Dr. Schweiger is the current chair of the Polar Science Center. His research focuses on sea ice, clouds and radiation in the Arctic. He is using satellite data, models and in-situ observations to improve our understanding of sea ice and cloud variability. He has developed the PSC Arctic Ice Volume Page which provides monthly updated total Arctic Ice Volume estimates based on the PIOMAS model. He has worked on the validation, improvements, and applications of PIOMAS to a variety of problems. He is a an investigator in the Seasonal Ice Zone Reconnaissance Survey Project (SIZRS) that utilizes US-Coast Guard Arctic Domain Awareness flights make Atmospheric and Oceanographic measurements of the seasonal ice zone of the Beaufort Sea and targets the improved understanding of the changes in the Arctic system as sea ice retreats. He has worked on algorithm development for the retrieval of clouds and atmospheric profiles and generated the the TOVS Polar Pathfinder data set, a 20-year data set of polar temperature, humidity profiles and cloud information. Previous research includes work on microwave-based sea ice concentration algorithms and the application of artificial intelligence methods to remote sensing problems. Dr. Schweiger has been with the Polar Science Center since 1992.
In The News
The Christian Science Monitor reports on research findings that a large portion of sea ice decline in the Arctic is caused by natural changes. The study was recently published in Nature Climate Change and CSM interviews some of the authors Qinghua Ding, Axel Schweiger and David Battisti.read more »
UW Today talks with Qinghua Ding and Axel Schweiger about a new study published in Nature Climate Change of how natural variability affects sea ice loss in the Arctic. Ding, now a PSC affiliate, along with Schweiger and other colleagues from UW and NOAA used decades of data to examine the contribution of the atmospheric circulation to Arctic sea-ice variability.read more »
Are climate scientists able to talk about their research without politics today? The Seattle Times talks with PSC researchers Axel Schwieger, Mike Steele, and Harry Stern who try to inform the public of the science behind climate change.read more »
The Washington Post reports that although “Arctic Sea Ice Blog: Interesting News and Data” will be going on hiatus, the Arctic Sea Ice Forum will remain open and monthly PIOMAS updates will continue. Axel Schweiger comments on how the blog and the PSC dataset has helped create a thoughtful and detailed real-time public discourse.read more »
PSC Chair Axel Schweiger comments on a new study that allows the calculation of a “personal sea ice footprint”.read more »
A new modeling study conducted by Dr. Jinlun Zhang to be published in the Journal of Climate shows that stronger polar winds lead to an increase in Antarctic sea ice, even in a warming climate.read more »
Increasing summer ice melt in the Arctic Ocean could shift global weather patterns and make polar waters more navigable. But scientists say forecasting Arctic ice and weather remains a massive challenge. The prospect of more ice-free water during Arctic Ocean summers has triggered efforts to improve ice and weather forecasts at the top of the worldread more »
As sea ice disappears in the Arctic Ocean, the U.S. Coast Guard is teaming with scientists to explore this new frontier by deploying scientific equipment through cracks in the ice from airplanes hundreds of feet in the air.read more »
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Clouds play a major role in the arctic surface energy balance controlling the growth and melt of sea ice. At the same time the processes involved in the formation, maintenance and dissipation of cloud cover over the Arctic Ocean are thought to be strongly influenced by the sea ice itself. This project will advance the understanding of this interaction and feedback by asking: What is the response of Arctic clouds to diminishing sea ice?read more »
This project will produce authoritative SAT data sets covering the Arctic Ocean from 1901 to present, which will be used to better understand Arctic climate change.read more »
The purpose of this project is to improve satellite retrievals of atmospheric temperature, humidity and clouds. Retrievals are based on the physical-statistical retrieval method of Chedin et al. (1985, Improved Iteration Inversion Algorithm, 3I). The method has been improved for use in sea ice-covered areas (Francis 1994) and the data set has been designed to address the particular needs of the Polar research community. The data set represents the so called Path-P as designated by the TOVS Science Working Group.read more »
Ding, Q., A. Schweiger, M. L’Heureux, D. S. Battisti, S. Po-Chedley, N. C. Johnson, E. Blanchard-Wrigglesworth, K. Harnos, Q. Zhang, R. Eastman and E. J. Steig (2017), Influence of high-latitude atmospheric circulation changes on summertime Arctic sea ice, Nature Climate Change, doi:10.1038/nclimate3241
Schweiger, A. J., and J. Zhang (2015), Accuracy of short-term sea ice drift forecasts using a coupled ice-ocean model, Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, doi: 10.1002/2015jc011273.
Zhang, J., A. Schweiger, M. Steele, and H. Stern, Sea ice floe size distribution in the marginal ice zone: Theory and numerical experiments, J. Geophys. Res. Oceans, 120, doi:10.1002/2015JC010770, 2015
Arctic sea ice thickness loss determined using subsurface, aircraft, and satellite observations, The Cryosphere, 9, 269-283 , 2015,
Liu, Z., A. Schweiger, and R. Lindsay (2014), Observations and Modeling of Atmospheric Profiles in the Arctic Seasonal Ice Zone, Monthly Weather Review, 143(1), 39-53.
Stroeve, J., A. Barrett, M. Serreze, and A. Schweiger (2014), Using records from submarine, aircraft and satellites to evaluate climate model simulations of Arctic sea ice thickness, Cryosphere, 8(5), 1839-1854.
Lindsay, R., M. Wensnahan, A. Schweiger, and J Zhang, 2014, Evaluation of seven different atmospheric reanalysis products in the Arctic, J. Climate, DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-0014.1.
Laxon, W.S, K. A. Giles, A. L. Ridout, D. J. Wingham, R. W., R.Cullen, R. Kwok, A. Schweiger, J. Zhang, C. Haas, S. Hendricks, R. Krishfield, N.Kurtz, S Farrell, M Davidson, CryoSat-2 estimates of Arctic sea ice thickness and volume, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1002/grl.5019, 2013.
Zhang, J., R. Lindsay, A. Schweiger, and M. Steele, The impact of an intense summer cyclone on 2012 Arctic sea ice retreat, Geophys. Res. Lett, 40, doi: 10.1002/grl.50190, 2013.
Zhang, J., R. Lindsay, A. Schweiger, and I. Rigor, 2012: Recent changes in the dynamic properties of declining Arctic sea ice: A model study. Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, 20, doi:10.1029/2012GL053545.
Zhang, J.L., M. Steele, and A. Schweiger, “Arctic sea ice response to atmospheric forcings with varying levels of anthropogenic warming and climate variability“, Geophys. Res. Lett, 37, L20505, doi: 10.1029/2010gl044988, 2010.
Vavrus, S., D. Waliser, A. Schweiger, and J. Francis, “Simulations of 20th and 21st century Arctic cloud amount in the global climate models assessed in the IPCC AR4”, Clim Dynam, 33, 1099-1115, 2009.
Lindsay, R.W., J. Zhang, A. Schweiger, M.A. Steele and H. Stern, “Arctic Sea Ice Retreat in 2007 Follows Thinning Trend”, J. Clim., 22, 165-176, doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI2521., 2009.
Zhang J., M. Steele, R. Lindsay, A. Schweiger, J. Morison, “Ensemble 1-Year predictions of Arctic sea ice for the spring and summer of 2008”, Journal of Polar Science,submitted 2008.
Zhang, J, R.W Lindsay, M. Steele and A. Schweiger, “What Drove the Dramatic Retreat of Arctic Sea Ice During Summer 2007?”, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2008GL034005.
Schweiger, A.J., Lindsay, R.W., Vavrus, S., Francis, J.A., “Relationships between Arctic Sea Ice and Clouds during Autumn”, Journal of Climate, doi: 10.1175/2008JCLI2156.1, 2008a.
Lindsay, R.W., J. Zhang, A. Schweiger and M.A. Steele, “Seasonal predictions of ice extent in the Arctic Ocean”, J. Geophys. Res., 113(C2), 2008.
Schweiger, A.J., J. Zhang, R.W. Lindsay, and M. Steele, “Did unusually sunny skies help drive the record sea ice minimum of 2007?”, Geophys. Res. Lett, 35, 10, 6, doi: L10503,10.1029/2008gl033463, 2008b.
Perovich D.K., S.V. Nghiem, T. Markus, A. Schweiger, “Seasonal evolution and interannual variability of the local solar energy absorbed by the Arctic sea ice-ocean system”, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 112 (C3): Art. No. C03005, 2007.
Liu, Y. H., J.R. Key, A. J. Schweiger and J. A Francis, “Characteristics of satellite-derived clear-sky atmospheric temperature inversion strength in the Arctic 1980-96”, J Climate, 19(19), 4902-4913, 2006.
Schweiger, A.J., “Changes in seasonal cloud cover over the Arctic seas from satellite and surface observations“, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, 10.1029/2004GL020067, 2004.