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Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Observations, Projections, Mechanisms, and Implications, Volume 180

Eric T. DeWeaver (Editor), Cecilia M. Bitz (Editor), L.-Bruno Tremblay (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-87590-445-0
269 pages
January 2008, American Geophysical Union
Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Observations, Projections, Mechanisms, and Implications, Volume 180 (0875904459) cover image
Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Geophysical Monograph Series, Volume 180.

This volume addresses the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice, placing recent sea ice decline in the context of past observations, climate model simulations and projections, and simple models of the climate sensitivity of sea ice. Highlights of the work presented here include
  • An appraisal of the role played by wind forcing in driving the decline;
  • A reconstruction of Arctic sea ice conditions prior to human observations, based on proxy data from sediments;
  • A modeling approach for assessing the impact of sea ice decline on polar bears, used as input to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to list the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act;
  • Contrasting studies on the existence of a "tipping point," beyond which Arctic sea ice decline will become (or has already become) irreversible, including an examination of the role of the small ice cap instability in global warming simulations;
  • A significant summertime atmospheric response to sea ice reduction in an atmospheric general circulation model, suggesting a positive feedback and the potential for short-term climate prediction.

The book will be of interest to researchers attempting to understand the recent behavior of Arctic sea ice, model projections of future sea ice loss, and the consequences of sea ice loss for the natural and human systems of the Arctic.

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Preface
Eric T. DeWeaver, Cecilia M. Bitz, and L.-Bruno Tremblay vii

Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Introduction
Eric T. DeWeaver 1

Section I: Arctic Sea Ice in the Instrumented and Paleo–Proxy Records

Recent Trends in Arctic Sea Ice and the Evolving Role of Atmospheric Circulation Forcing, 1979-2007
Clara Deser and Haiyan Teng 7

Reconstructing Sea Ice Conditions in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Prior to Human Observations
Anne de Vernal, Claude Hillaire-Marcel, Sandrine Solignac, Taoufik Radi, and André Rochon 27

Section II: Factors in Sea Ice Sensitivity

Arctic Cloud Properties and Radiative Forcing From Observations and Their Role in Sea Ice Decline Predicted by the NCAR CCSM3 Model During the 21st Century
Irina V. Gorodetskaya and L.-Bruno Tremblay 47

Some Aspects of Uncertainty in Predicting Sea Ice Thinning
Cecilia M. Bitz 63

Sensitivity of Arctic Sea Ice Thickness to Intermodel Variations in the Surface Energy Budget
Eric T. DeWeaver, Elizabeth C. Hunke, and Marika M. Holland 77

The Atmospheric Response to Realistic Reduced Summer Arctic Sea Ice Anomalies
Uma S. Bhatt, Michael A. Alexander, Clara Deser, John E. Walsh, Jack S. Miller, Michael S. Timlin, James Scott, and Robert A. Tomas 91

Section III: Rapid Loss Versus Abrupt Transition

Sea Ice-Albedo Feedback and Nonlinear Arctic Climate Change
Michael Winton 111

The Role of Natural Versus Forced Change in Future Rapid Summer Arctic Ice Loss
Marika M. Holland, Cecilia M. Bitz, L.-Bruno Tremblay, and David A. Bailey 133

Multiple Equilibria and Abrupt Transitions in Arctic Summer Sea Ice Extent
William J. Merryfield, Marika M. Holland, and Adam H. Monahan 151

What Is the Trajectory of Arctic Sea Ice?
Harry L. Stern, Ronald W. Lindsay, Cecilia M. Bitz, and Paul Hezel 175

Analysis of Arctic Sea Ice Anomalies in a Coupled Model Control Simulation
Richard I. Cullather and L.-Bruno Tremblay 187

Section IV: The Threat to Polar Bears From Sea Ice Decline

A Bayesian Network Modeling Approach to Forecasting the 21st Century Worldwide Status of Polar Bears
Steven C. Amstrup, Bruce G. Marcot, and David C. Douglas 213

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