Impacts of Reduced Sea Ice on Atmospheric Heat, Precipitation Rates, and Ice Production

In recent years the ice extent in the Arctic has been much reduced from that of historical norms and the ice-albedo feedback is often cited as a major factor in causing this accelerated summer ice retreat. An important countervailing feedback is the ice thickness-growth feedback wherein thin ice grows much more quickly in the winter than thick ice. The strength of this negative feedback mechanism depends on the rate heat is lost from the surface to the atmosphere.  The primary objectives of this project are to better understand how rapidly the extra summer heat absorbed in the Arctic Ocean in recent years is lost, where it goes, how precipitation patterns change, and what the feedbacks of these changes are on fall ice production.