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The Increasing Efficiency of the Poleward Energy Transport into the Arctic in a Warming Climate
  • Christopher J. Cardinale,
  • Brian E. J. Rose
Christopher J. Cardinale
University at Albany, State University of New York

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Brian E. J. Rose
University at Albany
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This study quantifies the contribution to Arctic winter surface warming from changes in the tropospheric energy transport (Ftrop) and the efficiency with which Ftrop heats the surface in the RCP8.5 warming scenario of the CESM Large Ensemble. A metric for this efficiency, Etrop, measures the fraction of anomalous Ftrop that is balanced by an anomalous net surface flux (NSF). Drivers of Etrop are identified in synoptic-scale events during which Ftrop is the dominant driver of NSF. Etrop is sensitive to the vertical structure of Ftrop and pre-existing Arctic lower-tropospheric stability (LTS). In RCP8.5, winter mean Ftrop decreases by 9.5 Wm–2, while Etrop increases by 5.7%, likely driven by decreased Arctic LTS, indicating an increased coupling between Ftrop and the surface energy budget. The net impact of decreasing Ftrop and increasing efficiency is a positive 0.7 Wm–2 contribution to winter-season surface heating.