1 mm) that produce a linear response in greenhouse anomalies. Finally the clear-sky contribution to 2007 monthly ice thickness is estimated. Anomalous clear-sky radiation retards the total 2007 ice thickness by 0.3 m (15-30% of ice-thickness climatology), and anomalous LW radiation is most important for preconditioning the ice during the months prior to, and after, the summer melt season. A highly sensitive interaction between cloud fraction, surface albedo and LWD anomalies is found, and we develop a metric for determining clear-sky anomalous ice melt potential.